Haiti Reforestation

With 1% of the primary forest remaining, reforesting Haiti is more important than ever.

The Haiti Reforestation Project restores tree cover by planting agroforestry systems that protect watersheds and improve food security. The project equips local farmers with the training, tools, and trees needed to design their plots, grow, and care for their trees. Thereby this increases their farms’ food production and biodiversity. Moreover, the project also entails the roll over of a large-scale mangrove restoration initiative started in 2020. In Haiti, this initiative aims at changing the approach to growing food by introducing agroforestry systems containing a diversity of fruit and nut trees. It is combined with those that provide timber, fuelwood, and habitat values. 

The program also includes training local farmers to effectively cultivate land in highland regions. These areas respond poorly to intensive agriculture and are best suited for agroforestry applications. By doing so, the Haiti Reforestation Project helps stabilize the land and increase soil fertility and moisture retention. This results in higher production of fruits and other agriculture products. Generally, these products can be sold domestically and internationally to increase household income while bringing back the natural ecological function to a highly-degraded landscape.

Gonaives Agroforestry Planting Site

Coordinates: 19°29’00.3”S, 72°37’29.1”E Site Description

This agroforestry nursery is located in the Belanger community in northern Haiti. The region where the Noir and Massif du Nord Mountain ranges meet the Artibonite Plains of Gonaïves has a dry, neotropical climate with sparse tree cover and rugged topography. Many forests were initially cleared for logging, grazing, and agriculture during the colonial period. 

The intensification of unsustainable charcoal production practices accelerated deforestation in recent years. As a result, land degradation has had cascading effects on the environment, agricultural productivity, and local livelihoods. Declining soil fertility and topsoil erosion lower farm productivity and can lead to complete farm failure. With most of the local population engaged in agriculture in some capacity, declining farm productivity has led to a cycle of poverty and food insecurity. 

With the help of sponsors and the local community’s active participation, this agroforestry project aims to provide essential habitat to increase biodiversity, protect and restore soil, improve water quality, and enhance local food security. Local farmers in this area plant agroforestry trees such as orange (Citrus sinensis), moringa (Moringa oleifera), mango (Mangifera indica), and cocoa (Theobroma cacao). This expands and diversifies food production and improves food security for the local population.