The last post showing the world at night really sparked an interest for me on economic development and sustainability. I remember seeing a photo in National Geographic several years ago showing the borderlands between Haiti and the DR and stark contrast between the two countries. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and relies on the land for basic survival. Rampant over-logging to make charcoal combined with other unsustainable agricultural and irrigation practices created a humanitarian crisis in the country.
Last year the United Nations Development Program launched a project to teach local authorities and farmers about sustainable practices in order to restore the waterways and forests along the border region that is home to 150,000 people.
Obviously it will take many years to bring the land back to its natural state, but the lessons learned can be repeated in other areas to prevent the suffering caused by unsustainable resource exploitation.