After decades of work and millions of dollars invested by the international community, Haiti remains one of the most environmentally degraded countries on earth. With 98% of Haiti’s forests already gone, the UN estimates that 30% of the nations remaining trees are being destroyed each year. The majority of Haiti’s population uses charcoal as their primary cooking fuel, and charcoal production is a major cause of the continued deforestation of Haiti. This deforestation magnifies the effects of hurricanes and contributes to soil degradation which leaves people without anyway to farm their food.
The 2010 earthquake caused a major setback to Eden’s work in Haiti, but we are starting again! We have established solid relationships with over 50 schools across Haiti and with Haiti Providence University. Implementation of our new plan for Haiti began in the summer of 2013 with the training of 500 Haitian elementary teachers in the skills needed to start a small nursery and grow seedlings at their schools. The teachers will incorporate their new skills into their curriculum through lessons in environmental science and by providing their students with hands on experience growing seedlings of their own. We were also joined by a team from Rochester, NY this summer to put up the fence that surrounds the area that will become a seedling nursery at Providence University.