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10/22/2015

Haiti under deforestation

If you enter the Dominican Republic from Haiti, you will notice that there are less plants and trees in the latter than the former.

Jared Diamond: a Bio-Geographer and professor of University of California, Los Angeles told in his book “Collapse” that only 1% of the land in Haiti is covered by forest, while 28% is covered in the Dominican Republic. Why does this gap occur when both countries are located on the same island (Hispaniola)?

The reason lies in people’s lives. In the Dominican Republic, gas is used for cooking, but in Haiti people use charcoal to make fire for cooking.

There is a limitation of livelihood in rural farming areas in Haiti. To chop down trees and make charcoal is an important source of income for people in these areas. Also, many people in Haiti are living under poverty and they do not have additional money to purchase gas. They have fallen into a negative cycle.

If we lose forest, we lose a place for water reservation, and eventually a place to live. It is necessary to break this negative cycle and think about how to restrain deforestation as much as we can.

[People making charcoal]
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[Charcoal before taking to market]
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October 22, 2015 in Haiti |