Many human industrialist practices aid the killing process of the Earth, for, their shortcuts to mass-production lead to the harming of millions of animals both marine and land, and the killing of the environment everywhere. Deforestation, alongside dumping oil into the ocean and illegal hunting procedures, is amongst many destructive environmental executions. The act of deforestation is most easily described as the stripping of trees and plants in an area, leaving nothing but a deserted terrain that can be used for the construction of urbanistic societies and cities. What is not most easily defined, however, is the process which ruins landscapes and their beauty, as well as forces certain animals who’ve lived in those areas to become homeless, some dying trying to cope with the extreme community change, struggling to find food and a safe place to sleep.
Haiti, or, The Land of Mountains as the natives refer to their land, is the beautiful half of the full and exotic island of Hispaniola. Though The Land of Mountains seems less like vibrant, green mountains, and more like a dry, brown wasteland; unlike Haiti’s counterpart, the Dominican Republic. But why is Haiti’s greenlife being bulldozed down?
Shortly after the Independence of Haiti was gained in the 19th century, according to Wikipedia and A Dollar A Tree For Haiti, France demanded for restitution by the new and improved Haitian nation for millions of dollars due to their lost property and laborers during the Revolution. This is comparable to a price being put on the nation’s emancipation from said former ruler. Since Haiti was no longer under France’s governmental rule, Haiti was charged with an embargo by France to pay a debt in the amount that France estimatedly lost in their defeat in the war. In response, haiti began to cut down their trees and sent them overseas to France in attempts to pay their massive debt. Though, it is speculated that Haiti’s major deforestation began in the 18th century when the agricultural benefits of coffee beans was presented during the times of slavery, pressuring for more farmable lands leading to the stripping of trees and forests. Tragedy, both for the forestry belonging to Haiti, as well as the haitian people, struck when Hurricane Hazel impacted the island of Hispaniola, devastating the agricultural life in 1954. (Wiki, 1). Almost immediately following the flood caused by Hurricane Hazel, Haiti’s government continued to cut down forests due to the increasing demands of charcoal. (Wood would be heated without oxygen present to create substances like charcoal). Seemingly, this nation was left with almost no choice to cut down its forests due to high financial demands, both domestically and internationally.
Though these situations and positions Haiti has been inevitably put through had possibilities of alternative solutions, natural occurrences cannot be controlled, stopped nor changed. Weather damages such as mud slides, flood and soil erosion are huge factors when focusing on the causations of a land’s downfall. Soil erosion, as
suggested by its name, occurs when the top soil of a part of land or area wears away due to extreme flooding, wind, or heavy farming. (Ont, 1). The extremities of such stressful practices that are unstoppable by man has lead to tragic events such as landslides, sinkholes, deforestation, and more. Though they aren’t very common, Haiti’s practices only aid towards said destructiveness, putting the entire nation at risk of being deserted. Soil erosion is especially damaging because it’s hazardous towards the surrounding vegetation, almost like a weed intruding on a batch of tulips, putting all the plants at risk. This increases deforestation in a coerced temptation sort of way, encouraging, or in other ways, forcing the rest of the agriculture to fall victim to the poison already set in the system.
So, are there any solutions? There may be a few. Coppicing, a method used by agriculturalists, harvesters and other environmental managements, is the act of periodically cutting down a shrub to ground level to initiate rapid growth. (Google, 1). Similar to when a person cuts his/her hair to stimulate faster growth and quicker results. This practice can definitely promote the possibility of the reversal of deforestation in already dry areas. There are dozens of growth-promoting procedures available for gardens, forests, and areas of need, one being the obvious solution to plant new trees in the place of the old ones.
EBO, or, EnBois Originals is an organization that plants one tree in exchange for the purchase of one product. According to the EBO website, their purpose is towards the “reforestation and sanitation efforts across Haiti.” (EBO.com, 1). How it works begins with the purchase of one or more of many of their available products like sunglasses, backpacks, or other amenities. They’re manufactured in South Florida and delivered to their respective clients, and the work thousands of miles overseas takes place! Seeds are planted, which become sprouts, which then become trees. Farmers located around the island are then handed the trees for proper agricultural placement. EBO, in the process of their attempts to reinstate the lush forests of Haiti, also grant natives job opportunities, helping during the economic crisis that was set in place after the Earthquake of 2012. (EBO.com, 1 ). En.Bois Originals can be followed on instagram (@enbois.originals) for further notifications on their process to rehabilitate what once was.
“Deforestation in Haiti.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Mar. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_in_Haiti.
“Dollar-a-Tree | History of Deforestation.” a, www.replanthaiti.org/about1-c1amf.
Ogden Publications, Inc., and Ogden Publications, Inc. “Deforestation and Hurricanes - News.” Heirloom Gardener, www.heirloomgardener.com/news/deforestation-and-hurricanes-zb0z1611zsgre.
“Purpose.” Enbois Originals, enbois-originals.com/purpose.
Soil Erosion Causes and Effects, www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/12-053.htm.