The Value & Power of a Forest...

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MoJoInDR

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When my wife and I moved to Austin, Texas, the first thing that made me smile was all the green within and around the city. The second was all the wildflowers that would come out in Spring and late Summer/early Autumn. The third was, believe it or not, the fact that at times we can get a sea breeze in Austin, as there are no real hills between the Gulf Coast and the city.

Austin, relatively speaking, isn't close to the Gulf, but I was walking with a co-worker one day in the city and got hit by a strong breeze that caused me to immediately say, "...That's a sea breeze...". My co-worker laughed and said I must be mistaken. But I did a little checking and... Yep... Sometimes we can get a sea breeze in Austin. My nose knows a thing or two about the smell of the sea in a breeze.

So man and our natural surroundings... The two are connected... No doubt about it.

And if so... Then what of forests... Is man connected to forests?

As it turns out... Yep... We most certainly are... And not just by possible physical location... But by something as invisible as chemicals that the trees of a forest can release... And no, I'm not referring to the nasty pollens that may cause allergies (Austin has them all, in abundance)... I'm speaking about something called phytoncides... Often referred to as "...one of the greatest treasures of the forest.

All the natural flora and fauna that the Dominican Republic is filled with is quite possibly its most important asset... Perhaps even more than, gasp... Its beautiful beaches.

Here's an article from Forbes Magazine on the value of DR forests...

 

keepcoming

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OP, have you been to the Dominican Republic (forgive me if you mentioned this before)? You have a lot of threads going about several topics, is this a build up to your trip? Keep in mind that is an older article.
 
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MoJoInDR

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OP, have you been to the Dominican Republic (forgive me if you mentioned this before)? You have a lot of threads going about several topics, is this a build up to your trip? Keep in mind that is an older article.

Way back in the mid-'70s when I was a kid, as a member of a Jamaican swim team that competed at a meet held at a pretty fancy resort somewhere outside of Santo Domingo (can't remember the name, but it had a 25-meter pool if I remember correctly). So not recently.

My wife was last there back in 2014 to visit her sister and family. Before that, she was there back in '02 or '03. We'll be coming down as soon as we have the time to do so.

The threads I've created are just a part of my trying to become familiar with the thoughts of people living in the DR regarding matters that are of concern to my wife and myself... We're both from the Caribbean but have lived in the US for a few decades now, many years in Miami. I'm also learning a lot about things I wasn't aware of, and gaining info on resources.

Moving to the DR would not be a culture shock for either of us, the hardest aspect being the language, which my wife speaks well enough to get by (she speaks French, and Haitian Creole as well). I'm the one that will struggle... But not in a restaurant... I know how to order food in Spanish.

We're both pretty easy-going people who are not looking for, or expecting anything grand from our possible move to the DR. And my wife's parents are both buried there... Soooo... There's that.

Our main concern is the project that we hope to initiate and develop... And this involves becoming a part of the local community... Being located in it... Working within/alongside it... And managing a relationship with it so that goals are accomplished. It's not about what we can get out of the DR, but what we can put into the DR... And hopefully, in time, also Haiti.

And yes... I checked the published date of the article... But 2022 isn't so long ago... And it may speak to much of what is currently ongoing, whether actively or in the works. Eat the hay and leave the sticks.

Thanks for your interest.
 
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El Hijo de Manolo

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Way back in the mid-'70s when I was a kid, as a member of a Jamaican swim team that competed at a meet held at a pretty fancy resort somewhere outside of Santo Domingo (can't remember the name, but it had a 25-meter pool if I remember correctly). So not recently.

My wife was last there back in 2014 to visit her sister and family. Before that, she was there back in '02 or '03. We'll be coming down as soon as we have the time to do so.

The threads I've created are just a part of my trying to become familiar with the thoughts of people living in the DR regarding matters that are of concern to my wife and myself... We're both from the Caribbean but have lived in the US for a few decades now, many years in Miami. I'm also learning a lot about things I wasn't aware of, and gaining info on resources.

Moving to the DR would not be a culture shock for either of us, the hardest aspect being the language, which my wife speaks well enough to get by (she speaks French, and Haitian Creole as well). I'm the one that will struggle... But not in a restaurant... I know how to order food in Spanish.

We're both pretty easy-going people who are not looking for, or expecting anything grand from our possible move to the DR. And my wife's parents are both buried there... Soooo... There's that.

Our main concern is the project that we hope to initiate and develop... And this involves becoming a part of the local community... Being located in it... Working within/alongside it... And managing a relationship with it so that goals are accomplished. It's not about what we can get out of the DR, but what we can put into the DR... And hopefully, in time, also Haiti.

And yes... I checked the published date of the article... But 2022 isn't so long ago... And it may speak to much of what is currently ongoing, whether actively or in the works. Eat the hay and leave the sticks.

Thanks for your interest.
Now you were on the Jamaican swim team. This gets better with every post!
 

Ecoman1949

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Satellite photos show the stark contrast on the Haiti-DR border. The Haitian side has been stripped of its forest to provide charcoal for cooking. Someone posted Haitians have a fear of propane. That might be true but I suspect the issue is economic rather than cultural. They can’t afford propane.

Illegal forrest cutting for charcoal production does occur in the DR. I personally witnessed the sale of illegal bags of charcoal in the countryside. At night, you can easily see the fires in the hills where the charcoal is being produced. The police respond to reports of illegal burning and try to limit the activity. The problem is, as long as there is a market, the illegal activity will continue.

I’ve ridden the DR forest and mountain trials on horseback and seen some amazing timber stands and old growth areas It’s a DR asset well worth protecting. The forests control sediment release and deposition into rivers, they provide cooling and shade for people and cattle, and many other benefits.

DR infrastructure development, especially roads, hasn’t factored in the value of forested areas in the past. I’ve read many posts on DR1 detailing the loss of forests in certain areas and the resulting impact on the landscape, during times of heavy rainfall and flooding. A long term forestry management plan should be developed to protect the forests and mitigate the problems associated with uncontrolled forest cutting. I keep saying the same thing about DR coastal development.
 
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bob saunders

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MoJoInDR

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Satellite photos show the stark contrast on the Haiti-DR border. The Haitian side has been stripped of its forest to provide charcoal for cooking. Someone posted Haitians have a fear of propane. That might be true but I suspect the issue is economic rather than cultural. They can’t afford propane.

I first saw this maybe back in the late '70s on a flight from Puerto Rico to Jamaica. For some reason we had to stop at Port-au-Prince (not the normal flight plan) which meant a route over the DR. I'm always looking out of the window on flights and was doing so as we crossed the DR into Haito airspace and the first thing that caught my attention was the stark difference in vegetation between the DR and Haiti... Which at the time I did not know pretty much followed the border between the two countries. I remember doing a little research on it and found out that there were two reasons for this denuding of the land on Haiti's side... During the time of the war of Independence large areas were cut down so that the enemy could be seen if it were to approach from the east. And then later on was the cutting of trees for charcoal.

My wife and I actually spent some time watching documentary videos on Haiti and the DR and in one of them, the matter of charcoal use was thoroughly presented. It seems that propane is actually cheaper than charcoal (US representative in Haiti speaking), and there is a local industry that is being developed that builds propane stoves at low cost. But like most things in a difficult socioeconomy, it will take time for this to filter down into the wider community.

Illegal forrest cutting for charcoal production does occur in the DR. I personally witnessed the sale of illegal bags of charcoal in the countryside. At night, you can easily see the fires in the hills where the charcoal is being produced. The police respond to reports of illegal burning and try to limit the activity. The problem is, as long as there is a market, the illegal activity will continue.

No doubt that the illegal cutting of trees takes place in the DR... People will always be willing to break laws to make money.

And yes... Market forces drive this... But hopefully, there will be the switch to propane soon enough.

I’ve ridden the DR forest and mountain trials on horseback and seen some amazing timber stands and old growth areas It’s a DR asset well worth protecting. The forests control sediment release and deposition into rivers, they provide cooling and shade for people and cattle, and many other benefits.

Even more, as the article said, there is the whole carbo absorption matter.

DR infrastructure development, especially roads, hasn’t factored in the value of forested areas in the past. I’ve read many posts on DR1 detailing the loss of forests in certain areas and the resulting impact on the landscape, during times of heavy rainfall and flooding. A long term forestry management plan should be developed to protect the forests and mitigate the problems associated with uncontrolled forest cutting. I keep saying the same thing about DR coastal development.

Absolutely... But a crucially important factor that will drive this is the voice of the citizenry. And the same goes for the coastline. Foreign companies have little interest in local value other than how it can help them earn their profit. This is why locals need to become not only aware of the matter, but be encouraged to be involved in directing the management of it.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
 

MoJoInDR

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Just checking with the moderator... I have watched and become informed about matters related to the importance of forests that are quite eye-opening... And are all applicable to forests anywhere... Including the DR.

But they are not specifically about the DR forests... Therefore, I'm not sure if to give links to them here... Could you let me know if this would be okay to do... It is not promoting another country, rather it is speaking to specific matters related to forests.

I'm going to give a link as an example of what I'm speaking about...

Thanks...

 

AlterEgo

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Just checking with the moderator... I have watched and become informed about matters related to the importance of forests that are quite eye-opening... And are all applicable to forests anywhere... Including the DR.

But they are not specifically about the DR forests... Therefore, I'm not sure if to give links to them here... Could you let me know if this would be okay to do... It is not promoting another country, rather it is speaking to specific matters related to forests.

I'm going to give a link as an example of what I'm speaking about...

Thanks...


Sorry, no. If you find some specific to DR, post away.
 

bob saunders

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I first saw this maybe back in the late '70s on a flight from Puerto Rico to Jamaica. For some reason we had to stop at Port-au-Prince (not the normal flight plan) which meant a route over the DR. I'm always looking out of the window on flights and was doing so as we crossed the DR into Haito airspace and the first thing that caught my attention was the stark difference in vegetation between the DR and Haiti... Which at the time I did not know pretty much followed the border between the two countries. I remember doing a little research on it and found out that there were two reasons for this denuding of the land on Haiti's side... During the time of the war of Independence large areas were cut down so that the enemy could be seen if it were to approach from the east. And then later on was the cutting of trees for charcoal.

My wife and I actually spent some time watching documentary videos on Haiti and the DR and in one of them, the matter of charcoal use was thoroughly presented. It seems that propane is actually cheaper than charcoal (US representative in Haiti speaking), and there is a local industry that is being developed that builds propane stoves at low cost. But like most things in a difficult socioeconomy, it will take time for this to filter down into the wider community.



No doubt that the illegal cutting of trees takes place in the DR... People will always be willing to break laws to make money.

And yes... Market forces drive this... But hopefully, there will be the switch to propane soon enough.



Even more, as the article said, there is the whole carbo absorption matter.



Absolutely... But a crucially important factor that will drive this is the voice of the citizenry. And the same goes for the coastline. Foreign companies have little interest in local value other than how it can help them earn their profit. This is why locals need to become not only aware of the matter, but be encouraged to be involved in directing the management of it.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
One thing you didnt mention is that the Americans put an embargo on propane gas going to Haiti, and this accelerated the use of charcoal.
 
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MoJoInDR

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One thing you didnt mention is that the Americans put an embargo on propane gas going to Haiti, and this accelerated the use of charcoal.

I didn't know that, and it wasn't referenced by the American representative who was being interviewed... By why would it, as it would not have been in the best interest of the US to do so.

As my wife and I watched hours of documentary this weekend I couldn't help but think that the DR/Haitian relationship and history is like a microcosm of the socioeconomy of the world... How it all started way back with Columbus, right up through to the present... Major powers trying to get what they could (and still can) out of what is seen as lesser peoples/economies... The confusion that results... The divides that take ensue... It's all right there in the history and current situation on the island of Hispaniola.
 

MoJoInDR

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Sorry, no. If you find some specific to DR, post away.

Okay, thanks. I'll just give a heads-up to folks that there are many wonderful videos on YouTube, and on cable networks (Netflix, Paramount, Amazon, etc.) that present a wealth of information on all sorts of matters related to forests and the incredible relationship between forests and humanity... Search keywords like "...forests..." and "...fungi..." and you'll start to come across all sorts of great stuff.

I've done a couple of searches for similar videos that are DR-focused but haven't found anything comparable. I'll keep looking.

I did find this interesting video by Vice from back in 2014... It has a part that's on charcoal production in the DR... I wonder what's happened since then?

 

El Hijo de Manolo

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Okay, thanks. I'll just give a heads-up to folks that there are many wonderful videos on YouTube, and on cable networks (Netflix, Paramount, Amazon, etc.) that present a wealth of information on all sorts of matters related to forests and the incredible relationship between forests and humanity... Search keywords like "...forests..." and "...fungi..." and you'll start to come across all sorts of great stuff.

I've done a couple of searches for similar videos that are DR-focused but haven't found anything comparable. I'll keep looking.

I did find this interesting video by Vice from back in 2014... It has a part that's on charcoal production in the DR... I wonder what's happened since then?

More spam
 

MoJoInDR

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charcoal ?? from my view it looks like old tires are the fuel of choice for burning

You have a poor, erroneous view... Or perhaps you were just trying to be sardonic.

Whichever it was... Here's a pretty lengthy article that gives a proper look at the matter...

 

JD Jones

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One thing you didnt mention is that the Americans put an embargo on propane gas going to Haiti, and this accelerated the use of charcoal.

Remember, propane costs money, charcoal is almost free.
 
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