Haiti's Geographic Vulnerability
Haiti’s geographic location in the path of Atlantic hurricanes, combined with the steep topography of its western region from which all major river systems flow to the coast, make this country particularly vulnerable to hydrometeorological disasters, especially between June and December. Mudslides are common along all river valleys where years of deforestation have left the upper reaches of the western basins bare. Other natural hazards that make Haiti vulnerable are cyclones, floods, and droughts. | CLICK to read more.
Regenerative development assesses the whole system as a foundation for the planning process. Mapping allows us to locate specific features, changes in vegetation, existing infrastructure, settlements, and so on. Mapping allows us to discern patterns and the potential for beneficial relationships. It is essential to have information from reliable mapping sources and all planning is predicated on this. It is the baseline for all current AND future planning. The cornerstone of all we do.
Mapping information informs us about that which is driven by gravity and convection – for example water, wind funneling across the landscape, and fire. With this information we can layer other information on top of it. We can exert, interpolate or extrapolate as the process unfolds, and as more information becomes visible. The mapping and assessment information can tie things together to create a full understanding of the geophysical landscape, economics, and culture for whom we are engaging with.
Most people do not understand the value of mapping landscapes prior to development, as evidenced throughout the world. For example, the decision to build the city of New Orleans below two huge bodies of water. Or, the building of a nuclear power plant in regions with seismic activity. Or, in an interview when the developer building a huge structure in Hinche (Haiti) was asked about the continual downpour of water each afternoon. He responded by saying, "We will engineer a solution." In regenerative development, these examples are referred to as class one design errors or poor planning without using a whole systems approach.
All of our planning is predicated on landscape mapping. On the micro level, we can know exactly how an infrastructure should be laid out from roads to where sewage treatment location should be in relation to development and agriculture etc. This information allows us to plan for future weather related and natural disasters.
The most important element to evolve is the long-term economic development of a particular region. One that builds self-reliance and builds on the strengths of the people and region. It creates many small family-owned businesses, which builds an economic base to sustain communities because the money stays in the community and is spent within the community.
This long-term economic development also strengthens the region because each community becomes interdependent with one another. Hence, economic self-reliance for families is built and community and regional resiliency is formed. Landscape mapping and our various assessments contribute to the development of a resilient region, dictating the type of projects that consider the needs of the people from their view, and initiating projects that are cost and resource effective, appropriate, and practical.