Sunday, March 21, 2010

ARTICLE:Deforestation, Another Evil in Haiti


PORT-AU-PRINCE, (NNN-Prensa Latina) — Haiti is going through a desperate situation due to the need for houses and jobs left by the January quake, without forgetting deforestation, an evil affecting the country for many years.

Accelerated consumption of vegetal coal or wood to produce energy threatens to turn the country into a desert, the first in the Caribbean, a zone not characterized by dry soils or lack of vegetation.

According to the UN, 70 percent of Haitians cook with coal, thus forcing them to cut large extensions of forests each year.

In addition, between 15 and 20 million trees are lost each year because no one cares about planting, and memories of exuberant vegetation in the country belong to the past.

Cutting of trees to make coal is not the only enemy of the already little Haitian forests, as burning of lands for crop also attempts against vegetation.

Mountains are gradually losing their entire verdant grove, and the same happens with river banks, with increasing landslides and floods, a situation that worsens with the arrival of rains and hurricanes.

Analysts consider Haiti needs to plant over 200 million trees to increase the wooded surface by ten percent, but it entails large amount of money no one knows where it will come from.

Even if that were possible, the country would remain as the most deserted in the Caribbean, chiefly near the Gonaives Gulf and the entire Artibonite department.

The Haitian government was studying an action plan to fight deforestation, but the quake may definitely delay its implementation, regardless of the aid some international organizations have promised.

Deforestation has made the country too much vulnerable to floods, which have claimed thousands of Haitian lives in the last years, apart from eroding soils and ending with a considerable part of water reserves. — NNN-PRENSA LATINA

Source: Brunei

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