Low government capacity and crushing poverty impede both conservation and development efforts in Haiti. Still, the outlook isn’t entirely bleak. Though much of the land has been clear-cut, nature can still recover in this island nation by increasing local community engagement and linking conservation efforts to economic incentives.
The fallout of Haiti’s colonial past on nature has been brutal. A domino effect from extractive regimes occupying this island nation between the 17th and 19th century has resulted in rampant deforestation. Now, less than 2% of Haiti’s original forests remain. Nevertheless, the country is still one of the most ecologically significant in the West Indies, with close to 2,000 species endemic to the island. An explosion in population combined with few government commitments to the conservation of nature are threats to nature that demand immediate attention. Innovative solutions at the grassroots level that help strengthen the resolve of Haiti’s people to defend their remaining natural areas will be vital to the preservation of the natural landscapes that remain.
Ecologically intact & protected landscapes comprise 50% or more of this country.
Intact landscapes lacking protected status comprise 50% or more of this country.
Between 20-40% of landscapes are still ecologically intact.
Less than 20% of the natural ecology of this area is intact.
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A patchwork of Hispaniolan pine forests cover the slopes of this region which is home to a number of threatened bird species.
Critically important coral reefs and mangrove areas flourish as a result of the protected status of this area.
Home to the last stand of cloud forests in Haiti, Pic Macaya has also become the center of Haiti’s reforesting efforts.