Population Pressure, Land Tenure, Deforestation, and Farming Systems in Haiti: The Case of Foret Des Pins Reserve
Type of DegreeDissertation
DepartmentForestry and Wildlife Sciences
MetadataShow full item record
Forêt des Pins Reserve, a state-owned natural forest in Haiti, has suffered severe degradation due to a land tenure system that does not guarantee security for farmers, illegal harvesting of trees for the production of firewood and charcoal, and an ongoing influx of people with varying backgrounds and different socioeconomic context seeking fertile land. This situation has resulted in environmental damage and posed a threat to the welfare of the inhabitants of this Reserve. Various approaches, essentially based on “participatory” and “command and control” regulations, have been unsuccessfully tried to persuade farm households to adopt conservation measures. Negative impacts on the welfare of farmers limit the efficiency of these approaches for forest conservation. The heterogeneity of conditions faced by farmers has also amplified the challenge for conceiving and implementing development strategies. This study addresses the effects of socioeconomic and institutional dynamics of land use change, and assesses the role of different policy instruments for forest conservation in the Forêt des Pins Reserve. First, this study investigates farmers’ perceptions on the impact of the Forêt des Pins Reserve on the socioeconomic and environmental status of local people. Structural equation procedures reveal that farmers grant considerable importance to economic and environmental objectives, such as tourism and tree planting activities. Second, this study focuses on the causes of deforestation in Forêt des Pins Reserve. A Tobit model was used to test the hypotheses about the effects of household variables (socioeconomic and institutional) on deforestation. The results show that: a) larger household size, insecure land tenure, and farm labor increase deforestation; b) length of residency and higher education of the head of the household reduce clearance. However, the effects of land efficiency and age show no influence on land clearing. Third, cluster analysis was used to classify farm households in Forêt des Pins Reserve, based on socioeconomic and demographic variables. The results show that three types of farm households may be identified, namely, low-income, middle-income, and large-income farm households. Household size, forest dependency, and total family labor are the dominant factors in differentiating the groups. Finally, a linear programming model (LP) was built to evaluate the role of various policy instruments (land tax, cost sharing, input price, and cross compliance policies) for forest conservation on two groups of farm households in Forêt des Pins Reserve. This chapter investigates the social efficiency of such policies for forest conservation in Haiti. Results suggest that subsidies tied to environmental benefits seem to be promising for sustainable resource use in Forêt des Pins Reserve.