Extreme logging in Haiti is causing an irreversible change it the tropical rainforests and the habitat they provide.
Haiti has faced more than its fair share of tragedies in recent history; the small country is still reeling from a catastrophic earthquake in 2010 that claimed over 300,00 lives. Seven years later, 175,000 people were still displaced from the horrific natural disaster. Last month, an earthquake hit the Caribbean nation, killing 11 people and seriously damaging numerous hospitals. In a country where its infrastructure has been ripped about by natural disaster, crime is high, and corruption is prevalent—things have been on the up for the near 11 million people who call Haiti home after United Nations troops retreated in 2017.
Despite the hard work of government and foreign aid and agencies trying to slowly reinstall peace and stability in the region, the country is currently facing an ecological disaster. Extreme logging is causing an irreversible change it the tropical rainforests and the habitat they provide. Researchers at Oregon State University have been studying the effect of cutting down forests in there and the results are startling. Ninety-nine percent of the country’s original wooded areas have fallen victim to deforestation. 42 of Haiti’s 50 largest mountains have lost all of their primary forest. And researchers predict that in the next two decades Haiti will lose all of its remaining primary forest cover.
One of the poorest countries in the developing world, Haiti has a wealth of wildlife. Armadillos, bears, macaws, pumas, sloths, and panthers all live and roam the tropical forests. Likely the world’s most deforested nation, Haiti saw its primary forest cover decline from 4.4 percent of total land area in 1988 to 0.32 percent in 2016.