The major environmental problems are soil erosion and loss of soil fertility (in part because of traditional slash-and-burn cultivation) and rapid depletion of forests for lumber, firewood, and land cultivation. from 1990–1995, the annual rate of deforestation was at about 2.34%. In 1995, Honduras had 4 million ha of forest.
Enforcement of anti-pollution laws has been weak, and Honduras also lacks an integrated economic development and land-use policy. Rivers and streams in Honduras are threatened by pollution from mining chemicals. The nation has 96 cu km of renewable water resources with 91% used in farming activities. About 95% of city dwellers and 81% of people living in rural areas have access to pure drinking water. Honduras's cities produce over 0.5 million tons of solid waste per year. Air pollution results from a lack of pollution control equipment for industries and automobiles. The Secretariat of Planning, Coordination, and Budget (Secretaría de Planificación, Coordinación, y Presupuesto—SECPLAN), the Ministry of Natural Resources, and several other agencies are vested with environmental responsibilities.
In 2001, 6% of the total land area in Honduras was protected. In the same year, 7 of Honduras's 173 species of mammals were threatened. Four breeding bird species in 422 and 7 reptiles in a total of 162 were also threatened. Thirty-four plant species of 5,000-plus are endangered. Endangered or extinct species in Honduras include the tundra peregrine falcon, jaguar, three species of turtle (green sea, hawksbill, and olive ridley), and three species of crocodile (spectacled caiman, American, and Morelet's). The Caribbean monk seal and the Swan Island hutia have become extinct.