Estimates of forest cover have important political, conservation, and funding implications, but methods vary greatly. Haiti has often been cited as one of the most deforested countries in the world, yet estimates of forest cover range from <1% to 33%. Here, we analyze land change for seven land cover classes (forest, shrub land, agriculture/pasture, plantation, urban/infrastructure, barren land, and water) between 2000 and 2015 using Landsat imagery (30 m resolution) in the Google Earth Engine platform. Forest cover was estimated at 26% in 2000 and 21% in 2015. Although forest cover is declining in Haiti, our quantitative analysis resulted in considerably higher forest cover than what is usually reported by local and international institutions. Our results determined that areas of forest decline were mainly converted to shrubs and mixed agriculture/pasture. An important driver of forest loss and degradation could be the high demand for charcoal, which is the principal source of cooking fuel. Our results differ from other forest cover estimates and forest reports from national and international institutions, most likely due to differences in forest definition, data sources, spatial resolution, and methods. In the case of Haiti, this work demonstrates the need for clear and functional definitions and classification methods to accurately represent land use/cover change. Regardless of how forests are defined, forest cover in Haiti will continue to decline unless corrective actions are taken to protect remaining forest patches. This can serve as a warning of the destructive land use patterns and can help us target efforts for better planning, management, and conservation.
Open Source Archives
We strive to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and the implementation of progressive and participatory research methods, with the goal of generating tangible, durable changes in the way research about Haiti is conceptualized, implemented and applied.
Research Hub & Open Source Archives
EKO HAITI Research Hub is a research and knowledge mobilization platform focused on creative, collaborative and interdisciplinary research and associated research-based learning. We aim to become the intellectual “home” for research about Haiti by creating and providing open access to the largest crowdsourced research archive dedicated to Haiti, by fostering cross-disciplinary research and innovation, and by providing support for progressive research in the form of contextual expertise and training.
“The trees fall from time to time, but the voice of the forest never loses its power. Life begins.”
Jacques Alexis, Les Arbres Musiciens (Paris, 1957)
Oral histories are a powerful tool in developing historical understanding
Oral history offers an alternative to conventional history, filling gaps in traditional research with personal accounts of historically significant events or simply life in a specific place and time. Oral histories do more than provide charming details to dry historical accounts. In fact, oral histories help others recapture lived experiences that are not written down in traditional sources.
> Transcripts archive
" Bwa pi wo di li wè lwen, men grenn pwomennen di li wè pi lwen pase l "
The tallest tree says that it sees far, but the seed that travels says that it sees even further.
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As an independent institute, we rely on crowdsourcing and donations to continue expanding the depth and scope of our archives. Your contribution enable us to provide open access to a vast collection of ethnographic and research material which in turn aims at fostering further research and contribute to a better understanding of the country.