On May 1st, Haiti launched an initiative to plant 1.2 million trees that day and 30-50 million a year, doubling the forests by 2016. They have lost 98 percent of trees due largely to the impoverished country’s need for cooking fuel. This initiative is not only to repair environmental conditions, but economic as well, as deforestation is largely precipitated by people’s need to make a living. Some agronomists, like Jude Lauriston and Bernard Felix, are skeptical about the initiative; saying they fervently hope the the tree-planting campaign is a success, but worry about the government’s lack of planning.
“(I) only got an informal order for 100,000 mango, orange, mahogany, cedar, and avocado trees. This is not the way to do it,” says Felix, who has managed nurseries for nearly 30 years. “A contract for plants would be the first step. Then, they should tell us exactly when they need them. We have no problem supplying two million plants every three months,” he says.
Furthermore, starting September, environmental protection is incorporated into school curriculum to raise awareness in a younger generation. Proliferation of green alternatives to charcoal and wood (such as solar, kerosene and propane stoves) is happening. An environmental surveillance corps to monitor protected areas will be set up as well.