We've seen the reports - Once one of the jewels of the Caribbean, Haiti has been continuously and systematically deforested. First by plantation owners and, in recent years, by the poverty driven local populations, who turned to tree-cutting to provide fuel for light and cooking and raw material to produce charcoal.
Although the most pressing needs in Haiti would seem to be alleviating the direct effects of the earthquake and flooding, the need to reforest the country is a close second. The problems associated with having 99% of the country deforested are huge and the longer the situation is allowed to continue, the more irreversible it will become.
Obviously, reforestation needs to happen fast. So, of course, various organizations have taken on the job of solving this problem.
This one, Trees for the Future, is planting trees at an average cost of 10 cents per tree, has supported nursery operations in the country that produce 100s of thousands of seedlings annually and, according to their website, were setting out to oversee planting of 500,000 plus seedlings beginning in May this year, although no word on how that worked out.
This organization, The Restoration Project, plants one tree for each $5 donation. This donation also includes a Creole Bible, a Bible study and supper, and $1 to build a fence to protect the "forest". Their "goal" is to plant "10,000 trees" in 2009-2010. Earth to "Restoration Project": the average tree planter in Canada plants between 1000 and 3000 seedlings per day. The group's website lists some of its "team members" but it does not reveal who the parent organization is. No wonder.
Dudes, if you are missionaries, don't call it reforestation.