Media coverage

Each year, CIFOR’s research and scientists are mentioned in over 1,500 news stories by local and international media outlets worldwide. Find the latest here, with over a decade of archives.

A Flood of Evidence

SIR - The claim that Haiti’s natural disasters are both a cause and consequence of the misery of the country’s poor is plausible and compelling (“Inundated[6]”, September 25th). But the idea that peasant farmers chop down trees allowing water to run off the hillsides taking the topsoil with it and thus causing floods does not reflect the facts. Studies show that forests do mitigate floods linked to small storms. For larger and more damaging events, such as tropical storm Jeanne, there is little evidence that forests offer real benefits. Whatever the land use the rainfall has to run somewhere. In extreme hurricane conditions it is also not clear whether forests reduce erosion much. Landslips still occur on steep slopes, forested or not. On forested slopes there may be the additional problem of washed-away trees destroying bridges and blocking culverts, exacerbating flood damage. Reforestation is unlikely to reduce Haiti’s problems with flooding, and repressive efforts to stop small farmers from collecting wood for fuel could make a bad situation worse.
Read more on ECONOMIST.COM - Letters to the Editor,