In 2000, 32% of Haiti’s land was covered in trees, equivalent to 858,000 hectares (858,000 ha).

1 hectare (ha) is equal to:

  • 10,000 square meters (m²)
  • 0.01 square kilometers (km²)
  • 2.471 acres

For comparison, an American Football field covers 1.32 acres. The total forest cover for that time was 2,120,118 acres or 1,606,150 American Football Fields.

From 2001 to 2022, Haiti has lost over 76.4 kHa (76,400 ha) of tree cover, equivalent to 143,018 NFL Fields. Just to emphasize the spectrum, there are only 32 NFL Teams

Haiti Forest Cover 2000
Haiti Forest Cover 2000
Haiti Forest Cover 2022
Haiti Forest Cover 2022

To emphasize the problem, the entire territory size of Haiti is 6,862,997 acres, making the entire country only three times bigger than Yellowstone National Park. However, Haiti has lost tree coverage equivalent to 8.50% of the park area. The size of Yellowstone National Park is 2,219,791 acres, and the forest cover lost in Haiti equals 188,784.4 acres.

In terms of Primal Forest, Haiti has less than 1% left, making it one of the most deforested countries in the world. This alarming trend is expected to result in a mass extinction of endemic species in the next 20 years. As raported by Hedges et al. in “Haiti’s biodiversity threatened by nearly complete lossof primary forest” 2018, only 8 of the 50 mountains in Haiti are still covered in forest; the other 42 are completely deprived of tree cover.

“At the current rate, Haiti will lose essentially all of its primary forest during the next two decades and is already undergoing a mass extinction of its biodiversity because of deforestation” 1

Deforestation of Haiti 2000 - 2022, total forest cover loss, year by year. Dataset used: Hansen Global Forest Change v1.10 (2000-2022)2

“The primary cause of deforestation in Haiti is the overuse of wood for fuel. Almost 70% of the country’s energy needs are met through wood burning, as many Haitians cannot afford alternative fuel sources such as gas or electricity. This high demand for wood has led to the rapid depletion of Haiti’s forests, which has been exacerbated by the country’s weak forest management policies. 3

Year Loss (in hectares) Percentage Loss
2001 2469.05 0.288
2002 2120.38 0.248
2003 1070.16 0.125
2004 2382.73 0.280
2005 2033.24 0.239
2006 1162.84 0.137
2007 2077.21 0.245
2008 2191.55 0.259
2009 2464.67 0.293
2010 2084.36 0.248
2011 2564.21 0.306
2012 4272.75 0.511
2013 3181.21 0.383
2014 3858.87 0.466
2015 3087.56 0.375
2016 17267.08 2.103
2017 5498.83 0.684
2018 4131.55 0.518
2019 4395.44 0.554
2020 3802.06 0.481
2021 2413.74 0.307
2022 1844.33 0.235

The most significant deforestation occurred in 2016, resulting in the loss of 17,267.08 hectares of tree cover.


Area deforested in 2016, area with tree loss has been replaced with blue pixels.

Haiti Forest Cover 2000

Deforestation between 2000 - 2022, areas with loss has been replaced with blue pixels. Dataset used: Hansen Global Forest Change v1.10 (2000-2022)2

Total Tree Loss

Total tree cover loss 2000 - 2022. Areas with tree loss has been replaced by blue pixels. Download in Full Resolution

Potential solutions include providing financial and technological support to the Haitian people for obtaining sustainable sources of renewable energy. Additionally, educational support can be offered to train Haitian technicians in operating and servicing this technology. Moreover, there is a need for extensive reforestation efforts. While these efforts may not fully replace the losses of primal forest, they have the potential to mitigate erosion and desertification processes to some extent.

Technology and education on modern agrarian methods need to be provided to influence the creation of a sustainable and ecological agrarian industry. Currently, Haiti is dependent on food imports, with the percentage of the value of food imported in total merchandise exports ranging between 103% and 138%.

One factor contributing to sustainability could be the promotion and improvement of crop diversity. This involves planting fruit trees such as mango, avocado, and citrus, and encouraging the local population to trade these products within the community.

Strong policies are essential not only to halt deforestation but also to democratize and bring peace to the people of Haiti. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index Report, Haiti scored 2.81 on a scale between 0 and 10, where 0 represents no democracy and 10 signifies full democracy.

“To achieve long-term stability and economic growth, Haiti must establish representative and accountable governance institutions as well as ensure access to justice. While many of Haiti’s governance challenges pre-date the 2010 earthquake, that catastrophe further highlighted the need for an increased focus on governance and government accountability. - United States Agency for International Development” 4

Year Food Imports (%)
2000 NaN
2001 NaN
2002 114.000000
2003 111.000000
2004 108.000000
2005 105.000000
2006 114.000000
2007 122.333333
2008 135.666667
2009 135.000000
2010 132.666667
2011 124.000000
2012 126.000000
2013 132.333333
2014 138.333333
2015 138.333333
2016 133.666667
2017 128.333333
2018 128.000000
2019 132.333333

Value of food imports in total merchandise exports in %, compared to developed countries, USA and Germany

Value of food import

With continuous deforestation, the food crisis is worsening.

More about the problem in >Undernourishement