The Importance of Planting in Haiti

Planting trees will impact the economics, ecology, healthcare, sanitation, and landscape of the target population. We also believe that the immediate impact created by the project will greatly improve nutrition and advance the education of the locals on the greater notion of rebuilding and protecting their environment.

The Root of the Problem

Haitian deforestation is not a recent problem. Since Christopher Columbus discovered Hispaniola in 1492, Haiti’s natural landscape has been the victim of transatlantic lumber trade as well as land clearing for agricultural purposes. Those activities have been going on for centuries. Nonetheless, up until 1960, Haiti still had more than 40% of its natural forest. The dramatic deforestation accelerated since and now only 2% of Haiti’s forest remains. In the last few decades, the dominant economic engine for this un-controlled deforestation is mainly due to tree cutting for local lumber and charcoal market. According to World Bank, energy demand is the largest cause of tree cutting in Haiti. Fuel-wood accounts for approximately 84% of all energy consumed on the island.

Ever since our first planting trip in September 2011 Tree Angels for Haiti has grown over 80,000 seedlings in our nurseries, distributed and helped the people of and around leogane plant over 70,000 seedlings.

Why Planting Trees in Haiti is Urgent

Trees play a vital role everywhere, but in a country like Haiti, understanding the role they play requires an understanding of the culture first. At this time, trees do not exist as forests, but as useful tools to aid Haiti’s rural farmers and the entire population dependent on living trees. C.J. Marcklinger cites three major factors that have recently contributed to Haiti’s deforestation; they are: (1) limited access to land and capital for agricultural production, (2) lack of non-agricultural employment, and (3) severe economic and social insecurity. As stated in the latest report of the UN humanitarian coordinator, only 2% of trees remain in the existing forests in Haiti, and every year tons of top soils from these denuded lands are washed away to sea, therefore leading to soil erosion as well as devastating, life-taking mud slides. After heavy or even moderate rainfalls, the rivers simply flow down from the denuded mountains and washes away miles and miles of topsoil. Often these topsoils are carried downstream into local creaks or rivers. These environmental catastrophes also lead to major economic damage, such as the lingering poverty that we see in Haiti.

Why Planting Trees in Haiti is Urgent

Continuing the fight against deforestation

By Planting trees, we will:

  • Decrease the desertification process;Trees revive the areas where desertification took place.

  • Purify the air which we breath for the trees are the lungs of the planet; they also serve as air conditioners by cooling down the ground and also allowing ventilation to happe through their banches and leaves.

  • Bring back the biodiversity (Animals, insects, birds, plants);
    Stabilize the ground that's eroding away;

  • Protect and can create a belt around our cities to protect against floods and storms;

  • Trees clean the air from carbon and stores the carbon; by doing so they help reduce the effect of global warming;

  • Decrease starvation problems. Trees promote rich soils and therefore ideal for agriculture.