Haiti on Earth Day: The most deforested country in the world.

It’s Earth Day! The day when everyone tries a little harder to appreciate the world we’re surrounded by, enjoy nature, takes a shorter shower, remembers to turn the lights off. Others are taking an even bigger step by doing clean ups at local parks, making donations to nature societies, planting trees, or spreading awareness.

Because the entire world is so interconnected by how we treat the earth, it’s something we can all agree on. Taking care of the earth is something we’re all invested in, for ourselves and for our future. What we do here in the U.S. affects those all the way across the world, just as those in other countries directly affect us in the U.S.

In Haiti, a lot of the trees were torn up by the earthquake and the country is experiencing severe deforestation. In fact, Haiti is one of the most deforested countries in the world, with 98% of its land deforestation. Without trees to keep the soil firm, rainy season has caused many landslides. The trees also keep the soil firm in the case of another earthquake. With such loose soil, the effects of another earthquake would be even more devastating. Haiti has also experienced severe soil erosion, which can be seen in the aerial picture below. The line down the middle is the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, with Haiti on the left. You can see the lush green land that reaches almost until the Haitian border, but then stops short. This drastic difference is startling, as the climate of both sides of the island is the same.

This sort of environmental damage decreases agricultural productivity, both now and in the future. One of Poverty Resolution’s projects is a tilapia farm, where fish are farmed in a healthy and sustainable way. Chickens are also raised on the farm, and their droppings are both used as sustenance for the fish and prompt the growth of algae, which also feed the fish. This project is one of the ways that Haiti can continue producing food products which they work to improve the quality of their soil. If you want to make your Earth Day contribution to support this project, click here to donate.

For more information about deforestation in Haiti, check out the sources for this article here: Oxfam-Haiti Deforestation and here: National Geographic-Haiti Deforestation.

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