Haiti is closer to losing its rich diversity of plants, animals, and other species than nearly any other country in the world. It is now concentrated primarily in the one percent of original forests that remain, and many of those species are found only in Haiti. These last forests are 'hot spots' of biodiversity, being destroyed because there is no effective mechanism to protect them. It is truly a mass extinction about to happen which will have environmental consequences. Removal of forests causes springs and streams to disappear, increases flooding, and reduces the potential for recovery of forests and biodiversity in the future. The last forests must be saved quickly because 90% of the mountains in Haiti already have lost all of their primary forests. The current threats to Haiti's biodiversity are also threats to Haiti's people. The forces that are destroying the biodiversity of Haiti are impacting Haitians through the loss of watershed and water resources, increased danger from flooding during rains, and creation of deserts in previously fertile agricultural areas.
The mission of Haiti National Trust is to save and protect the environment and biodiversity of Haiti for future generations. Our primary activity is to identify the biodiversity hotspots of Haiti, acquire or lease the land for parks, and establish long-term protective measures for each park. We place importance in an immediate stop to the cutting of trees and work closely with the government of Haiti to assist their efforts in national parks. We encourage the scientific study of biodiversity to determine the numbers and types of species that exist in Haiti, where they are located, and their natural history. We also encourage the conservation of genetic resources (biobanking) as an insurance policy in case some species disappear before we can save them in the wild. We work closely with communities to mitigate the impacts of deforestation and provide needed education and assistance in sustainable living.
Please help us accomplish our goal of saving the natural heritage of Haiti with a one-time or recurring gift.
Hispaniolian Parakeet (Photo Credit: Eladio Fernandez)