WHEN massive flooding in Haiti and the Dominican Republic killed 3000 people and left tens of thousands homeless late last month, everyone seemed sure who was to blame.
“Haiti’s deforestation allows flood water to run unchecked,” declared USA Today. Haiti’s prime minister pointed the finger at poor farmers for cutting down trees for fuel and to make charcoal. The Associated Press ran touching interviews with the elders of the flood-ravaged Haitian town of Mapou about how they had been forced to fell trees to cook their food even though they knew it would eventually bring about their own destruction. France’s foreign minister promised aid to reforest the denuded hillsides.
Geographic: Central America
Publication Year: 2005
Source: New Scientist 182(2452): 18