Foret des Pins or The Pine Forest, a Haitian patrimony to safeguard

The long and wizened history of Foret des Pins, an expanse of forest consisting of coniferous tropical and sub-tropical plants, involves widespread deforestation for varying reasons over different points in time. Once, in the first years of the twentieth century, the Pine Forest was about 32,000 hectares, today, only 6,000 hectares remain.


Foret des Pins, which straddles the border of Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic, has been ravaged through the years by natural disasters such as floods, landslides and earthquakes. It's also suffered under the hands of the government and the population. Widespread illegal logging led to a decree in 1937 declaring the forest as a 'special' site, and a law in 1962 against the clearing of sloping land. These steps did little to stop the cutting down of trees during the Duvalier years as well as the damage caused by farmers who clear the land to create space for their produce.

The method of choice for most who wish to destroy a further piece of this important, dwindling eco-system is fire. Between December of last year and now, over 50 fires have been reported in the forest. The culprits strike at night, and the seriously ill-equipped seven forest rangers, set to monitor the area on the Haitian side, with their two vehicles, only one of which is equipped to fight fires, have little control over the damage wrought.

The dire situation in Foret des Pins has led to a formation of an advocacy group to protect this Haitian patrimony. The aim is to discourage logging, through the aid of community residents, but it is agreed that the policing measures must be accompanied by solutions to the human impetus as well as reparative steps to reforest Foret des Pins.

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Read more: Environment, Deforestation, Forest, Foret des Pins, Pine, logging, eco-system, Energy Environment

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