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Nepal Forest Figures

Forest Cover
Total forest area: 3,636,000 ha
% of land area: 25.4%

Primary forest cover: 349,000 ha
% of land area: 2.4%
% total forest area: 9.6%

Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005
Annual change in forest cover: -52,800 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -1.4%
Change in defor. rate since '90s: -28.9%
Total forest loss since 1990: -1,181,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990:-24.5%

Primary or "Old-growth" forests
Annual loss of primary forests: -7000 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -1.8%
Change in deforestation rate since '90s: 918.2%
Primary forest loss since 1990: -35,000 ha
Primary forest loss since 1990:-10.7%

Forest Classification
Public: 99.9%
Private: 0.1%
Other: n/a
Production: 5.1%
Protection: 12.1%
Conservation: 21.4%
Social services: n/a
Multiple purpose: 14.7%
None or unknown: 46.8

Forest Area Breakdown
Total area: 3,636,000 ha
Primary: 349,000 ha
Modified natural: 384,000 ha
Semi-natural: 2,850,000 ha
Production plantation: 43,000 ha
Production plantation: 10,000 ha

Plantations, 2005: 53,000 ha
% of total forest cover: 1.5%
Annual change rate (00-05): 200,000 ha

Carbon storage
Above-ground biomass: 718 M t
Below-ground biomass: 251 M t

Area annually affected by
Fire: 400,000 ha
Insects: n/a
Diseases: n/a

Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Number of native tree species: 225
Critically endangered: 0
Endangered: 0
Vulnerable: 3

Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood: 67,000 m3 o.b.
Wood fuel: 52,000 m3 o.b.

Value of forest products, 2005
Industrial roundwood: $5,610,000
Wood fuel: n/a
Non-wood forest products (NWFPs): n/a
Total Value: $5,610,000

More forest statistics for Nepal

Nepal is one of the world's most diverse, yet poorest, countries. High population pressures have led to deforestation on steep mountain slopes, causing massive soil erosion and flooding on the plains. Only a small portion of Nepal was ever covered by rainforests, but what does exist is threatened by fuelwood collection and subsistence agriculture.

Between 1990 and 2005, Nepal lost 1.2 million hectares of forest representing about 25 percent of its total forest cover. Primary forest cover was diminished as well, falling by nearly 11 percent during that period. While overall deforestation rates have fallen since the close of the 1990s, rates of primary forest loss have jumped significantly.

Nepal has some 1,240 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles, according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 2.9 percent are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 5.6 percent are threatened. Nepal is home to at least 6,973 species of vascular plants, of which 4.5 percent are endemic. On paper, 7.6 percent of Nepal is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

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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 from the CIA World Factbook 2006

CIA-World Factbook Profile
FAO-Forestry Profile

Last updated: 4 Feb 2006