PROJECT HAITI IN BRIEF
Launch Date : 2016
Planted species : cacao tree
Objectifs : fight against deforestation, development of an organic and fair trade cacao, strengthening food security, education to sustainable development in schools
Type of plantation : community plantations
Activities : construction and management of tree nurseries, planting, harvesting, valorization and export of cocoa, sensitizing high school students to the environment.
Partners : Kaleos, CAUD (Coopérative Agricole Union Développement) et other cooperatives
THE CONTEXT : DEFORESTATION AND RURAL-URBAN MIGRATION
Haiti is one of the most deforested countries in the world. In 1920, 60 % of the Haitian territory was covered with forests versus only 2 % today. The massive decline in forest cover is mainly due to the production of charcoal which remains the main source of energy for the population. Deforestation results in soil erosion, lower productivity of farmland, the intensification of droughts and desertification in the territories. The tragic passage of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 destroyed a tremendous amount of the trees that were still standing.
In this context, when the plots of cocoa farmers do not have enough income to support the household , some of them decide to leave their native region so as to go to the country's capital, Port-au Prince. Deforestation increases the impoverishment of farmers and throws them out on the roads of rural exodus. Other farmers decide to become charcoal makers so as to increase their paltry income, which further accelerates deforestation and starts a vicious circle.
On site, Reforest'Action provides organic cocoa producers with young trees. Once they have been planted on their land, the cocoa trees will become equitable sources of income. Our Kaleos partner ensures the monitoring of the trees on site. When the cocoa trees mature, Kaleos buys the cocoa beans at a certified fair price. The beans are left to ferment, dried and sorted on site, creating dozens of local jobs. They are then exported and sold to high quality chocolate makers in Europe.
POSITIVE IMPACT OF THE PROJECT
Organic cocoa and fair revenue
The income raised from growing organic cocoa improves the family's living-conditions and food security in a sustainable way. Moreover the money helps to finance the school fees and gear of the children. Hence the project makes it easier for populations to stay in their region and fights against rural-urban migration to Port-au-Prince.
Conservation of the environment
By diverting farmers from charcoal production through fair income from organic cocoa, the project also helps to fight against deforestation. At the local level, reforestation reduces the risk of landslides and dewatering of soils and rivers as much as it promotes the preservation of local biodiversity. Globally, the planted trees contribute to the fight against climate change through the CO 2 they sequester.
Raising school awareness
As part of a process to sensitize young people to the stakes and benefits of trees and forests, several hundred highschool students receive young cocoa trees every year and plant them in family plots. The maintenance of their trees, monitored by the highschool steering-committee, earns them score points on their school report. After a few years, the income raised from the sale of cocoa will help them pay for their studies.