Trees provide services to human beings and protect the environment. This study investigates the causes of the failure of reforestation projects in the North and Northeast departments of Haiti. Two questionnaires with closed- and open-ended questions were used for face-to-face and semi-structured interviews with local and non-local authorities, respectively. The test of proportions was used for the statistical analysis, where a result was considered significant when the p-value was less than 0.05. The results showed that 86.8% of the non-local authorities were used to participating in projects of reforestation in their localities. The lack of follow-up and participation of residents in decisions about the type of trees planted were the main causes of the failure of these projects. The interviewees were accustomed to cutting trees to produce charcoal (95.8%) and enlarging their gardens (70.8%). However, 90.0% of each category would invest in purchasing cleaner cookstoves and stop using charcoal if the government agreed to finance up to 50.0% of such a project. The findings of this research could help both the decision-makers and the Haitian government to understand the causes of the failures of reforestation projects in Haiti and adopt an effective way to reduce deforestation in the country.

  • This paper investigated the causes of the failure of reforestation in Haiti.

  • The lack of follow-up and integration of locals were the main causes of reforestation failures in Haiti.

  • Ninety percent of the interviewees would stop using charcoal for cooking if they had cleaner cookstoves.

Forests play a crucial role in regulating the water cycle, controlling erosion, regulating floods, and cleaning water, among others. Mangrove ecosystems are important for coastal defense against natural tragedies (Kamil et al. 2021). However, today the world only has 31% of its forest cover (World Bank 2012). According to Krogh (2020), between 2010 and 2015, more than 33% of tropical forests were destroyed at a rate of 5.5 million ha every year. Building new infrastructure, agricultural practices (for instance, slashed trees), the use of firewood and charcoal fuel, animal husbandry, and pulp lumber industry purposes are among the major causes of deforestation. For example, a finding of recent research has highlighted that the cattle industry represents up to 80% of the deforestation areas in the Brazilian Amazon (Koch et al. 2019). The world is currently facing several natural disasters (e.g., floods and inundations) that cause loss of life and property. This might be more serious in arid and semi-arid areas because of the weakness of soil infiltration capacity. Large volumes of runoff and erosion occur when a large volume of rainfall exceeds the soil infiltration capacity (Krisnayanti et al. 2021). Besides, deforestation results in pollutant emissions and high temperatures, which cause human discomfort, illness, diseases, soil aridity, lack of water in the soil for plant growth, and poor air quality, among others (Sampson et al. 2021). Over 11 and 7 million people lost their lives because of drought and floods between 1900 and 2013, respectively, and half a million were exposed to emergency assistance needs and others (http://www.emdat.be).

In many developing countries (e.g., in the Caribbean), forest resources were depleted during colonization. For example, in the case of the Northern Caribbean Island (Hayti) (currently the Dominican Republic and Haiti), the disturbance and modification of the landscape began after the arrival of Christopher Columbus on this land (Castilla-Beltrán et al. 2020). The high deforestation rate lasted over centuries (Bellande 2016) during the colonization period in Haiti (Charles et al. 2020) by the European countries. The French colonizers had overexploited Haiti's natural resources between 1697 and the battle of Vertières (November 1803), which led to Haiti's independence from French domination. During such a period, the colonizers slashed and burned trees to clear the land for sugar plantations and logged almost the entire stock of mahogany, sending it back to Europe for furniture (Gibbons 2010). In addition, in the XIX century, France forced Haiti to pay high compensation (currently estimated at 115 billion USD, according to the estimation made by the New York Times in 20221) for the damage to colonial possessions after the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte's army in the country. Under strong pressure from the French government, the Haitian government (Jean-Pierre Boyer, 1818–1843) sold and exported wood species (e.g., logwood, guaiac, and acajou) to European countries for use in naval construction, pharmacy, and furnishings (Bellande 2016).

In modern times, deforestation has been driven by the need for charcoal for cooking and reconstruction after natural disasters. For example, charcoal is the main fuel used in Haiti owing to a lack of alternative fuels for cooking foods (Monacé et al. 2020). Consequently, it was estimated that 3.4 × 107 kg of wood charcoal was produced in Haiti in 2014 (http://www.fao.org/). In Port-au-Prince, the consumption of charcoal was estimated at approximately 182 million USD per year (Tarter et al. 2018). Furthermore, after the earthquake in 2010, which left over 220,000 dead, 300,000 injured (PAHO/WHO 2011), and over 1.3 million homeless (GOH 2010), wood was extensively used as materials in the construction of shelters. Researchers pointed out that the national forest cover was estimated at approximately 30% in 2010–2011 (Churches et al. 2014). Deforestation can aggravate the effects of floods and cyclones, which occur frequently in Haiti. Besides, deforestation may also cause other consequences such as extinctions of species (animals and trees) and erosion.

Having realized the consequences of deforestation, many reforestation projects have been initiated in developing countries. For example, the Haitian government and the United States acted to plant more than five million trees in the North and Northeast departments of Haiti in 2018 (https://ht.usembassy.gov/pr-1112018/). Several other reforestation projects are implemented over the national territory, yet the changes are unclear. For example, Forests des Pins Reserve, a state-owned natural forest in Haiti, is a vivid illustration clearly explaining the problem of deforestation in the country. The causes for the failures of these projects are still unclear in Haiti. Farmers in the various rural areas of the country are not homogenous in terms of the type of trees they want to have in their lands. Thus, understanding the factors influencing the causes of the failure of reforestation may be critical for forest managers and decision-makers. The elimination of the charcoal trade is one of the main keys to the success of the projects of reforestation (Tarter et al. 2016). Likewise, understanding how locals use forest resources, local attitudes, and knowledge about forests and how locals perceive and participate in the previous projects is critical for the success of future reforestation projects in Haiti. To the best of our knowledge, no previous research has been conducted on the causes of the failure of these projects. It is also unclear what the suggested alternative ways to reduce deforestation in Haiti are. Therefore, this present study aims to investigate the causes of the failure of reforestation in the North and Northeast departments of Haiti. We hypothesize that (i) the lack of follow-up is a cause for the failure of reforestation projects in Haiti and (ii) the lack of participation of the local population is a major component in causing the failure of reforestation projects in the areas under study. We expect that the lack of willingness of the local population is not a failure cause of the reforestation projects in the rural North and Northeast departments of Haiti. Our study is shaped as follows: The first section covers the introduction. The second section presents the methodology, which includes the description of the areas of study, along with survey design, and inclusion and exclusion criteria. In the third section, we present the statistical analysis. The fourth section includes the results and discussion of the data. In the final section, we present the conclusions, strengths, and limitations of our analysis, and we make a few recommendations.

Study area

Haiti is a Caribbean country with a population estimated to be 10,911,819 people (5,244,133 in rural areas and 5,667,686 in urban areas) in 2015 (MEF/ IHSI 2015). Haiti's climate is tropical. More than 75.0% of the area of Haiti is rough and mountainous (MDE 2001). The annual rainfall of the country varies from 400 to 2,000 mm, from low to high altitudes (MDE 1999). Haiti often faces floods and inundations due to its geographic localization and deforestation of the environment. Wood fuels and charcoal are the main energy sources and represent around 80% of the primary energy supply of Haiti (IEA 2015). According to Ménard (2013), the country's net education rate is estimated to be at around 60%. Haitian farmers, including those living in the North and Northeast departments of the country, practice rainfed agriculture. The livelihoods of most of the dwellers in the North and Northeast rural departments mainly depend on the agroforestry system. Trees are one of the Haitian farmer's sources of annual income, providing timber, firewood, and fruit (Montagnini 2017). Farmers practice vegetal farming and planting fruit trees.

Survey design and inclusion criteria

A questionnaire, written in Haitian Creole, was used for face-to-face semi-structured interviews with dwellers living in the rural North and Northeast departments of Haiti (Figure 1) about the causes of the failure of reforestation projects in the rural areas where they are currently living. The questionnaire contained close-ended questions (e.g., ‘yes’, ‘no’) and open-ended questions. This questionnaire was divided into three sections. The first covered the socio-demographic aspects of the interviewees (e.g., gender, study level, age, and monthly salary). The second section referred to knowledge about reforestation and the role trees play in the environment. The third section encompasses the willingness of the respondents to be involved in projects of reforestation and how they could contribute to reducing deforestation in their localities. The criteria included respondents (male and female) that were living in the areas of the surveys for 1 year and were at least 18 years old. Any questionnaire that had a crossed-out question was rejected.
Figure 1

Map of the departments of the surveys.

Figure 1

Map of the departments of the surveys.

Close modal

Distribution of the questionnaires and statistical analysis

From December 2021 to January 2022, a total of 45 dwellers who were not local authorities in the North and Northeast departments of Haiti were randomly selected to be interviewed. Based on our pre-established validation criteria, only 38 (84.4%) of applied questionnaires were valid for the statistical analysis. Furthermore, another questionnaire was used for face-to-face interviews with 10 local authorities who were members of the Assemblies of the Communal Sections (ASEC) and the Boards of the Municipal Sections (CASEC) of these localities to have a better understanding of the causes of the failure of reforestation in the areas of the survey (Figure 2).
Figure 2

Flowchart of the survey design.

Figure 2

Flowchart of the survey design.

Close modal

Based on the methodology adopted by François et al. (2021), the data were registered in Microsoft Office Excel and then exported to R software (Version 4.0.2) to perform the statistical analysis. The analysis was performed in two parts. For the closed-ended questions, a dichotomous variable referred to as ‘0’ and ‘1’ was used for negative and positive answers, respectively. Other numbers were used to encode the open-ended questions. The test of proportion was performed to compare two proportions. Each result was considered statistically significant when the p-value was less than 0.05.

Most of the interviewees involved in this research were males (76.3%), 36.8% were at least 46 years old, 50.0% were illiterate, 65.8 % were farmers, and 39.5% had a monthly salary that varied from 100 to 150 USD (Table 1).

Table 1

Socio-demographic aspects of the interviewees that were not local authorities

Socio-characteristics
NumbersProportion (%)Description
Gender (n = 38) Male 29 76.3 
Female 23.7 
Age range (years) 18–25 10.5 
26–35 23.7 
36–45 11 28.9 
46 or more 14 36.8 
Study level Illiterate 19 50.0 
IF–CF 10.5 
IS–CS 11 28.9 
IB or more 10.5 
Activity Farmer 25 65.8 
Trader 8.15 
Charcoal seller 10.5 
Motorcycle messenger 7.9 
Monthly salary (USD) Up to 100 16 42.1 
100–150 15 39.5 
150–210 18.4 
Socio-characteristics
NumbersProportion (%)Description
Gender (n = 38) Male 29 76.3 
Female 23.7 
Age range (years) 18–25 10.5 
26–35 23.7 
36–45 11 28.9 
46 or more 14 36.8 
Study level Illiterate 19 50.0 
IF–CF 10.5 
IS–CS 11 28.9 
IB or more 10.5 
Activity Farmer 25 65.8 
Trader 8.15 
Charcoal seller 10.5 
Motorcycle messenger 7.9 
Monthly salary (USD) Up to 100 16 42.1 
100–150 15 39.5 
150–210 18.4 

Note: IF–CF: incomplete elementary–completed elementary; IS–CS: incomplete high school−completed high school; IB or more: incomplete bachelor's degree or more.

Interviewees' knowledge of forest benefits and deforestation consequences

Approximately 87.0% of non-local authority respondents had been previously paid or volunteered to participate in reforestation projects. When they were not renumerated to take part in the reforestation projects, they received seedlings and seeds, among other things, depending on the decision-maker's approaches. Moreover, it seems that the importance of forests was clear to them since 78.4% argued that forests play the roles of protecting the earth and the environment, providing fruits (84.2%), shadow (71.1%), and other benefits such as shelters for birds and protection of water sources, among others (26.3%) (Figure 3). These results explain that the respondents know the multiple roles of forests for land conservation and biodiversity. This understanding may be based on the fact that most of the respondents were farmers and their livelihoods depended on the agroforestry system. In addition, the high percentage of interviewees who answered that forests provide fruits may explain that the residents have an understanding of the economic value of forests. All respondents claimed that there was at least one reforestation project in their localities. However, fewer of them answered that the reforestation projects had ended. Questioning them about their satisfaction with the outcomes of the projects, only 26.3% answered positively. This satisfaction was based only on the mini-courses and seedlings they received from the project managers. The interviewees argued that the projects did not bring any change (70.6%) and had no follow-up. For them, these projects failed because they were unclear, and lacked integration of local dwellers, particularly females. Findings of reforestation projects conducted on the southern side of Haiti's Artibonite Valley and Matheaux Mountain chains reported that the number of surviving trees was correlated with site water availability (Sprenkle-Hyppolite et al. 2016). Our findings are slightly consistent with that found in Kosti Province-Central Sudan where female members of the community had positive attitudes toward community forestry, although they did not fully participate in forestry practices (Kobbail 2012). Afforestation/reforestation projects did not bring change probably because of the mortality of the plants, as occurred in Valencia, Spain (Del Campo et al. 2021).
Figure 3

The importance of forests/trees for the respondents. Note: Earth prot.: earth protection.

Figure 3

The importance of forests/trees for the respondents. Note: Earth prot.: earth protection.

Close modal
Other respondents emphasized other values for having forests, such as providing water, habitat for birds, and food for animals. The proportion test showed that the study level did not statistically influence the interviewees' knowledge of the benefits of forests and trees. Our finding was different from that found by Yang et al. (2015) in research carried out in China, where the perceptions and attitudes of the interviewees about forest values varied according to education level and gender. Despite the relevant knowledge the interviewees had about the forests and trees, their dire economic situations led them to participate massively in the deforestation of the areas where they dwelled. The results showed that 94.7, 65.8, and 31.6% of the respondents participated in deforestation to produce charcoal, enlarge their gardens, and use wood in construction, respectively (Figure 4). In the same vein, Stevenson (1989) argued that both agricultural clearing and the use of wood for fuel were the main causes of deforestation in Haiti. This result confirms the results of research carried out by Pauleus & Aide (2020), in which the high use of charcoal as the principal cooking fuel has been an important driver of forest loss and degradation.
Figure 4

Causes of deforestation in the areas of studies.

Figure 4

Causes of deforestation in the areas of studies.

Close modal
Most of the respondents that cut trees to produce charcoal (50.0%), enlarge their gardens (31.6%), and use them for furniture and house construction (15.8%) were illiterate (Figure 5), and they probably did so because of a lack of alternative livelihoods. These results are consistent with the results of research carried out in Mexican territories where the main causes of deforestation were agricultural expansion (53.42%), infrastructure extension (20.21%), and wood extraction (16.17%), among other reasons (Plata-Rocha et al. 2021). A survey conducted in Kosti Province, Central Sudan, indicated that 73 and 54% of the interviewees had cut trees for firewood to provide energy for their daily needs and for construction materials (Kobbail 2012). Such findings explain that the enlargement of cultivable land and the use of wood as construction materials are the main causes of deforestation. Using agroforestry systems to reduce deforestation of cultivable land extension can be a promising solution. We found in our survey that the deforestation rate in the areas of studies reduced with the increased level of the study. This finding is in agreement with the result of research implemented by Pauleus & Aide (2020), which has determined that areas of forest decline in Haiti are mainly due to conversion to shrubs and mixed agriculture/pasture. Agriculture is the principal likelihood of Haiti, and a great part of the population depends on such a sector.
Figure 5

Felling tree purposes according to study levels of the respondents.

Figure 5

Felling tree purposes according to study levels of the respondents.

Close modal
The analysis showed that the results were statistically significant when compared with the proportion of the illiterate respondents with those that had incomplete elementary–completed elementary (IF–CF) study levels that cut trees to produce charcoal (p = 0.025). Likewise, results statistically significant were found between illiterate interviewees and those that had at least an incomplete bachelor's degree level who cut trees for charcoal production, where the p-value was 0.00001. Although all the respondents sold or used charcoal, they were aware that deforestation had significant environmental and biodiversity loss consequences, such as erosion (97.4%), drought (97.4%), bird extinctions (31.6%), and increased hunger (50.0%) (Figure 6). Education is an important tool to stimulate the local population to participate in and protect the natural resources (Higman et al. 1999). Due to deforestation, the mountain land in Haiti is highly degraded and often exposed to erosion (Sprenkle-Hyppolite et al. 2016). The causes of deforestation in Haiti are linked to household size, education of the head of the household, farm labor, and land tenure regime, among others (Dolisca et al. 2007). In this present study, the main reasons for cutting trees and producing charcoal were associated with a lack of livelihood and fuel alternatives.
Figure 6

Consequences of deforestation according to the respondents.

Figure 6

Consequences of deforestation according to the respondents.

Close modal
Droughts and erosions were two major consequences of deforestation in the views of the interviewees. Only 31.6% of them pointed out that deforestation exacerbates the extinction of birds. Yet, deforestation is one of the causes of the extinction of birds and makes it difficult for species conservation in Haiti. Furthermore, deforestation reduces the agricultural yield and amplifies soil degradation and, thus, erosion. Recent research has highlighted that deforestation has decreased water availability and stability and reduced dry bean production in Haiti (Mompremier et al. 2022). The illiterate respondents presented the highest percentages of consequences of deforestation, such as erosion (50.0%), drought (47.4%), increased hunger (28.9%), and bird extinctions (15.8%) (Figure 7). The study level was not an aspect that influenced the interviewees' knowledge of deforestation because respondents that had the lowest study represented the highest percentage that was aware of the consequences of deforestation (Figure 7). This may have occurred because most of the illiterate interviewees work in natural surroundings.
Figure 7

Consequences of deforestation regarding the study levels of the respondents.

Figure 7

Consequences of deforestation regarding the study levels of the respondents.

Close modal
In other words, this finding could explain that deforestation in the areas of study was not linked to the education level of the locals. On the American continent, the largest species extinctions occurred in Haiti and Ecuador (Crain & Tremblay 2014). Production of charcoal for sale was the main economic activity of several young men living in rural areas in the North and Northeast departments of Haiti. However, everyone understood and was aware of the consequence of deforestation on environmental protection. The respondents said that they would be ready to stop cutting trees to produce charcoal if they found alternative economic activities. The findings reveal that bird extinctions were not highly taken into account by the respondents, regardless of their level of education. When asked if they would be willing to contribute to reducing deforestation in the areas where they live, almost everyone answered positively. Approximately 90.0% affirmed they would invest 50.0% in purchasing their cookstoves if Haitian authorities agreed to finance the other 50.0% (Figure 8(a)). Additionally, 86.8% of all the interviewees claimed that they would not continue to cut trees to produce charcoal if they had their cleaner cookstoves (Figure 8(b)). However, reforestation activities will be difficult to succeed in Haiti as far as tree planting, tree protection, and environmental/forest-related education are concerned, unless alternative fuels are accessible throughout the country (Hovey 2018).
Figure 8

Willingness of the respondents to contribute to the reduction of the deforestation rate.

Figure 8

Willingness of the respondents to contribute to the reduction of the deforestation rate.

Close modal

Few respondents (10.0%) stated that they would not invest in such an alternative because they did not believe that the Haitian government would follow through on such a promise. However, all the respondents affirmed that the use of cleaner cookstoves would be a changing paradigm that would allow them to cook more quickly and cleanly as compared to charcoal fuel. They also argued that this technology is clean, avoids cutting trees, and would let them actively participate in environmental protection. Surprisingly, all the respondents that had a monthly salary up to 100 USD affirmed they would pay their 50% if the authorities accepted to finance a cleaner cookstove. However, the participants that had a monthly salary between 100 and 150 USD and between 150 and 210 USD represented 73.33 and 85.7% of them that would invest in their cleaner cookstoves, respectively. This variation was because there were charcoal producers and charcoal traders among the respondents, although all the respondents were charcoal users. Questioning them about the importance of agroforestry, 97.4, 73.7, and 65.8% of them answered that agroforestry protects the earth against erosion, that it can be served as forage for animals, and that it allows them to plant cacao and coffee trees, respectively.

Local authorities’ opinions about the causes of the failure of deforestation in the areas under study

Of all the local authorities (two females and eight males), 70.0% had monthly salaries that were between 100 and 150 USD. The remaining respondents had a monthly salary equivalent to up to 100 USD. Each authority affirmed that reforestation projects were previously conducted in their localities. Astonishingly, each one used charcoal fuel. Furthermore, 9 out of 10 participants were used to felling trees to enlarge their gardens and use them as furniture, respectively. This result may explain that the phenomenon of deforestation is more serious than people could think since the local authorities themselves participate in the destruction of their environment. Questioning these local authorities about the failure of projects of reforestation in their localities, 6 out of 10 answered that projects were interrupted and did not finish. The local authorities were not satisfied with the reforestation projects because they did not bring any change and were not successful. They affirmed that the trees planted died. Only one of the local respondents was satisfied with the results of the projects, and this satisfaction was based on the training received from the reforestation project managers. According to these authorities, these projects failed because of a lack of follow-up. Additionally, the lack of involvement of local actors and a lack of understanding of the needs of the population were also among the causes of the failure of reforestation projects in the area studies. In Haiti, reforestation projects are often conducted on small scales and funded by foreign groups (e.g., non-government organizations). Their approaches seem to conflict with the aspirations of the locals about the tree species to be planted on their lands. Therefore, the lack of integration of farmers seems to be strongly linked to the failure of reforestation projects in their communities. Local people desired the fastest-growing trees and the other preferred seedlings that produced useful fruit (Gibbons 2010). This finding is inconsistent with the results of research implemented in Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, Columbia, where the main reasons for reforestation failures were correlated with unfavorable ecological factors, such as increased sedimentation rates and lowering of the water level (Elster 2000). Twenty percent of the respondents pointed out that the trees they planted did not survive. Moreover, they highlighted that a lack of integration of residents might explain the failure of the project of reforestation. For three decades, various groups in Haiti attempted to plant trees. However, most efforts were unsuccessful because the main actors often tried to plant forests rather than wood plants for local people and failed to follow up with the farmers who received seedlings (Gibbons 2010). A lack of knowledge and consideration of the type of trees suitable for a specific location was considered to be one of the contributing factors to the causes of failure of afforestation in Switzerland (Fragnière et al. 2021). Along the same line, the lack of commitment, poor maintenance, deficient management, and lack of understanding between the agencies and the community were responsible for the failure of afforestation projects in Ecuador (Morris 1997).

Local authorities’ willingness to invest in other alternatives to charcoal fuel

A total of 90.0% of the local authorities affirmed they would invest 50.0% in purchasing their cleaner cookstoves and stop using charcoal if the central authorities accepted to finance the other 50.0%. This high acceptance might explain that the central authorities can adopt such an alternative to reduce the deforestation rate and illnesses associated with indoor pollution from using firewood stoves for cooking. Research conducted in the rural areas of Ethiopia has revealed that the interviewees were aware of the side effects of using traditional firewood energy on their health, the environment, and the economy (Bersisa et al. 2021). The locals were interested in adopting and using the improved cookstove but worried about the quality and inconvenience of limited existing products (Bersisa et al. 2021). The findings of our research are consistent with those of another research conducted in districts in southern Haiti, where the interviewees were interested in stoves and briquettes (Sagbo 2014). The authors underscored that willingness to pay for the improved cookstoves depended on the socio-demographic characteristics of their users (for instance, location and income) (Sagbo 2014). However, our findings are inconsistent with the findings of research carried out in the rural area of the Dedza district, Malawi, where the willingness of the residents to pay for cleaner cookstoves was positively correlated with dietary diversity and negatively correlated with fuel expenditure (McNulty et al. 2017). In the present study, only 10% of these authorities (1 out of 10) said they would not accept participating in such an alternative. However, all the local authorities understood the need for the adoption of cleaner alternatives to traditional firewood stoves for cooking. In contrast to the findings of a study conducted in Kenya, where sociocultural factors were identified as a barrier to adopting improved cooking stoves (Nzengya et al. 2021), only 10% of respondents in the present study negatively responded because they did not believe that the Haitian government would be interested in financing such a project.

This study investigated the causes of the failure of reforestation projects in Haiti's North and Northeast departments. Approximately 87.0% of the respondents, excluding local authorities (farmers), had been previously paid to participate in reforestation projects where they planted trees. However, only 26.3% of non-local authorities were satisfied with the outcome of these projects. Their satisfaction was associated with the seedlings they received from the agent managers of the projects. For others, the projects failed because their aims were unclear, they lacked follow-up, and they miss integrating the dwellers who were land owners of the reforestation sites. In addition, the projects failed because the decision-makers stopped remunerating the participants or other people to manage the trees. Sixty percent of the local authorities confirmed that the projects of reforestation had never ended. However, the non-local authorities recognized the benefits of trees, such as protecting the earth (78.4%), providing fruits (84.2%), and providing shadow (71.1%). Most of the interviewees knew the consequences of deforestation, including drought (97.4%), erosion (97.4%), and increased hunger (50.0%). A total of 95.8% of all the interviewees (local authorities and non-local authorities) were used to cutting trees to produce charcoal, enlarge their gardens (70.8%), and use wood in furniture and house construction (27.1%). The local and non-local authorities were strongly willing to invest in cleaner cookstoves. In total, 89.3 and 90.0% of non-local and local authorities, respectively, affirmed that they would invest in cleaner cookstoves if the central government of Haiti accepted to finance such a project at 50.0% or more. Furthermore, 90.0% of both groups of interviewees affirmed that they would stop using charcoal for cooking if they had cleaner cookstoves. However, they were all skeptical about the willingness of the central Haitian government to invest in such a project. Therefore, reforestation projects can be successful in Haiti if the farmers participate in decisions made about the type of trees they want to plant on their landholdings. Moreover, reforestation projects could be successful in Haiti if the locals had alternative fuels to charcoal fuel, cleaner cookstoves, and other alternatives to charcoal sales. As such, our hypotheses were verified. The strengths of this study include the causes of reforestation failures in Haiti and what the Haitian government should do to reduce the deforestation rate. However, the limitations of the present study include small numbers of interviewees compared to other studies, and the type of cleaner cookstoves the dwellers would like. The strengths of this study include the causes of reforestation failures in Haiti and what the Haitian government needs to do to reduce the deforestation rate. However, the limitations of this study include the small number of interviewees compared to other studies and the type of cleaner cookstoves the dwellers prefer. Further research with a larger participant number and interviewing more locals is needed to help the decision-makers to discover other causes for the failure of reforestation projects in other localities in Haiti. Using biogas produced via several wastes (for instance, animal manure, and human excreta) is one of the cheapest fuels that can be used in cleaner cookstoves. However, no studies have yet addressed Haitians' perceptions on this issue. Information about such an issue is also an important point that is encouraged to help the decision-makers know the type of fuel the locals want to use in their cleaner cookstoves.

The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and recommendations.

All relevant data are included in the paper or its Supplementary Information.

Bersisa
M.
,
Heshmati
A.
&
Mekonnen
A.
2021
Households’ willingness to pay and preferences for improved cook stoves in Ethiopia
.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
28
,
58701
58720
.
Castilla-Beltrán
A.
,
Hooghiemstra
H.
,
Hoogland
M. L. P.
,
Donders
T. H.
,
Pagán-Jiménez
J. R.
,
McMichael
C. N. H.
,
Rolefes
S. M. F.
,
Olijhoek
T.
,
Herrera-Malatesta
E.
,
Hung
J. U.
&
Hofman
C. L.
2020
Ecological responses to land use change in the face of European colonization of Haytí island
.
Quaternary Science Reviews
241
,
106407
.
Charles
R.
,
de Oliveira
R. C.
&
Jose
R. V. S.
2020
Systemic approach to the phenomenon of deforestation in Haiti: an apparent relationship with natural disasters
.
Revista Geografica de America Central
65
,
239
255
.
Churches
C. E.
,
Wampler
P. J.
,
Sun
W.
&
Smith
A. J.
2014
Evaluation of forest cover estimates for Haiti using the supervised classification of Landsat data
.
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
30
,
203
216
.
Del Campo
A. D.
,
Segura-Orenga
G.
,
Bautista
I.
,
Ceacero
C. J.
,
González-Sanchis
M.
,
Molina
A. J.
&
Hermoso
J.
2021
Assessing reforestation failure at the project scale: the margin for technical improvement under harsh conditions. A case study in a Mediterranean Dryland
.
Science of the Total Environment
796
,
148952
.
Fragnière
Y.
,
Sonnenwyl
V.
,
Clément
B.
&
Kozlowski
G.
2021
Large-scale historical afforestation failure with Pinus cembra in the Swiss Prealps
.
New Forests
53
,
533
553
.
François
M.
,
Petit-Homme
M. A.
,
Cohim
E.
,
Orrico
S. R. M.
&
Mariano-Neto
E.
2021
Haitians’ willingness to invest in rainwater infrastructure
.
Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology – Aqua
70
,
1287
1300
.
Gibbons
A.
2010
Greening Haiti, tree by tree
.
Science
327
,
640
641
.
Government of the Republic of Haiti (GOH)
2010
Action Plan for National Recovery and Development of Haiti, Government of the Republic of Haiti, Port-au-Prince
.
Higman
S.
,
Bass
S.
,
Judd
N.
,
Mayers
J.
&
Nussbaum
R.
1999
The Sustainable Forestry Handbook
.
Earthscan Publications
,
London
.
Hovey
S. T.
2018
A Plea for Long-Term Haitian Reforestation Unity
.
Society of American Foresters
, p.
43
.
IEA
2015
Energy Balances of Non-OECD Countries: 2015
.
International Energy Agency
,
Paris
.
Kamil
E. A.
,
Takaijudin
H.
&
Hashim
A. M.
2021
Mangroves as coastal bio-shield: a review of mangroves performance in wave attenuation
.
Civil Engineering Journal
7
,
1964
1981
.
Kobbail
A. A. R.
2012
Local people attitudes towards community forestry practices: a case study of Kosti province−central Sudan
.
International Journal of Forestry Research
2012
,
1
7
.
https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/652693
.
Koch
N.
,
Zu Ermgassen
E.
,
Wehkamp
J.
,
Oliveira
F.
&
Schwerhoff
G.
2019
Agricultural productivity and forest conservation: evidence from the Brazilian Amazon
.
American Journal of Agricultural Economics
101
,
919
940
.
Krisnayanti
D. S.
,
Bunganaen
W.
,
Frans
J. H.
,
Seran
Y. A.
&
Legono
D.
2021
Curve number estimation for ungauged watershed in semi-arid region
.
Civil Engineering Journal
7
,
1070
1083
.
Krogh
A.
2020
State of the Tropical Rainforest
.
Rainforest Foundation
,
Oslo
,
Norway
, p.
32
.
McNulty
E.
,
Nielsen
T.
&
Zeller
M.
2017
Smallholder farmers’ willingness to pay for improved cookstoves in Dedza, Malawi
.
American Journal of Rural Development
5
,
73
80
.
Ménard
É. T
.
2013
L’éducation en Haïti: inégalités économiques et sociales et question de genre. La femme dans l'enseignement supérieur
.
Haïti Perspectives
2
,
35
39
.
Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances (MEF)/Institut Haïtien de Statistique et d'Information (IHSI)
2015
Population totale, de 18 ans et plus : Ménages et densités en 2015
.
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
.
Ministère de l'Environnement (MDE)
1999
Plan d'action pour l'environnement. Le gouvernement Haïtien, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
.
Ministère de l'Environnement (MDE)
2001
Inventaire national des gaz à effet de serre : sources et puits
.
Port-au-Prince
,
Haïti
.
Mompremier
R.
,
Her
Y.
,
Hoogenboom
G.
&
Song
J.
2022
Effects of deforestation and afforestation on water availability for dry bean production in Haiti
.
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
325
,
107721
.
Monacé
J.-K.
,
Rodrigues
W.
&
Rocha Silva
M. A.
2020
Análise sistêmica da legislação AMBIENTAL E das políticas públicas contra o desmatamento no Haiti
.
Revista Desafios
7
,
111
125
.
Montagnini
F.
2017
Integrating Landscapes: Agroforestry for Biodiversity Conservation and Food Sovereignty, Advances in Agroforestry
.
Springer International Publishing
,
Cham
.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69371-2
.
Nzengya
D. M.
,
Maina Mwari
P.
,
Njeru
C.
,
2021
Barriers to the adoption of improved cooking stoves for rural resilience and climate change adaptation and mitigation in Kenya
. In:
African Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation
(
Oguge
N.
,
Ayal
D.
,
Adeleke
L.
&
da Silva
I.
eds.).
Springer
,
Cham
.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-45106-6_133
.
Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
2011
Earthquake in Haiti – One Year Later PAHO/WHO Report on the Health Situation
.
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
.
Plata-Rocha
W.
,
Monjardin-Armenta
S. A.
,
Pacheco-Angulo
C. E.
,
Rangel-Peraza
J. G.
,
Franco-Ochoa
C.
&
Mora-Felix
Z. D.
2021
Proximate and underlying deforestation causes in a tropical basin through specialized consultation and spatial logistic regression modeling
.
Land
10
,
186
.
Sagbo
N. S.
2014
Economic Analysis and Willingness to Pay for Alternative Charcoal and Clean Cook Stoves in Haiti
. Master of Science,
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
, p.
78
.
Sampson
A. P.
,
Weli
V. E.
,
Nwagbara
M. O.
&
Eludoyin
O. S.
2021
Sensations of air temperature variability and mitigation strategies in urban environments
.
Journal of Human, Earth, and Future
2
,
100
113
.
Sprenkle-Hyppolite
S. D.
,
Latimer
A. M.
,
Young
T. P.
&
Rice
K. J.
2016
Landscape factors and restoration practices associated with initial reforestation success in Haiti
.
Ecological Restoration
34
,
306
316
.
Stevenson
G. G.
1989
The production, distribution, and consumption of fuelwood in Haiti
.
The Journal of Developing Areas
24
,
59
76
.
Tarter
A. M.
,
Freeman
K. K.
&
Sander
K.
2016
A History of Landscape-Level Land Management Efforts in Haiti
.
World Bank
,
Washington, DC
.
https://doi.org/10.1596/25764
.
Tarter
A.
,
Freeman
K. K.
,
Ward
C.
,
Sander
K.
,
Theus
K.
,
Coello
B.
,
Fawaz
Y.
,
Miles
M.
&
Ahmed
T. T. G.
2018
Charcoal in Haiti
.
World Bank
,
Washington, DC
.
https://doi.org/10.1596/31257
.
World Bank
2012
World Bank Open Data
.
Available from: http://data.worldbank.org.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0), which permits copying, adaptation and redistribution, provided the original work is properly cited (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).