Haiti ( HAY-tee; French: Haïti [a.iti]; Haitian Creole: Ayiti [ajiti]), officially the Republic of Haiti (French: République d'Haïti; Haitian Creole: Repiblik d Ayiti), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba and Jamaica, and south of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It occupies the western three-eighths of the island which it shares with the Dominican Republic. To its south-west lies the small Navassa Island, which is claimed by Haiti but is disputed as a United States territory under federal administration. Haiti is 27,750 km2 (10,714 sq mi) in size, the third largest country in the Caribbean by area, and has an estimated population of 11.4 million, making it the most populous country in the Caribbean. The capital is Port-au-Prince.
The island was originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno people, who originated in South America. The first Europeans arrived on 5 December 1492 during the first voyage of Christopher Columbus. Columbus subsequently founded the first European settlement in the Americas, La Navidad, on what is now the northeastern coast of Haiti. The island was claimed by Spain and named La Española, forming part of the Spanish Empire until the early 17th century. However, competing claims and settlements by the French led to the western portion of the island being ceded to France in 1697, which was subsequently named Saint-Domingue. French colonists established lucrative sugarcane plantations, worked by vast numbers of slaves brought from Africa, which made the colony one of the richest in the world.
Environment quality[edit | edit source]
see also: Water supply and sanitation in Haiti W
Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]
Different from reforestation projects, Pwojè Pyebwa promoted agroforestry—the strategic mixing of crops, trees, and animals. W.
Deforestation[edit | edit source]
Deforestation in Haiti is a severe environmental problem. Haitians burn wood charcoal for 60% of their domestic energy production.
In 1923 over 60% of Haiti's land was forested. In 2006, less than 2% of the land was forested.
Land in Haiti is extremely variable, and frequently appears as a patchwork of different land-uses, including agriculture, agroforestry, forests, savanna, and barren lands.
Food activism[edit | edit source]
Food insecurity[edit | edit source]
Roughly 40% of the total land in Haiti is farmed, with agriculture being the basis of the country's economy. Given agriculture's high dependence on natural ecosystem services, farming systems are at high risk to be negatively affected by climate change and climate-induced shocks. Food security is poor in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, and more erratic and unpredictable rainfall will place strain on the agriculture industry in the future. Improved infrastructure could play a role in increasing food security, as Haiti largely relies on small rural farms and struggles to transport enough food from the countryside to village markets and urban centres. W
Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]
Haitian Coalition to Advocate Alternative Development (PAPDA)
Resources[edit | edit source]
Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]
- Let Haiti Live
- SOIL Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods or SOIL is an American nonprofit developmental aid organization co-founded by Sasha Kramer and Sarah Brownell in 2006. Its goal is to develop integrated approaches to the problems of poverty, poor public health, agricultural productivity, and environmental destruction in Haiti. SOIL's efforts have focused on the community-identified priority of increasing access to ecological sanitation, where human wastes are converted into compost. Ecological sanitation simultaneously tackles some of Haiti's toughest challenges – providing improved sanitation to people who would otherwise have no access to a toilet and producing organic compost critical for agriculture and reforestation. W
Youth initiatives[edit | edit source]
Community resources[edit | edit source]
Haiti Communitere is primarily a resource center that is located close to the international airport in Port-au-Prince. They are anchored in community work and approach it by supporting organizations that are already engaged in positive change. They support them by offering services, such as a large and well-equipped workshop on site and a space to test ideas. Haiti communitere hosts a monthly community round table were community leaders come together to discuss their past and upcoming activities and how they can help each other to realize them. They have a computer lab which is at the disposal of communities and they hold trainings on topics like technology, construction, hygiene, business, and language. Haiti Communitere is also an exposition site for green and sustainable building methods and alternative sanitation systems. They run a social enterprise to keep themselves financially stable and independent. They offer housing (from tents and dorms to private rooms) to international groups and individuals in order to share overhead and provide opportunities for people to connect with each other and the communities where their projects are implemented.
Haiti Communitere is a part of the Communitere International network.
News and comment[edit | edit source]
"Give Me Light, Give Me Life": How Renewables Are Rekindling Hope in Haiti (Part 3), November 4
Reforesting Haiti For Food & Resilience, August 18
Haiti slum blooms into urban oasis, June 3
Environmental issues[edit | edit source]
In 1925, Haiti was lush, with 60% of its original forest covering the lands and mountainous regions. Since then, recent in-depth study of satellite imagery has erroneously concluded an estimate of <1% primary forest cover. Erosion has been severe in the mountainous areas. Most Haitian logging is done for agriculture and to produce charcoal, the country's chief source of fuel.
In the 19th century, arable land in the size of 15 hectares was distributed to farmers. It was inherited and divided by their children. In 1971, the average farm size was less than 1.5 hectares. To survive, the landowners had to overuse the land. It became infertile within a few years. The farmers moved to clear steeper hillsides and finally become unemployed. Eventually the shortage of arable land and rising rural poverty pushed peasants from hillside subsistence farms to search for work in Port-au-Prince, where the concentration of desperate people in slums contributed to the country's tragic history of civil strife.
Despite the large environmental crises, Haiti retains a very high amount of biodiversity in proportion to its small size.
Natural disasters[edit | edit source]
Throughout its history, Haiti has suffered cyclones, hurricanes, tropical storms, torrential rains, floods and earthquakes.
The hurricane season in Haiti lasts from June to the end of November.
Effects of climate change[edit | edit source]
Haiti's position as a southern island nation makes it particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change. Factors that make Haiti more vulnerable than other Caribbean nations, such as the Dominican Republic, are its higher population density, extensive deforestation, extreme soil erosion, and high income-inequality. Several effects of increased intensity of tropical storms, depleted coral reefs, and desertification. Since 1960 the mean annual rainfall has decreased by 5mm per month per decade, and mean temperatures have increased by 0.45 °C. The combination of increased temperatures and decreased rainfall will likely lead to the intensification of drought conditions, especially in the centre of the country. According to the IPCC climate change predictions for 2050, more than 50% of Haiti will be in danger of desertification. The frequency of hot days and nights has increased, while the frequency of cold days and nights have steadily decreased. Sea-level rise is projected to rise between 0.13 and 0.56 m by 2090. The US Climate Change Science program estimates that with each 1 °C increase in temperature, hurricane rainfall will increase by 6–17% and hurricane wind speeds will increase by 1–8%.
Near you[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
- Haiti (catgeory)
[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia:Haiti, Environment of Haiti, Environmental issues in Haiti, Deforestation in Haiti, Papaye Peasant Movement