編譯:彭瑞祥

身在一個飽受赤貧和政治動盪之苦國家,尚‧韋納(Jean Wiener)串起社區的力量,讓人們理解漁業永續經營和紅樹林的長遠價值,共同建立起海地第一個海洋保護區。

2015年環保金人獎(島嶼與島國)得主尚‧韋納(圖片來源:Goldman Environmental Prize)

海地的珊瑚礁與紅樹林,孕育著多樣豐富的海洋生物生命,但這個國家同時也是西半球最貧窮的國度,加上天災和政治紛擾,這裡的居民一直沒有機會享有經濟成長的果實。

受極度貧窮所迫,許多海地人捕撈過度,而孕育漁源的紅樹林又被非法砍除──用來製作木炭販售,惡化漁獲大量減損的苦果。有些人轉而採集也是魚貝類棲地的珊瑚礁,用來當作建材。

紅樹林的碳匯功能是熱帶雨林的五倍,也為海岸地區扮演屏障暴風雨的功能,因此,砍除沿海紅樹林不僅影響漁獲,也造成更多問題,衝擊到這個島嶼國家應對氣候變遷的能力。

尚‧韋納和他的團隊在海邊發現一個砍伐紅樹林製成木炭的非法設施。(圖片來源:Goldman Environmental Prize)

韋納成長於海地,從小就喜愛在海邊玩耍,常常要在父母催促下才肯回家;他回想少年時代,在海邊游泳的感受,就好像在水族館一般,有著美麗的珊瑚礁和繽紛的色彩陪伴。

韋納的雙親希望他在美國接受醫學教育成為一名醫師,但他在就學期間,重新找回他孩童時期對海的熱愛,最終,他成為一名海洋生物學家。

1989年,他回到海地,在一所校園中任職於科學部門;同時,他也看見了家鄉正面臨著海洋生態破壞,生態系統因為無止盡的採集而面臨嚴重損害的問題。他常聽聞漁民哀怨著漁獲越來越枯竭,「以前半天就能捕到全家兩周的食物,現在,兩週的漁貨只夠全家吃半天。」

海地的漁業資源因過漁而枯竭,漁民使用的網目愈來愈小,以捕到能養活一家人的漁獲。(圖片來源:Goldman Environmental Prize)


他下定決心要恢復兒時海洋生命的榮景,為居民找回永續經濟的機會,於是,1992年,他成立了「海洋生物多樣性保護基金會」(Foundation for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity),簡稱FoRroBiM。

首要的工作是,設法位居民創造自救的機會,先讓居民認識到過度捕撈和砍除紅樹林的後果,接著,協助發展出更有前景的工作或小型事業,例如,樹木養護、養蜂,或是讓他們受雇參與研究、紅樹林復育工作,展現願景:今天人們保護好魚類、珊瑚礁和紅樹林,就有機會獲得更好的未來,和國家的長遠永續。

海地是唯一沒有設立海洋保護區的加勒比海國家,為此,韋納串連起沿海社區和政府官員,標定出符合在地需求的重點保護區;並培力在地居民投入生物多樣性調查,共同產出成果:劃定海洋保護區的範圍和優先保護地點。這些努力在2013年7月有了回報,政府宣布在海地西南部海岸成立第一個海洋保護區,到同年12月,東北方海岸又成立第二個海洋保護區。

尚‧韋納和他的團隊為當地居民示範如何栽種麵包樹苗。他們創設了苗圃、養蜂場等微型企業,提供當地居民生計來源,以避免居民繼續過度捕撈或砍伐紅樹林維生。(圖片來源:Goldman Environmental Prize)

在進行這些工作時,韋納成功克服了一些看似不可能解決的困難,尤其是轉變政府官員的想法並取得他們的支持,因為他真的很努力遊說,為了促成官員改變,他可以花上好幾周甚至好幾個月的時間和各級官員溝通。

韋納目前仍和在地社區一起努力,執行保護區後續的經營管理工作,以免讓這些保護區劃設淪為「紙上保護區」。他也期待能協助其他社區建立保護區,發展出一套海洋保護區體系。就他來看,確保有資金投入後續經營管理,以及落實執法,會是事情成敗的關鍵。

尚‧韋納與海地漁民溝通,建議漁民改採捕魚以外的生計來源。(圖片來源:Goldman Environmental Prize)
 

In a country plagued by extreme poverty and political instability, Jean Wiener led community efforts to establish the nation’s first Marine Protected Areas by empowering Haitians to see the long-term value in sustainably managing fisheries and mangrove forests.
Haiti is home to an incredibly diverse array of marine life, housed in mangrove forests and coastal reefs. It is also the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80 percent of the population living in poverty. Natural disasters and political instability have further hampered the nation’s ability to create meaningful economic opportunities for its citizens.

Driven by extreme poverty, many Haitians have resorted to overfishing. Fish stocks have been further decimated as locals cut down mangrove trees—key habitat for young fish—to illegally make and sell charcoal. Others have turned to harvesting coral reefs, which also provide protection and shelter for fish, for construction material such as rocks and lime.

The deforestation of coastal mangroves brings more cause for alarm: The trees are known to sequester carbon at a rate five times greater than tropical rainforests and protect coastlines from storm surges, making their destruction a further threat to the future of an island nation already vulnerable to climate change.

Growing up in Haiti, Jean Wiener relished family trips to the beach, which would typically end with his parents struggling to pull him away from the water when it was time to go home. To the young boy, swimming in the Haitian coast felt like swimming in an aquarium, with beautiful coral reefs and vibrant colors.

Wiener’s parents had plans for him to become a doctor and sent him to pursue a medical education in the United States. During his studies, he reconnected with his childhood love for the ocean and ended up with a degree in marine biology instead.

He returned to Haiti in 1989 and began working in the science department at a local school. While Wiener had seen signs of the damaged marine wildlife during his visits home, he now fully realized the serious extent of the toll the ecosystem had taken from unchecked exploitation. He frequently heard stories from local fishermen of how much harder it was to find fish. “We used to be able to fish for a half day and feed our family for two weeks,” they said. “Now we fish for two weeks and feed our family for a half day.”

Determined to restore the marine wildlife of his childhood and bring sustainable economic opportunities for the people of Haiti, Wiener started the Foundation for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity (FoProBiM) in 1992.

Wiener immediately set out to create opportunities for communities to help themselves. Core to FoProBiM’s work was for villagers to see beyond the short-term gains from overfishing and mangrove harvesting. Wiener not only created tools to help communities create promising livelihoods through small-scale enterprises such as tree nurseries and beekeeping; he engaged them in paid research work and mangrove restoration and helped them see that protecting fisheries, coral reefs and mangrove forests today will strengthen their future and the country’s long-term sustainability.

Recognizing that Haiti was the only country in the Caribbean without any official Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Wiener brought together coastal communities and government officials to identify key areas for protection while supporting local needs. He trained local people to conduct biodiversity assessments, which ended up being essential in identifying boundaries and priority locations for MPAs. His work paid off in July 2013, when Haiti’s government announced the country’s first MPA on the island’s southwestern coast, followed by a second in December that year on the island’s northeast coast.

In doing so, Wiener had to overcome the seemingly insurmountable challenge of conducting outreach and building support in a constant stream of changing government officials. He would pour weeks and months into building relationships with key ministers and officials, only to have office holders change months later.

Wiener is now working to involve local communities in the successful implementation and management of the two MPAs to ensure they don’t end up as “paper parks.” He also hopes to develop a broader system of Marine Protected Areas throughout the rest of the country by assisting other communities with MPA proposals. Key to his success will be securing funding for the MPAs’ implementation and enforcement of marine protection laws.

 

原文請見Goldman Environmental Prize