Our challenge: Why bother?
Planting trees is a noble act in itself, but doing so in Haiti presents us with unique opportunities. The nation has over 40% unemployment. By providing jobs (on our planting programs and more long term in our secondary businesses) we can help alleviate poverty.
Haiti attracts high rainfall. This is great for growing trees, but in denuded areas, it strips the topsoil from the land and causes erosion, flooding and mudslides. Reforestation will reverse the impact of wild weather.
Finally, much of the fertile soil has washed down from the inland mountains out to sea-where it has then washed up on the nation’s beaches. Once pristine white sand, they are now literally dirty. We can restore the coastline to its natural state and build a tourism industry in Haiti, like in other parts of the Caribbean. In short, we’re not only planting trees and offsetting CO2-we’re alleviating poverty and restoring a landscape.
This is an excellent opportunity for companies to have meaningful CSR programs with several positive stories.