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 ìcommand and controlî 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.
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.