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5416: Re:Briquet Project (Dr Keith) and some other reforestation activities (fwd)

From: WendyGG@aol.com

Hi, I guess its time I introduce myself,  I have been a silent listener for 
the past 4 months, and then 2 1/2 years ago for about the same time.  Thank 
you for the information and insight you have provided me.  My name is Wendy 
Goodman,  I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Haiti for the past 2 years, 
returning to the US this past June.  I lived in Jacmel, and was andeyo as 
often as I could be.  My; service through Pisko is finished,  but Ayiti and I 
are not yet finished.  I plan to return in January to explore our next steps 

But enough of my introduction.  I am a little familiar with the environmental 
issues in Haiti.  I have friendsj (actually returned Diaspora) who are living 
andeyo Jacmel and modeling and teaching self-feeding and sustainable farming 
and living techniques.  Dr. Keith has been working to introduce his briquet 
technology, my understanding is predominantly in the OKaye  region.  It does 
indeed seem to have potential.  However, according to some folks who were 
working with the communities to introduce the technology, there are some 
problems of smoke and changing habits that need to be overcome.  The change 
in using the briquet technology, would require a variety of changes in the 
lifestyle of the users. While likely well worth it, it is nevertheless 
significant change and will likely  take time and attention to take hold. 

And while people will give lip service to replanting the trees they have 
cut....even when saplings are available FREE from local pepinye,  People 
don't seem to take replanting as part of their responsibility. There are 
various tree planting programs.throughout the country, but peyisan don't seem 
to GET the imperative of planting trees.....understandable when you've never 
been able to look toward a relatively dependable future and you and your 
family are hungry and likely at least 1 member is ill.  

While I may have questions about the focus on cash crops, one of the positive 
effects of coffee (and I believe kokoye) as a cash crop is that it needs 
shade.  Thus people have a $ investment in keeping  and planting Zaboka and 
Mango trees....they support the growing of the cash coffee crop.

There needs to be a sustained program to dialogue with and educate the 
locals.  Make it easier for peyisan to replant and try new technologies.  It 
is happening.  But very slowly. The amount of re education seems much slower 
than the rate of deforestation.. When people are hungry and cash poor, chabon 
is the way to go.

So,nan gwo,  I guess I feel there are some programs in progress that are 
addressing the issue, there are potential solutions.  But it seems that more 
community dialoque and mutual education process would facilitate the success 
of reforestation and reusable resourcing opportunities.  

If you are interested I can put you in contact with the folks living andeyo 
Jacmel.  Their project is living off the land (suplemented by sale of the 
jewlery and incense they make themselves.).  They garden for their living.  
They have a Pepinye from which they give away saplings for exchange of a bit 
of work, or service.  They teach kids and neighbors new techniques and ideas. 
 They help people grow, and they call themselves Just Grow.

So thanks again for keeping the dialogue going.  
have a great day