Deforestation As A Severe Problem In Haiti
The world has been losing trees more and more every year, there are many countries that are still recovering from tragic deforestation like the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has recently signed a couple of bills that will help lower carbon emissions, and have been working to reforest what they have lost. But, right next door, Haiti is suffering with truly devastating deforestation. I will be focusing strongly on Haiti and the Dominican Republic in regards to their massive deforestation problems in the past and currently.
They are running out of trees, so far, a recent statistic showed that they have less than 1% of the original natural forest still left. A study estimated that Haiti will most likely lose all of their forests in the next two decades. (Sharples & Erickson-Davis) Because of this deforestation, Haiti is also losing a lot of wildlife due to habitat loss. One of this wildlife is the famous Hispaniolan solenodon or agouta for short. This mammal survived the dinosaur extinction. (Hance, 2016) But now, they are going extinct. Haiti is losing all of their biodiversity because of deforestation, the wildlife (amphibians, reptiles, and other vertebrates) are being driven to extinction.
People believe that charcoal is the reason that Haiti is getting so deforested, but actually, the deforestation is the exact same reason why the Dominican Republic was also losing its forests: farmers needing more land for corn and beans on the mountainside. When trees are cut down for charcoal, the stump is left so that the tree may regrow to be cut down again in several years. (Dale & Lea, 2017) Due to deforestation, Haiti has been having terrible weather that can lead to death (and has led to death), like soil erosion and floods. In 2004, there was a tropical storm Jeanne, which resulted in the death of 3,000 civilians.
The deforestation of Haiti speaks volumes about our world today. Not many people know that the deforestation of Haiti was even happening, there is little to no news coverage on the subject. This is the same for the Dominican Republic, there was nothing on the news or social outlets in regards to their deforestation that was happening not long before Haiti developed the same problem. But, there is hope that Haiti will be able to pass new laws to promote the reforestation of their lands, just like their neighbor the Dominican Republic. The two countries are now the opposite of each other. Just like Haiti, the Dominican Republic was losing forests fast due to illegal deforestation from farmers trying to acquire new land. But, they were able to turn that around and pass bills that not only lower their emissions but also make reforestation a social interest. (REDD)
I believe that through the power of the internet, there will be change to help reforest Haiti. There should be change. Many animals are going extinct due to losing their habitats, to lose so much wildlife is truly devastating. There might not be hope that these wildlife can be brought back if they don’t go fully extinct, there might not ever be wildlife if they do regrow their forests. Hopefully, there are still animals out there that when they do regrow the forest, they can repopulate. I’m very devastated that a mammal that literally survived the mass extinction of dinosaurs, is now going extinct because of humans clearing out their habitats. The Agouta is called a living fossil, as they are the only representation of an ancient shrew-like dinosaur over 76 million years ago. (Sharples & Erickson-Davis, 2017)
Deforestation is a severe problem in the world today, not only in Haiti. There are other places like the Amazon. (Mills, 2017) There are also low-levels on deforestation happening in our own country, witnessing it before my very eyes as workers take down trees in order to make room for businesses and highways. Humanity should be limiting deforestation and working to replant trees in the world, we have many businesses and many highways. Lands should be more protected by the law and government, there should be a global project to bring back some of the forests that we have destroyed.