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Posts tagged Sierra Maestra Mountains

Gulf of Guacanayabo and Sierra Maestra Mountains, Cuba – February 3rd, 2010

20.5N 77.5W

February 3rd, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Mountains, Rivers

Cuba - December 31st, 2009

Cuba - December 31st, 2009

Gulf of Guacanayabo

Gulf of Guacanayabo

This image of the island nation of Cuba focuses on the central and eastern parts of the country. Of particular note are the Sierra Maestra mountain range, running parallel to the southern coast, and the Gulf of Guacanayabo, a large bay along the southern shores.

The Sierra Maestra is a mountain range that runs westward across the south of the old Oriente Province from what is now Guantánamo Province to Niquero in southeast Cuba, rising abruptly from the coast. The Sierra Maestra is the highest system of Cuba, with Pico Turquino as its highest point at 6,650 ft (1,999 m). It is rich in minerals, especially copper, manganese, chromium, and iron.

The Gulf of Guacanayabo is a bay along the southern coast of Cuba, bordered by Granma and Las Tunas provinces. The largest port on the bay is Manzanillo, and to the north-west, the gulf is bordered by the Jardines de la Reina archipellago. Cuba’s longest river, the Cauto River empties in the Gulf of Guacanayabo.

Deforestation in Cuba and Haiti

20.6N 76.1W

January 18th, 2010 Category: Climate Change

Cuba - December 31st, 2009

Cuba - December 31st, 2009

This FAPAR image focuses on the island nation of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea. Once the full image is opened, the country of Haiti can also be see to the right. Cuba’s main island consists mostly of flat to rolling plains apart from the Sierra Maestra mountains in the southeast.

Despite green to dark red areas indicating good to high photosynthetic activity, Cuba’s main environmental problem is deforestation and desertification. According to Cuba’s Environmental Agency and the Agricultural Ministry, approximately 76% of the country’s potential agriculture land has some level of damage: erosion, salinity or compression. The phenomenon’s origin is due to exploitation, deforestation (many forests are cut down in order to use the terrain for agriculture or cattle rearing) and an intense and irrational use of natural resources.

There are signs of deforestation in 11 out of 14 provinces plus the special municipality of the Isle of Youth, reported Cuba’s Environmental Education, Management and Information Center. Also, the five eastern provinces were reported as having the most desertification.

Haiti also has problems with deforestation: in 1925, the country was lush, with 60% of its original forest covering the lands and mountainous regions. Since then, the population has cut down all but an estimated 2% of its original forest cover, and in the process has destroyed fertile farmland soils, contributing to desertification.