Those who pay close attention, wonder why the Dominican Republic, which shares the Island of Hispaniola with Haiti, seems to consistently escape the worst calamities, while year after year floodwaters rage down the mountainsides of Haiti forming a path of utter destruction. The difference can be summed up in one word: trees. The Dominican two thirds of the island still has large tracts of forest trees covering its hills and mountains, while Haiti is 98% deforested.
Since its “discovery” by Columbus, ninety-eight percent of the nation’s original tree coverage has been cut down. The vast majority of the deforestation activities took place in the last one hundred years. As a result of this level of radical deforestation, Haiti is now continually experiencing all manner of tragic consequences directly related to the environmental degradation. Desertification, devastating flooding, severe soil erosion, water table depletion, local climate change, and crop failure have become the new norms. These environmental tragedies also directly contribute to the continued deterioration of Haitian social health resulting in an increase of all the issues commonly associated with extreme poverty. If Haiti is not reforested in a timely manner, the nation faces a very bleak future.
The landmass of Haiti consists of 27,750 km2. Eden Reforestation Projects leaders believe fifty percent (13,87 km2) of the Haitian landmass must be replanted at a density rate of 100,000 trees per square kilometer. Compensating for up to fifty percent fatality due to poor environmental conditions will require replanting. This means the collective planting and replanting efforts will require the national workers to plant an estimated two billion, eighty-one million new trees (2,081,250,000) as a means to nurture the Haitian environment back to health.