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French Guiana Forest Figures

Forest Cover
Total forest area: 8,063,000 ha
% of land area: 91.8%

Primary forest cover: 7,701,000 ha
% of land area: 87.7%
% total forest area: 95.5%

Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005
Annual change in forest cover: n/a
Annual deforestation rate: n/a
Change in defor. rate since '90s: -100.0%
Total forest loss since 1990: -28,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990:-0.3%

Primary or "Old-growth" forests
Annual loss of primary forests: -12000 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -0.2%
Change in deforestation rate since '90s: -17.4%
Primary forest loss since 1990: -60,000 ha
Primary forest loss since 1990:-2.6%

Forest Classification
Public: 99.8%
Private: 0.2%
Other: 0%
Production: 0%
Protection: 0%
Conservation: 4%
Social services: 0%
Multiple purpose: 31.5%
None or unknown: 64.4

Forest Area Breakdown
Total area: 8,063,000 ha
Primary: 7,701,000 ha
Modified natural: 361,000 ha
Semi-natural: n/a
Production plantation: 1,000 ha
Production plantation: n/a

Plantations, 2005: 1,000 ha
% of total forest cover: n.s.%
Annual change rate (00-05): n/a

Carbon storage
Above-ground biomass: n/a M t
Below-ground biomass: n/a M t

Area annually affected by
Fire: n/a
Insects: n/a
Diseases: n/a

Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Number of native tree species: 1,200
Critically endangered: 3
Endangered: 2
Vulnerable: 11

Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood: 70,000 m3 o.b.
Wood fuel: n/a

Value of forest products, 2005
Industrial roundwood: $2,716,000
Wood fuel: n/a
Non-wood forest products (NWFPs): $4,099,000
Total Value: $6,815,000

More forest statistics for French Guiana

The rainforests of French Guiana are still largely unexploited and sparsely populated. The majority of the population lives on the Atlantic coastal zone and is totally dependent on subsidies from France. The European Space Agency is responsible for more than 50 percent of the economic activity.

For the immediate future, the forests of French Guiana face relatively few threats, although timber extraction is increasing and a relatively high population growth rate of displaced Lao farmers and other local groups may pressure coastal forest regions with subsistence agriculture. Gold potential in the interior regions is attracting foreign development interest, and there are some concerns over a potential road project. In recent years sporadic outbreaks of civil disorder over independence have brought into question what would happen to forests should French Guiana become independent. Still, the country lost only 2.6 percent of its forest cover between 1990 and 2005, the lowest loss in South America. Average annual deforestation rates have actually declined by 17 percent since the close of the 1990s.

Overall, more than 90 percent of French Guiana is forested, about 95 percent of which consists of primary forest. The country has some 1,064 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles, according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 1.1 percent are endemic and 1.9 percent are threatened. French Guiana is home to at least 5,625 species of vascular plants, of which 2.6 percent are endemic. At present, 15.4 percent of French Guiana is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

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Last updated: 6 Feb 2006