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Gambia Forest Figures

Forest Cover
Total forest area: 471,000 ha
% of land area: 41.7%

Primary forest cover: n/a
% of land area: n/a
% total forest area: n/a

Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005
Annual change in forest cover: 2,000 ha
Annual deforestation rate: 0.4%
Change in defor. rate since '90s: 0.9%
Total forest loss since 1990: 29,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990:6.6%

Primary or "Old-growth" forests
Annual loss of primary forests: n/a
Annual deforestation rate: n/a
Change in deforestation rate since '90s: n/a
Primary forest loss since 1990: n/a
Primary forest loss since 1990:n/a

Forest Classification
Public: 100%
Private: n.s.%
Other: 0%
Production: n/a
Protection: n/a
Conservation: n/a
Social services: n/a
Multiple purpose: 100%
None or unknown: n/a

Forest Area Breakdown
Total area: 471,000 ha
Primary: n/a
Modified natural: 471,000 ha
Semi-natural: n/a
Production plantation: n/a
Production plantation: n/a

Plantations, 2005: n/a
% of total forest cover: 0.1%
Annual change rate (00-05): n/a

Carbon storage
Above-ground biomass: 53 M t
Below-ground biomass: 13 M t

Area annually affected by
Fire: 150,000 ha
Insects: n/a
Diseases: 100,000 ha

Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Number of native tree species: 140
Critically endangered: 0
Endangered: 0
Vulnerable: 0

Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood: 154,000 m3 o.b.
Wood fuel: 718,000 m3 o.b.

Value of forest products, 2005
Industrial roundwood: n/a
Wood fuel: n/a
Non-wood forest products (NWFPs): n/a
Total Value: n/a

More forest statistics for Gambia

The Gambia, one of the world's poorest countries, is faced with rapid population growth which is putting tremendous pressure on its few resources and remaining forests. The government has enacted laws to promote sustainable development, but these are widely disregarded and not understood by the largely illiterate population. In addition, the government lacks the funds and staff to enforce this legislation. Over the past generation the environment in Gambia suffered from fuelwood collection, subsistence agriculture, and clearing for livestock, as well as hunting and desertification.

In the past five years the situation in Gambia has changed. FAO figures show a net increase in forest cover, likely resulting from increased plantations. Nevertheless, Gambia no longer has any intact primary forests.

According to the World Resources Institute, 3.2 percent of Gambia's land area is under some form of protection. The country is home to 974 species of plants, 117 mammals, and 535 birds.

Suggested reading - Books

Unless otherwise specified, this article was written by Rhett A. Butler [Bibliographic citation for this page]

Other resources

Contact me if you have suggestions on other rainforest-related environmental sites and resources for this country.

Image copyright Google Earth, MDA EarthSet, DigitalGlobe 2005

CIA-World Factbook Profile
FAO-Forestry Profile
World Resources Institute Profile (PDF)

Last updated: 4 Feb 2006