Environmental issues in Haiti include a severe deforestation problem.
In 1923 forests covered nearly 60 percent of the country; today they cover less than 2 percent. Until recently the government had done little to combat this problem. Because most Haitians still depend on wood and charcoal as their primary fuel source, energy alternatives are needed to save the forests. The 15-year Environment Action Plan, authorized in 1999, proposed to stop deforestation by developing alternative fuel sources. So far, however, political instability and lack of funding have limited the impact of this reform effort. Deforestation has led to soil erosion, which has decreased agricultural yields and resulted in deadly landslides. Urban environments suffer from a lack of sanitation. Vast slum areas, especially in the capital, Port-au-Prince, are filled with people living in squalid, unsanitary conditions.