The DR shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The economic and cultural differences between the two countries are immense. For example, on the Haitian side of the 200-mile border there is an eroded landscape, where charcoal production and land degradation have destroyed the forests. In contrast, the Dominican Bahoruco Forest on the southern border with Haiti, measures some 10,000 km2, approximately half of which is covered with small amyris trees. This tree dies back after approximately 10 years leaving large quantities of decayed flammable oil-rich amyris wood on the forest floor. While Haiti suffers deforestation and a severe lack of amyris oil raw material the DR has immense underutilised quantities. According to a recent NRSC Report, each year an estimated 2,250 MT of amyris wood collected from 450 ha of forest (well below 1% of the potential collection area) is needed to produce the 90 MT of amyris oil to supply global market needs. Approximately half the wood is smuggled to Haiti, while three distilleries in the DR process the remainder. Amyris oil production began in DR in 2002, but over 50 years earlier in Haiti. Misguided DR government restrictions on accessing and transporting the dead amyris wood has reduced availability and created current supply shortages and price instability. Moreover, the chemical composition of amyris wood can vary considerably thus affecting oil quality.
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