Last update:
2020-08-17

Reforestation project by Fondation Seguin in the Parc National La Visite, Haiti

The reforestation project in the Parc National de La Visite in Haïti by the Fondation Seguin led to the bloody eviction of local communities


Description:

The forest cover in Haiti has dropped from 80% of the total area in 1492 to 30% in 2014 – and not 3.5% as is usually claimed based on an FAO estimation which was proven wrong [1]. In 1983 Jean Claude Duvalier’s government decided to consider this problem and established the Parc National de La Visite, in agreement with the 42 families living in this biodiversity “hotspot”. In 2012 a conflict erupted between the peasants living close to the parc and the new government together with the local NGO Fondation Seguin, who are working on the preservation of the forest. The peasants were considered by the government and Fondation Seguin as the main cause of deforestation inside the parc [2]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Reforestation project by Fondation Seguin in the Parc National La Visite, Haiti
Country:Haiti
Location of conflict:Parc National La Visite
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Deforestation
Specific commodities:Biological resources
Charcoal
Timber
Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Local NGO Fondation Seguin wants to restore the forest coverage in Parc de La Visite in Haiti. They planted 8,000 trees from 2004 to 2008, and with the new government, they planned to plant 300,000 trees after the 2012 earthquake. A tree nursery that would produce 200,000 seedlings per year was set up. However, forest cover dropped from 6300 ha in 1943 to about 1200 ha in 2016.

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Project area:2,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:142 families, and potentially 72% of the population of Haiti which is dependent on charcoal
Start of the conflict:23/03/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Fondation Seguin from Haiti - Reforestation of Parc de La Visite
Relevant government actors:Ministry of the Environment of Haiti (MDE). It was created in November 1994 by the Haitian government to promote sustainable development and encourage environmental conservation.
International and Finance Institutions United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from United States of America - Finance, agricultural intensification, rehabilitation of rural infrastructure, governance of natural resources, collective awareness, public-private-peasant partnership
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) from Germany - regional and technical expertise, management know-how, financing, education to "sustainable development"
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Important local association of peasants for environmental justice
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Landless peasants
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Land occupation
Strikes
Refusal of compensation
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Global warming
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Strengthening of participation
Project cancelled
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The 142 families could not be evicted, but 4 men were killed and 3 children missing (one of them returned)
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[11] Réseau national de défense des droits humains (RNDDH), « Rapport d’enquête sur l’éviction des occupants du parc de la Visite », 8 août 2012, p. 2
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Churches, Christopher E., et al., « Evaluation of forest cover estimates for Haiti using supervised classification of Landsat data », International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, vol. 30, août 2014, p. 203-216.
[click to view]

[9] Védrine, Emmanuel W. , « Le reboisement d’Haïti, un défi politique et environnemental »
[click to view]

[8] Bellande, Alex, Haïti déforestée, paysages remodelés, Montréal, Les Éditions du CIDIHCA, 2015
[click to view]

[7] Ferdinand, Malcom, Une écologie décoloniale, penser l’écologie depuis le monde caribéen, 2019, édition Seuil collection Anthropocène
[click to view]

[4] Dolisca, Frito, et al., « Land tenure, population pressure, and deforestation in Haiti : The case of Forêt des Pins Reserve », Journal of Forest Economics, vol. 13, no 4, novembre 2017, p. 277-289.
[click to view]

[3] Michel, Georges, « La fabrication du charbon de bois par distillation du bois (pyrolyse), peut-être la clef du déboisement d’Haïti », The Journal of Haitian Studies, Santa Barbara, Center for Black Studies, University of California, vol. 17, no 1, 2011, p. 274-276
[click to view]

[5] Ferdinand, Malcom, Penser l’écologie depuis le monde caribéen - Enjeux politiques et philosophiques de conflits écologiques (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haïti, Porto Rico), p. 417-473, thèse de doctorat en science politique, Université Paris Diderot, soutenue le 30 septembre 2016
[click to view]

-[5] Ferdinand, Malcom, Penser l’écologie depuis le monde caribéen - Enjeux politiques et philosophiques de conflits écologiques (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haïti, Porto Rico), p. 417-473, thèse de doctorat en science politique, Université Paris Diderot, soutenue le 30 septembre 2016
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] Jérôme, Jean Farès, « Qui protège le Parc La Visite ? », Le Nouvelliste, 14 Novembre 2008
[click to view]

[6] Fleurant, Maismy-Mary, « Mettre le paysan au cœur de la reforestation d’Haïti », Le Nouvelliste, 23 août 2011
[click to view]

[10] Maertens, Lucile et Stork, Adrienne, « Qui déforeste en Haïti ? : pour un nouveau regard sur le charbon de bois et la déforestation », trad. C. Richard, La Vie des idées, 27 mars 2018
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[11] WAME, Breaking the barriers to clean cooking in Haiti
[click to view]

Other comments:- [1] Churches, Christopher E., et al., « Evaluation of forest cover estimates for Haiti using supervised classification of Landsat data », International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, vol. 30, août 2014, p. 203-216.
- [2] Jérôme, Jean Farès, « Qui protège le Parc La Visite ? », Le Nouvelliste, 14 Novembre 2008, https://lenouvelliste.com/article/64014/qui-protege-le-parc-la-visite
- [3] Michel, Georges, « La fabrication du charbon de bois par distillation du bois (pyrolyse), peut-être la clef du déboisement d’Haïti », The Journal of Haitian Studies, Santa Barbara, Center for Black Studies, University of California, vol. 17, no 1, 2011, p. 274-276
- [4] Dolisca, Frito, et al., « Land tenure, population pressure, and deforestation in Haiti : The case of Forêt des Pins Reserve », Journal of Forest Economics, vol. 13, no 4, novembre 2017, p. 277-289.
-[5] Ferdinand, Malcom, Penser l’écologie depuis le monde caribéen - Enjeux politiques et philosophiques de conflits écologiques (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haïti, Porto Rico), thèse de doctorat en science politique, Université Paris Diderot, soutenue le 30 septembre 2016, http://theses.md.univ-paris-diderot.fr/FERDINAND_Malcom_1_va_20160930.pdf
- [6] Fleurant, Maismy-Mary, « Mettre le paysan au cœur de la reforestation d’Haïti », Le Nouvelliste, 23 août 2011, https://lenouvelliste.com/article/96189/mettre-le-paysan-au-coeur-de-la-reforestation-dhaiti
- [7] Ferdinand, Malcom, Une écologie décoloniale, penser l’écologie depuis le monde caribéen, 2019, édition Seuil collection Anthropocène
- [8] Bellande, Alex, Haïti déforestée, paysages remodelés, Montréal, Les Éditions du CIDIHCA, 2015
- [9] Védrine, Emmanuel W. , « Le reboisement d’Haïti, un défi politique et environnemental »
- [10] Maertens, Lucile et Stork, Adrienne, « Qui déforeste en Haïti ? : pour un nouveau regard sur le charbon de bois et la déforestation », trad. C. Richard, La Vie des idées, 27 mars 2018, https://laviedesidees.fr/Qui-deforeste-en-Haiti.html
- [11] Réseau national de défense des droits humains (RNDDH), « Rapport d’enquête sur l’éviction des occupants du parc de la Visite », 8 août 2012, p. 2
- [12] entretien avec Malcom Ferdinand, juin 2020
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Contributor:Noam Marseille, [email protected]
Last update17/08/2020
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