Deforestation in Haiti visible along the Haitian-Dominican border. Image courtesy of  NPR .

Deforestation in Haiti visible along the Haitian-Dominican border. Image courtesy of NPR.

Over 98% of Haiti's original forest cover has been destroyed in the past 500 years.

Deforestation has decimated the Haitian landscape. The destruction of natural forests has led to soil erosion, which lowers the productivity of Haitian land and leaves infrastructure and towns vulnerable to flooding and desertification. Recent efforts to reforest the country have been limited by Haiti's deadly dependence on charcoal for cooking. The trees that have been planted rarely reach their full potential height because they are quickly harvested and smoked into charcoal.

Haiti's charcoal industry destroys 4-5 million Tons of trees annually.

Charcoal currently makes up 60% of Haitian energy production, and is especially used in cooking. The process to create charcoal destroys trees at a dramatically unsustainable rate, requiring 10 pounds of wood to create 1 pound of charcoal. The charcoal industry is chiefly responsible for the deforestation epidemic in the country. This cycle will continue to worsen until a safe, clean, effective domestic cooking source can gain nationwide traction.

 
 An empty lot in Tabarre, Port-au-Prince, overfilled with discarded local waste.

An empty lot in Tabarre, Port-au-Prince, overfilled with discarded local waste.

Haiti's waste dumps are overfilled and dangerous to the environment.

Haiti's waste industry is blighted, with veritable rivers of trash flowing through city streets and local dumps and overfilled and toxic to the local environment. While recycling options exist in Haiti, many households and institutions are not tapped into these processes and the problem of waste disposal persists.

Propane and ethanol fuel TAKE JOBS AWAY FROM HAITI.

Many institutions have turned to propane or ethanol-powered stoves as an alternative to charcoal cooking. While these fuels are cleaner-burning, both fuels are sourced outside of Haiti and continue Haiti's dependency on foreign imports while failing to provide jobs to the Haitian people.