"Haiti's Environment Needs Long-Term Help: Experts"

"Long-term efforts to help Haiti recover from the earthquake will have to reverse environmental damage such as near-total deforestation that threatens food and water supplies for the Caribbean nation, experts say.

The focus is now on emergency aid -- Haitian officials estimate that between 100,000 and 200,000 people died in the January 12 quake. But President Rene Preval urged donors on Monday also to remember the country's long-term needs.

Experts say deforestation in Haiti stretching back to the Duvalier dictatorships -- leaving the nation with less than 2 percent forest cover -- contributes to erosion that undermines food output by the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere."

Alister Doyle reports for Reuters January 20, 2010.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010