Haiti - Caribbean
1% of original forests remain in Haiti and 59% of the population live in poverty with an additional 25% in extreme poverty.
By growing trees in this location, we will help Haitians through the dignity of employment, empowering them to sustainably grow their own food, restore their local environment and forests, enabling locals to enjoy the results of their labour.
Haiti is one of the most environmentally degraded countries on earth. With 99% of its forests already gone, the United Nation estimates that 30% of Haiti’s remaining trees are destroyed each year. Charcoal production is a major cause of the continued deforestation of Haiti. This deforestation magnifies the effects of hurricanes and contributes to soil degradation, leaving the community with diminished natural resources.
Years of ecological devastation in Haiti have led to varying levels of crop failure, flooding, soil erosion, and water table depletion. To combat these effects, our partners work directly with community leaders to plant, protect and guard native trees to maturity. In doing so, hoping to help restore the natural environment and also implement agroforestry techniques to aid in food security.
The team is utilizing a variety of planting methods including Bare Root, Cutting, Direct Seeding and Seedling Nursery.
The planting seasons:
·Bare root: April-June & August-November
·Direct seeding: April-June & August-November
·Nursery: April-June & August-November
The team has primarily used bare root methods and also focus on germinating seeds in the nursery.
Bare Root: At the onset of the rainy season, wild seedlings are harvested from healthy or remnant forests, which typically see a large influx of small seedling growth beneath the canopy. Bare root (wild) involves the gentle collection of these seedlings and quickly replanting them at an adjacent deforested area. Transferring the seedlings does not harm the healthy forest, as overcrowding and excessive shade from the canopy means only a tiny percentage of the seedlings would have survived. This planting method strategically leverages nature’s abundance
REFORESTATION - Site Name: La Vallee DP, Haiti - GPS: 18°15’11.33”N, 72°39’45.10”W
The Planting Seasons & Methods
During dry seasons the team collect native seeds & prepare them in the nurseries.
Traditional seedling is the process of germinating seeds in the nursery, temporarily moving them to a bag or pot until they reach maturity. When the rainy season begins the saplings are then planted in the fields - in just a few years a sustainable forest emerges.
Tree Species Planted
The species Gliricidia sepium is cultivated and used for a variety of purposes in tropical regions. The flowers of Gliricidia are edible when cooked. The whole plant is a folk remedy for various conditions such as but not limited to colds, cough, fever, headache, bruises, burns, rheumatism, ulcers, and wounds. It can also be used as a rodenticide and general pesticide.
Young leaves, pods, and flower buds are edible and usually eaten raw, steamed or mixed in soups or with rice. The seeds can also be eaten either raw or cooked, or dried then used as coffee substitute. The plant also yields edible gum used in sauces. Roasted seeds can even be used to moisturize skin. The wood is often used for its fiber, mainly to make paper.
Besides its ornamental value, it is also a useful shade tree in tropical conditions, because it usually grows to a modest height (mostly 5 m or 15 ft, but it can reach a maximum height of 12 m or 40 ft) spreads widely and its dense foliage provides full shade. In areas with a marked dry season, it sheds its leaves during the drought, but in other areas it is virtually evergreen.
As you can see these saplings are well on their way to becoming strong, beautiful trees and in the near future this site will start to become a thriving forest again. By working together in the fight against climate change we are truly building a more sustainable and equitable world. This reforestation project has so many essential co-benefits such as helping to improve the communities economic situation, improving soil strength, which in turn will help water quality and restoring ecosystems. Let's keep up the great work for people and planet!
The plantation managers organise and collaborate with local farmers to also plant agroforestry species within the reforestation areas. They arrange the training of field staff, developing training materials, and expanding agroforestry seedling distribution to all local farmers. Agroforestry can improve the resiliency of agricultural systems and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees are grown around or among crops or pastureland. This diversification of the farming system initiates an agroecological succession, like that in natural ecosystems, and so starts a chain of events that enhance the functionality and sustainability of the farming system. Trees also produce a wide range of useful and marketable products from fruits/nuts, medicines, wood products, etc. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has multiple benefits, such as greatly enhanced yields from staple food crops, enhanced farmer livelihoods from income generation, increased biodiversity, improved soil structure and health, reduced erosion, and carbon absorption.
Haiti Reforestation Updates
La Vallée is a massive terrestrial reforestation site. This site is located at an altitude of 800 meters near the town of Jacmel. The community of La Vallée de Jacmel has a population of approximately 33,217 inhabitants. The population relies on agriculture, growing legumes, grains, and fruit, especially different citrus varieties, for income. It was once famous for its sweet potato production. According to reported stories, this city was once a coffee-producing basin with lush forest cover. The terrestrial reforestation program aims to reforest the area to enhance the bare land, restore its landscape, and make it more resilient. This project will contribute to increased plant coverage of the site, a higher frequency of precipitation, and improved plant species diversity.
This reforestation site is a shared site, where many companies and individuals contribute to help restore the land and forests. From October 2021 to September 2022, through this support, the locals where able to plant 565,683 trees, which employed an average of 23 employees per month and created a total of 7,813 working days. With a steady income, the local employees can put savings aside, invest in their households, start micro-enterprises to diversify their income opportunities, and provide healthcare and everyday needs for their families. Additional significant socio-economic impacts include improved diets and health due to purchasing nutritious food and increasing education as families can afford to send their children to school.
We can see the growth of the trees, many of them already over 1 metre in height. With the rainy season about to begin, they will continue to thrive and newly planted saplings continue to be planted on the site which has an estimated capacity of 6.3 million trees needed to restore the area. Throughout this project, the reforestation teams will actively protect the site and replant any losses to ensure the native ecosystem reaches its full potential. Ultimately, many of these trees will mature, producing seeds of their own and helping the forest return to the point of natural equilibrium.
Trees4Travel and its partners were grateful for the opportunity to be able to learn about the important role of reforestation in Haiti and to have been able to help the indigenous communities restore their land. We have now completed our agreed reforestation commitment on this site. The local communities and government will continue to manage the land and protect the trees planted, so that not too far in the future, beautiful abundant forests and biodiversity can once again thrive and return to this place .