Haitian society’s anxieties regarding environmental issues are on everyone’s lips. As a matter of fact, the last thirty years have shown a rapid deterioration of the Haitian environment. Reports produced both by domestic and foreign experts show a forest cover of less than 2% of the national territory.
The constant reduction of forest cover is not new. This deforestation practice is a colonial legacy, sustained after the independence by succeeding governments, reinforced by the need to pay the independence debt, industrialized through exploitative concessions granted to foreign companies, politicized to eliminate any opposition to a dictatorial, widespread power, and of course, widespread to ensure economic survival. The environmental situation is now all the more serious, as global warming affects us all. The frequency of natural phenomena such as floods, cyclones, droughts is rapidly increasing. It has become urgent to act in the face of this grim situation.
In the context of support activities for environmental protection activities, FESMAR established the Eugene Piou Arboretum in Dame-Marie. This arboretum, in addition to its training and education functions for the city’s young, also serves as a place for the distribution of forest species, as well as species of fruit, in order to contribute to the improvement of forest cover in the western region of Grand Anse, especially in the town of Dame-Marie.
The Eugene Piou Arboretum is associated with the Botanical Garden of Les Cayes (JBC) in its outreach and awareness work. Training and awareness sessions can be organized regularly by this partner institution, to the profit of technicians and youth in the region of Dame-Marie.
As a part of its mission of education, awareness sessions on environmental education will be given on a regular basis for the benefit of schoolchildren in the western region of the county, always in the interest of contributing to the improvement of the environmental situation of Grand-Anse, which is one of Haiti’s most forested departments.