Over the first three months of 2021, The Pace Group, in partnership with PrintReleaf and Plant With Purpose, contributed 2,586 trees to the reforestation effort in the Dominican Republic. Deforestation impacts more than plant life. It erodes soil and makes areas more vulnerable to natural disasters. It also harms farmland and leaves farmers struggling to extract themselves, and their families, from poverty. Read on to learn more about these challenges and how your print jobs with Pace are making a difference.
Deforestation and poverty are devastating global problems which can’t be solved in isolation. Desperate to feed their families, poor farmers in many parts of the world are driven to cut down trees for immediate survival despite the horrible disasters that result: farms become wasteland, springs dry up, flooding and landslides ensue, and the land is utterly depleted for future generations.
This is the situation for rural farming families in the Dominican Republic, both in the trans border region and in communities of the central region. As agricultural productivity decreases, farmers who are desperate to feed their families turn to cutting trees either as a source of income or to clear land to farm. However, attempts to grow crops on cleared land are unproductive because the soil’s fertility and ability to hold water has been compromised. The deforestation also leads to serious erosion, causing soil depletion, water pollution, and increased vulnerability to natural disasters. The continued decline in productivity paradoxically leads to more tree cutting, and the vicious cycle continues. The rural sector, which makes up 31 percent of the Dominican Republic’s population, is affected by high poverty rates, and 56% of people in rural areas live below the poverty line (Source: CIA World Factbook, July 2012).
Plant With Purpose’s programs of environmental and agricultural education are teaching farmers around the world how to care for and restore their land while building sustainable economies. By establishing tree nurseries and teaching innovative agriculture techniques, Plant With Purpose is helping poor farmers to simultaneously transform their own economic situations and preserve the land for future generations. Plant With Purpose’s programs are currently functioning exceptionally well, bringing new hope and dignity across 52 communities in the Dominican Republic. By organizing long-term, large-scale reforestation efforts, Plant With Purpose is helping poor farmers and their families to improve the quality of their soil, protect vulnerable hillsides from erosion and mudslides, and ultimately restore their ecosystems to a more harmonious state.