ILO Green Jobs Programme Supports Training in Haiti

10 September 2012. Decades of environmental degradation have left Haiti on the brink, posing a serious threat to lives and livelihoods. In order to help Haitians move towards a greener, more sustainable economy, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Green Jobs Programme provides dedicated training and skills development activities in the country.

One project has been teaching Haitians to use debris from the quake to build or repair houses, pave sidewalks and erect protective structures to prevent flooding. Urban reforestation is an important component of another project in the Cité Soleil slum of Port-au-Prince, where hundreds of brightly painted old tires serve as raised beds to grow vegetables and saplings. The programme is training 250 Haitians as specialists on specific crops so they can help neighbours to replicate the urban garden programme. The nursery provides saplings for community members to plant and eventually sell to surrounding communities. 

UN agencies, including the ILO, are planning to teach Haitians to build rooftop gardens, as part of an ongoing reconstruction project. The ILO is also examining the possibility of teaching street vendors the benefits of ticandaie, an alternative fuel made of organic waste – residual charcoal powder, clay, waste paper and starch. Ticandaie helps reduce pressure on Haiti’s few remaining trees, produces less smoke and lasts longer than traditional charcoal, while costing about the same.

The ILO defines green jobs as decent jobs that reduce consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, minimize waste and pollution, and protect and restore ecosystems.

For further information please contact ilo@ilo.org or visit: http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/press-and-media-centre/insight/WCMS_187934/lang--en/index.htm.