The Côte Sud Initiative (CSI) is a cooperation platform led by UNEP that promotes, with the Government of Haiti, the sustainable development of the South Department. The overarching goal is to support the recovery and development of south-western Haiti by addressing the root causes of extreme poverty, including environmental degradation, vulnerability to natural disasters and limited access to social services.
The CSI – funded primarily by the Government of Norway – aims to improve the livelihoods of more than 700,000 Haitians living in the South Department, an area covering 3,000km2. The South Department has the same general development challenges as most of rural Haiti, but also has specific problems and opportunities. The area is one of the most neglected regions in Haiti, and suffers from serious land degradation, relatively low levels of investment, difficult transport links, and high vulnerability to hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.
The three largest opportunities for development in the south are agro-forestry, marine fisheries and tourism.