Ann al laforè/ Let’s go to the forest

The Hispaniolan pine forests are a tropical coniferous forest ecoregion found on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. (Source: Wiki)

“Pine Forests” is one of the popular entertainment and amusement places in Haiti. Students,  institutions, churches, people from everywhere are accustomed to do what we call; ” Jounen “, where they gather to play , interact , play sport, eat and have a good time. Now some of our forests are almost non-existant . Public and private organisations including individuals are fighting to preserve this heritage .

According to some informations gathered by the Minustah: “Without our vigilance, Pine Forest have already disappeared,” says Janel Dérilus, one of seven rangers to monitor the forest on the Haitian side. Under-equipped and having at their disposal two ATVs only one to fight against the fire, these agents of the Minister of the Environment regularly face criminal forest fires. “From December 2012 to April 2013, we recorded 50 fires in the Pine Forest” laments Mr. Dérilus adding that “these criminal acts are performed during the night.”Indeed, he says, farmers set fire to the forest to cut down trees easily and thereby gain ground for growing carrots, lettuce and potatoes. “All this space was once covered with forest,” recalls Joseph Polynices, another forest officer pointing a vast field of vegetable arranged terrace on a bare hil.”

 Photo credit: Paul Jeffrey

The people cut down trees to make charcoal, it’s a source of income for many. They need a collective effort between the state , private sector and individuals to come up with a  solution to protect our resources. We need to keep fighting to protect our forests for the future of our children and our country.

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