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17391: Jay: trees

From: Jepiem@aol.com

In post 17370, Vander-Zaag writes: "...telling the peasant to plant trees
not to cut them) because this is good for the environment was
unsuccessful, but
telling farmers to plant trees because it would be good for them
in a few years was successful". This is a good point, but it depends on
who we
are talking about. I don't know how  many large scale farmers there are
left in
Haiti, and I doubt the large scale farmer has any need to cut trees
indiscriminately, and the point is valid only for the planting of trees.
However, the haitian paysant is usually dirt poor and lives from day to
from hand to mouth so to speak. If he sees that there is immediate benefit
cutting a tree and he has access to it, he will cut it no matter the
consequences for the environment. It is also common wisdom that the
meaning the very small plot farmer is the one cutting the trees. But are
really so sure? What about those lands being cleared for houses on the
mountains? and the poor city dwellers invading virgin lands near the
cities to
erect those "bidonvilles", and the vast areas of arable land being
for new construction, a part heavily financed by diaspora money? There are
two sides to consider in attempting to solve the problem of "deboisement"
Haiti, one is to eliminate that need to cut the tree, an extremely complex
problem given Haiti's economic desolation and the other is government
planification, tree replanting programs and control to eliminate
profiteers who
would cut the trees out of greed or self interest or other pressure. The
aspects go hand in hand and I see no possible success with piecemeal
or considering only one aspect to neglect the other.