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Sierra Leone Forest Figures

Forest Cover
Total forest area: 2,754,000 ha
% of land area: 38.5%

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

Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005
Annual change in forest cover: -19,400 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -0.7%
Change in defor. rate since '90s: 7.3%
Total forest loss since 1990: -290,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990:-9.5%

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: n/a
Private: n/a
Other: n/a
Production: 10.3%
Protection: 1.2%
Conservation: 2.8%
Social services: n/a
Multiple purpose: n/a
None or unknown: 85.7

Forest Area Breakdown
Total area: 2,754,000 ha
Primary: n/a
Modified natural: 2,751,000 ha
Semi-natural: n/a
Production plantation: 3,000 ha
Production plantation: n/a

Plantations, 2005: 3,000 ha
% of total forest cover: 0.1%
Annual change rate (00-05): 80,000 ha

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

Area annually affected by
Fire: 200,000 ha
Insects: n/a
Diseases: n/a

Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Number of native tree species: n/a
Critically endangered: 0
Endangered: 4
Vulnerable: 42

Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood: 137,000 m3 o.b.
Wood fuel: 6,414,000 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 Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone has substantial mineral reserves, but still depends much on slash-and-burn cultivation for agriculture. Logging, clearing for cattle grazing, fuelwood collection, and mining have produced a dramatic drop in forest cover in Sierra Leone since the 1980s.

Until 2002, Sierra Leone lacked a forest management system due to a brutal civil war that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about one-third of the population). On paper, 55 protected areas covered 4.5 percent of Sierra Leone as of 2003. The country has 2,090 known species of higher plants, 147 mammals, 626 birds, 67 reptiles, 35 amphibians, and 99 fish species.

In June 2005, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Bird-life International agreed to support a conservation-sustainable development project in the Gola Forest in southeastern Sierra Leone, the most important surviving fragment of rainforest in Sierra Leone.

Deforestation rates have increased 7.3 percent since the end of the civil war.

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

Other resources

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Image copyright Google Earth, MDA EarthSet, DigitalGlobe 2005

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Last updated: 4 Feb 2006