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Haiti - Environment : Haitians deforest illegally the Dominican border area
05/02/2015 11:42:27

Haiti - Environment : Haitians deforest illegally the Dominican border area
The Foundation Wildlife Without Borders, filed a complaint in the Dominican Republic, concerning the illegal cutting of trees in the Dominican territory to produce charcoal for the Haitian market, causing considerable damage to the environment.

Manuel Cruz Estévez, President of this Foundation stated that the species cut Include the Cambron (Prosopis juliflora), Campeche (Haemtoxilum Campechae), star apples, mango and pine in high demand in Haiti.

He indicated that the most affected areas are the mouth of the River Massacre in Manzanillo Bay and woodlands of La Laguna composing the Montecristi National Park, along the road and in the communities including Coco, Montecristi-Dajabón, Los Pinos, Loma de Cabrera, Santiago de la Cruz, El Cambronal, Capotille and Tamarindo.

The President of the Foundation explained that Haitian groups crossed in Dominican territory, from the communities of Fort-Liberté, Ferrie, Limonade and Perches to cut wood, regardless of the species were building hidden furnaces and carrying a portion of the charcoal production on donkeys in Haiti.

Cruz Estévez urges protection services of the environment and CESFRONT (Cuerpo Especializado de Seguridad Fronterizas) to take action to protect forests in the region and prevent that the charcoal traffic cause loss of ecosystems of these areas, despite an increase of 8% of the forest cover those 10 last year (according to the Ministry of the Dominican environment).

The Governor Viany Medina (Independencia) reported that in the Southwest region, the authorities were taking steps to prevent Haitians from crossing illegally from their country to deforest Dominican forests to produce charcoal.

According to studies by independent organizations in the region, at least 22.170 tons of charcoal, the equivalent of 362,000 bags of charcoal are thus products and smuggled annually from the Dominican Republic to Haiti. These studies show that about 86% of the charcoal used in Haiti comes from trees cut without authorization in the Dominican Republic without any military or Environmental authority manage to put an end to this practice, which also includes the Dominican complicity.

Learn more about the charcoal traffic :
According to a study of the Dominican Ministry of Environment these environmental destruction operations are managed by groups of Haitian and Dominican businessmen who fund the illicit manufacture of vegetable charcoal and who benefit of complicity among the officials responsible for border surveillance. This study estimated in 2009 to over 200 the number of illegal charcoal producers on the border, mostly of Haitian origin. This study estimated that more than 30,000 bags of charcoal were produced each month, for a total of 2.5 million US dollars ($30 million per year). Generally, producers receive 50%, truck drivers or carriers by boat 25%, 13% for ocal intermediaries and bribes account for 12% of sales.

See also :
https://www.haitilibre.com/article-4538-haiti-environnement-surveillance-environnementale-aux-frontieres.html (in french)

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