Cap-Haitien, January 11, 2018 – Haiti and the United States act together to bring back Haiti’s forests. Haitian and U.S. Government officials joined Thursday to launch a new project that will conserve and restore Haiti’s forests. Working with local communities and governments in Haiti’s North and North East departments, the USAID Reforestation Project will plant over five million trees as part of a broader effort to increase tree cover, mitigate the causes of deforestation, and improve environmental governance and coordination across sectors.
Deforestation has serious consequences for Haiti and millions of Haitians. It leads to soil erosion, degrades coastal and marine resources, and makes communities more vulnerable to drought, hurricanes, and severe flooding. Without enough trees, Haitian families – particularly farming families – will be at greater risk of poverty and hunger.
The USAID Reforestation Project addresses this threat through a five-year, $40.3 million cooperative agreement between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implementing partner Chemonics International Inc. In addition to planting trees, the project protects 15,000 hectares of land and helps restore more than 800 hectares of mangrove forests.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Robin Diallo emphasized the importance of the Government of Haiti’s leadership on reforestation. “Perhaps most important to our long-term success is good governance of Haiti’s natural resources,” she said. “The health and longevity of Haiti’s forests, land and water depend on the Government of Haiti’s commitment to these resources for its citizens today and long into the future.”
In addition to promoting agroforestry, efficient energy usage, and coastal conservation, a critical component of the USAID Reforestation Project is supporting local governments and other organizations to take ownership of natural resource management and make sure these forests are there for future generations. With these investments in governance, reforestation, and alternative livelihoods, USAID aims to build greater resilience and economic opportunity for Haitians.