We don't have the answers. We do believe that long-term solutions come from conversations and collaborations across traditional boundaries. Our hope is that the film brings new collaborations between conservation and humanitarian groups to address the larger issues for the people and the planet. What can be done about Haiti's ecosystem? What can we learn from this story to help us in other parts of the world? Can we save the devil and a save ourselves in the process?
The Diablotin is a unique bird species that thrives in the vibrant current of the Gulf Stream and the virgin forests of the Caribbean. The health of the Diablotin is a direct indicator of the condition of these habitats. Protecting those areas allows us to defend unspoiled environments for all species that flourish in them, including humans.
Considered extinct for decades until the species was re-discovered in the remote highlands of Haiti in the 1960’s, the Diablotin has since teetered on the brink of extinction.
Life for this species is hard. It struggles at sea where its feeding grounds are being stripped of fish, oil is being spilled on its surface, and important areas are being populated with offshore developments. Life on land has been no better, where forests in which the birds nests are being cleared, predatory species have been introduced, and hungry people, with nowhere else to turn, feed on the ground-nesting birds.
A unique coalition of conservation groups has recently focused their efforts on protecting the endangered bird and the unique habitat it requires to survive.
These conservation groups include non-profits and government agencies from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This collaboration of conservation groups has led to the creation of the roadmap that lays out the pathway to the revitalization the species. Together, these groups have embraced the conservation issues and are moving forward towards a brighter future for this imperiled species.
The suffering of the Haitian people is infamous, and unfortunately it is nothing new. Haiti has a long and complicated history including the decimation of its indigenous people by colonist, horrific slave trade, genocide, war, coups, strategic meddling by foreign powers, and a conga line of dictators, hurricanes, earthquakes contributing to ecosystem destruction.
Intelligent hardworking people have little or no opportunities for education or advancement. Survival remains the main occupation with limited access to clean water, healthy food, adequate shelter, and medical treatment. Exacerbated by the complete dismantling of their ecosystem, it is unclear how things will get any better before the next natural disaster.
Despite all of this, there are Haitian groups and global NGOs working hard to ease suffering, to give hope but more importantly to empower the Haitian people to be the solution. We believe in the efforts of some of these groups.
What is the solution? We don’t have all the answers, but we do believe it hinges on healthy ecosystems. One of Haiti’s biggest assets is its capability to have a healthy and vibrant ecosystem. Haiti was treasured for its ecosystem in the past and it can be again in the future. We believe that a new vision with never before seen levels of creative collaboration is what it will take to come to a sustainable long-term solution. We hope our film can help spark this collaboration.