Problem Solving Must Read: Using Chocolate to Reforest Haiti

Plus: A report by the World Bank on addressing mental health conditions of people affected by conflict, and the scaling of urban agriculture in Denmark

Problem Solving Must Read: Using Chocolate to Reforest Haiti

Plus: A report by the World Bank on addressing mental health conditions of people affected by conflict, and the scaling of urban agriculture in Denmark

Here at The Citizen, we do problem-solving journalism, looking for ideas and solutions to move the region forward and make a better city. Here are some other great ideas for solving the world’s problems, from media outlets around the globe:


Upscale Chocolate is Turning the Tide on Haiti's Deforestation Crisis

Photo: Pixabay

As a result of both natural disasters and human actions, Haiti is 98% deforested. What’s worse is that the topsoil has been practically ruined, leaving it unsuitable for many crops. Although it seems to be a small problem in comparison to the earthquakes and hurricanes that the country has endured recently, it is a problem that has a readily available solution, which has come from a most unlikely source. A Quebec chocolatier has used cocoa produced specifically in Haiti in its award-winning upscale chocolate bars; this has encouraged numerous farmers to plant cocoa trees, which are ideally suited to grow in this poor soil while restoring it. So not only is cocoa turning into a lucrative cash crop in Haiti, it has also helped reforest otherwise useless plots of land. (via Ensia)

Bringing Mental Health Services to War-Torn Regions

Photo: Pixa Bay

During conflict and in post-conflict situations, mental health of those affected by war and violence is often overlooked; disorders like PTSD, depression and anxiety are widely prevalent among people who have experienced conflict. As refugees fleeing conflict desperately seek to settle in countries in the West, experts have said that addressing the mental health conditions of refugees and asylum seekers has to be an important part of the resettlement process. Organizations like the WHO and UNHCR have over the years gathered invaluable expertise in the matter and have created interventions and programs to aid these individuals on their path to recovery. Studies from these organizations have shown that addressing mental health needs is one of the most important and cost-effective ways of ensuring appropriate integration and assimilation in their new homes. (via The World Bank Blog)


Photo: Pixabay

In the past couple of decades, an unprecedented rate of urbanization has taken place in developing countries. This has posed new challenges to world food security and nutrition policies. Urban agriculture is generally considered to be the panacea to this problem of food insecurity, but so far there’s been little headway made towards making urban agriculture a viable solution. A company in Denmark called Agro Food Park, which already facilitates innovations in urban agriculture, is eyeing to become “The Silicone Valley of Agriculture.” It’s situated just outside the city of Aarhus, providing sustainable, local food to a city which would otherwise lack it. Argo has ambitious plans for expansion not just in terms of size but also in terms of global collaboration, with governments and multinational companies. (via City Lab)

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