This dissertation develops a political ecology of suburban peasants to describe the lives of Haitian farmers residing in a neighborhood on the margins of Port-au-Prince. The category of suburban peasants has been well described for Chinese small-scale farmers but has yet to be applied elsewhere as an analytic category.
This study examines the complex factors and causes of Haiti’s ecological demise, identifying the tipping points which led to its early environmental challenges, its eventual isolation, economic stagnation and decline within the exclusionary global economic system of mercantilism, all resulting in, and reinforced by, a complex western ideological bias defined as ‘Haitiism’.
It is 2014 and approximately 40% of the world population still has no access to adequate sanitary toilets. For these 2.6 billion people the problem is not only finding a safe and dignified place to defecate, but also trying to combat deadly diseases associated with the exposure to pathogens in feces left on the ground or near waterways.
Media representations perpetuate stereotyped images of Haiti and Haitians. Such expressions typically emphasize extreme poverty, mismanagement, exploitation, hopelessness, and also environmental degradation. The environmental image of Haiti is that it is massively deforested, and the connection of deforestation to poverty and other problems has been captured in an iconic aerial photograph of the Haitian and Dominican Republic (DR) border.
Haiti’s area of forest cover has dropped from 80% to less than 2% since the arrival of foreign influence in 1492. Yet, Haitians remain closely intertwined with the environment, depending on trees for food, shade, building materials, medicine, and protection against hurricanes.
n Haiti's largely agrarian society as well as in many other islands in the Caribbean, deforestation has become an issue that has long term, negative consequences for the livelihood of farmers and the ability of the nation as a whole to rebound after natural disasters, a frequent occurrence in Haiti.
The purpose of this thesis was to complete an analysis of the work and practices of the community organizations of Borgne, Haiti. While the work of several community organizations were examined, research specifically focused on the community’s tree-planting project.
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 dissertation analyzes important changes occurring in a remote Haitian village, which I call Malfini. This case study illustrates current problems facing the Haitian peasantry, focusing on the political relationships that are at the heart of these problems.
Geographers are challenged to explain "the why of where." This study grapples with "whys" of peasant subsistence in contemporary rural Haiti. Cultural ecology, one of the fundamental themes in cultural geography, examines the interplay between cultural traditions and the realities of subsistence in a given physical environment.