He who plants a tree plants a hope.
Once a lush island covered in trees, Haiti is now 98 percent deforested. Decades of land clearance for colonial plantations followed by charcoal production and logging has decimated the Haitian countryside. 30 million trees are felled each year to meet the demand for the island’s primary fuel source; charcoal. Haitians have little choice but to continue to produce and burn charcoal as it is essential to the most basic of needs.
The Haitian government has no environmental regulations and provides no subsidies for alternative fuels, which has led to a situation of environmental catastrophe. During the rainy season, nutrient-rich topsoil washes away into the sea making farming impractical. Flash flooding is also a major concern and causes many deaths each year. Deforestation and habitat loss is tragically intertwined with Haiti’s extreme poverty.
RISE Haiti’s Tree Distribution project is a process of hope. We distribute hardy, native trees and training to students and families who learn the importance of the environment and the impact of a tree upon it. Trees produce fruit that feed communities for years, connect the caregiver to the environment, and bring social awareness and restoration through beauty. The cost of a tree is about $5. The taste of a fresh mango eaten in the shade of a beautiful tree planted by a proud student is priceless. Little by little, person by person, tree by tree, we build our country. With generous support from incredible people just like you, we can continue working to change the environment and the mindset of a nation.