News FocusAgroforestry

Greening Haiti, Tree by Tree

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Science  05 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5966, pp. 640-641
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5966.640

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Summary

As the focus of relief efforts after Haiti's devastating earthquake begins to shift from immediate rescue to long-term rebuilding, the use of agroforestry to boost Haiti's natural resources has taken on a new urgency. Many Haitians are leaving Port-au-Prince and pouring into rural areas such as the Artibonite valley, and the buzzword in the foreign aid community is to "decentralize" services from the capital. The Haiti Timber Re-Introduction Project aims to teach people in the Artibonite valley how to plant and nurture trees on their own small plots. The trees will provide wood to sell for lumber and charcoal, fruit to eat, and nitrogen to improve the soil so they can grow crops for food. If they're lucky, enough trees will last long enough to improve the watershed for rivers and prevent erosion and flash floods.

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