This petition focuses on goals for the rebuilding of Haiti which has been recently been struck by a devastating earthquake.
Haiti has suffered from years of extreme deforestation which has caused Haiti 's topsoil to run-off into their rivers and out into the sea which has killed almost all fish and wildlife in Haiti 's rivers and coastal areas.
In 1923 over 60% of Haiti was covered with tropical forest by 2006 less than 2% was forested.
Much of the recent deforestation in Haiti is caused by the poor cutting down the few trees remaining for cooking fuel and to clear land for farming.
Ten solutions offered to stop deforestation in Haiti are:
1.) Solar rooftop panels to provide electricity for cooking, to stop the cutting down of trees for cooking fuel. Solar panels could be donated and installed by governments and private industry worldwide who produce solar panels/technology as part of earthquake relief. There are only 9 million people in Haiti (roughly the size of the Chicago metro area) so the costs of a worldwide effort to do this would not be too prohibitive.
2.) Community solar kitchens could be built in poor neighborhoods in Haiti that whole neighborhoods could access for wood free cooking.
3.) Improvements in Haiti's sewege and water teatment systems as well as improving water drainage to stop water pollution, water stagnation and reduce disease. Also, if possible, reducing fertilizer and pesticide usage which also pollutes rivers and coastal waters killing fish and other river/sea life.
4.) Appeal to the U.N. to lobby the nations that surround the Carribean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico to reduce their fertilizer and pesticides usage which kills fish. Fertilizer and pesticides usage in these nations drains from their rivers into the Carribean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico creating enormous polluted dead zones negatively affecting Haitian fishing. On the southern coast of the United States where the Mississippi River drains into the Gulf of Mexico there is a polluted dead zone from U.S. fertilizer and pesticides run-off which is the size of the state of New Jersey. Reducing or stopping this fertilizer run-off will stop fisheries declines in the Gulf of Mexico and the Carribean Sea where Haiti is located. Venezuela, Columbia and other Central and South American countries also have high rates of fertilizer and pesticides run-off that drains into the Gulf of Mexico and Carribean Sea.
View worldwide coastal dead zones in below link:
5.) Appeal to the U.N. to request that the U.S. and other nations that surround the Carribean and Gulf of Mexico begin removing dams from major and minor river systems that drain into the Carribean Sea and Gulf of Mexico where multiple species of game fish, that were once able to swim up these rivers to spawn (lay eggs) are now not able to do so because of dams. These many valuable game fish species, at the present time, have lost access to these up river spawning grounds because of the over 75,000 large dams and over 1 million small dams in the United States, and additional thousands of dams throughout Mexico, Central America and South America on major river and minor river systems. All these dammed rivers once drained freely and unobstructed into the Gulf of Mexico and Carribean Sea. Fish were able to utilize all these rivers for spawning. These many dams have been an additional source of destruction to Carribean and Gulf of Mexico fisheries as they prevent fish reproductionon a massive scale. Many of these nations are now planning or are in the process of building larger and even more destructive dams.
6.) Conversion of the nations electrical grid to wind power which will enable the Haitian government to un-dam Haiti's rivers which will allow recovery of Haiti's river and coastal eco-systems/fisheries that have been damaged by river damming. This will alow the Haitian people to fish again and reduce reliance on farming which is further degrading the land. Coverting to wind and solar power would also greatly benefit the Dominican Republic whose rivers are heavily dammed.
7.) Focusing reforestation efforts first on deforested hills and mountainsides that drain water into rivers and streams. This will begin to stop soil run-off into rivers from these mountains which kills river and coastal fish and life. This reforestation should focus on remote and inaccessible mountainsides which cannot be easily deforested again
8.) A concerted government and private effort to educate Haitian citizens about why their nation no longer has any fish or trees and why their roads wash away when it rains. (this is caused by the lack of trees which would normally absorb the water run-off).
9.) Democratic reforms so people can voice their displeasure when environmental destruction is happening in order to force their governmnet to take corrective action.
10.) Modernize Haiti 's electrical grid to a computerized "smart grid" to prevent bleeding off of electricity from ancient worn out electrical lines and for more efficient use of generated electricty. This can tremendously reduce waste and increase electricity available to the poor for cooking etc. Eventually solar and wind can provide such electricity without building more dams, coal fired power plants or cutting down trees.
Previous to the recent earthquake in Haiti , the country has been afflicted with one of the worst environmental catastrophes the world has ever known.
The entire country of Haiti been completely deforested at first by large commercial timber operations and than by the poor for cooking fuel.
The soil run-off from the deforested mountains and hills of Haiti which can no longer hold soil in place because of the lack of trees, has allowed/caused almost all the topsoil there to run into the rivers and out into the sea choking off and killing almost all river and coastal fish and wildlife.
The people of Haiti who once depended on fish as a mainstay of their diet then had to turn to further clearing of the land for small scale farming on almost every square inch of available land, which has further degraded the land and water.
This has also prevented reforestation efforts because reforestation would reduce available farm land.
The Ararwak indians who once inhabited Haiti lived a life of incredible abundance by living mainly off the fish and seafood that the rivers and coastal areas of Haiti provided. Natural occurring plants and fruits provided for the rest of their diet and very little, if any, farming or clearing of land was needed.
Europeans and others who later settled on the island quickly began abusing and exploiting the Arawaks and discarded the Arawak's way of life in favor of planting sugar cane, coffee, tobacco, cotton, clearing forests and damming rivers to generate power/electricity to process these crops and timber. African and Arawak slaves were used as labor to accomplish this destruction.
The Arawak indians are now extinct from Haiti and the greater Carribean where they once lived in great numbers.
As the unregulated and corrupt private and public exploitation/rape of the island's natural resources continued through the years the nation began to descend into an environmental apocalypse never quite seen before in the history of the world.
Haiti was repeatedly hit by hurricanes in the last 5 years and now the devastating earthquake of 2010 has magnified Haiti 's environmental/poverty crisis to new levels.
Previous governments in Haiti have been noted for their corruption and neglect of their citizens and the environment of Haiti .
Recent reforms have been made, but great efforts remain to be made to insure that irresponsible environmental exploitation, neglect of the poor and corruption are stopped in Haiti through democratic reforms, proper governmental checks and balances and environmental education to let the people of Haiti and their government/private leaders know why there are no trees left on Haiti's land and no fish left in Haiti's rivers and coastal areas. Also to offer viable/practical solutions to stop the ongoing environmental destruction and provide life's neccessities to the poor in Haiti .
We the undersigned agree with the sentiments of the author of this petition.
E-mail contacts for U.S, state senators: