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January 19, 2010

Natural Resource Mismanagement Connected to Loss of Life in Haiti

by Christi Elflein

Haiti is a country that has suffered for decades with widespread poverty, political corruption, environmental destruction, and natural disasters.  Last week’s earthquake was devastating and made worse by the situation it was already in.  The Haitians desperate situation has lead to 97% deforestation in the country, which has led to a lack of wood available to construct buildings properly.   The poorly built buildings crumbled when the earthquake hit, taking thousands of lives.

Following is a link to a New York Times piece filmed three weeks before the earthquake.  It highlights the links between poverty, natural resource mismanagement and the consequences that have occurred from past natural disasters and from last week’s earthquake.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLmpFHSsGD0

As devastating as this earthquake is, it is an opportunity for the Haitians to have their problems brought to the forefront of the world.  It is an opportunity for us, as Americans, to see how the country has been going in the wrong direction and how we can help to turn this pattern around.  Along with rebuilding efforts, restoration of the country’s natural resources, namely reforestation, will also need to occur.

Yahya E. B. Henry

About Yahya E. B. Henry

Merging his passion for cities, real estate, tech and travel, Yahya is introducing the world to a new model of real estate development that draws from best practices around the globe.

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2 Comments

  • It really is devastating, on top of all of the problems already present in Haiti, for such a catastrophe to occur. While this is horrific for the people of Haiti, it should serve as an example or a big 'don't' for resource management practices, ecological stewardship, and sustainable infrastructure.

    Thanks for sharing, Christi.

  • It really is devastating, on top of all of the problems already present in Haiti, for such a catastrophe to occur. While this is horrific for the people of Haiti, it should serve as an example or a big 'don't' for resource management practices, ecological stewardship, and sustainable infrastructure.

    Thanks for sharing, Christi.

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