84.5% —or about 21,775,000 hectares—of Gabon is forested.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Gabon lost an average of 10,100 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 0.05%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change increased by 1.5% to 0.05% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Gabon lost 0.7% of its forest cover, or around 152,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, Gabon lost 0.7% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Gabon has some 969 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 1.0% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 2.0% are threatened. Gabon is home to at least 6651 species of vascular plants. 0.3% of Gabon is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

Gabon Environmental profile


Gabon: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)25,767,000
Total Forest Area (ha)21,775,000
Percent Forest Cover84.51%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)-
Primary Forest, % total forest-
Primary Forest, % total land-
Other wooded land (ha)-

Gabon : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)100%
Subtropical (% forest area)0%
Temperate (% forest area)0%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)0%

Gabon: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)--
Modified natural (ha | %)--
Semi-natural (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)36,0000.2%
Production plantation (ha | %)--

Gabon: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)21,927,000
Forest 2000 (ha)21,826,000
Forest 2005 (ha)21,775,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(10,100)-0.05%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(10,200)-0.05%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(152,000)-0.69%
Change in rate (%)1.46%
Primary 1990 (ha)-
Primary 2000 (ha)-
Primary 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Other 1990 (ha)-
Other 2000 (ha)-
Other 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Other 1990 (ha)36,000
Other 2000 (ha)36,000
Other 2005 (ha)36,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)21,891,000
Other 2000 (ha)21,790,000
Other 2005 (ha)21,739,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(10,100)-0.05%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(10,200)-0.05%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(152,000)-0.69%
Change in rate (%)1.46%

Gabon: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)0
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)0.00%

Gabon: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)-
Private (%)-
Other (%)-
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)-
Private (%)-
Other (%)-
Designated functions of forest � primary function 2005
Production (%)-
Protection (%)-
Conservation (%)-
Social Services (%)-
Multiple Services (%)-
None of Unknown (%)-

Gabon: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)-
Insects (ha)-
Diseases (ha)-
Other (ha)-

Gabon: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 20053
World Heritage sites, 20040
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land0.3%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II, extent, percent of total land0.00%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 20040.30%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 20043.00%

Gabon: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species41
endemic species4
threatened species2
total species632
endemic species0
threatened species5
total species166
endemic species3
threatened species11
total species130
endemic species3
threatened species1
Wildlife diversity
total species969
endemic species10
threatened species19

Gabon: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species-
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered3
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic0
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened107

Gabon: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)5,971
Below-ground biomass (M t)1,314
Dead wood (M t)392
Total (M t)7,677
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)2,986
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)657
Carbon in dead wood (M t)196
Carbon in litter (M t)-
Soil carbon (M t)-
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)3,600
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)627
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)4,227
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)n.s.
Plant products 2005
Food (t)-
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)-
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)-
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)-
Bush meat (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)-
Wood fuel (US$)-
Non-wood forest products (US$)-
Total value (US$)-
Total value ($USD/ha)$-
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employed4,000

Gabon : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
Gabon: Environment
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; poaching
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Natural hazardsNA

Gabon: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 1.26%
permanent crops: 0.66%
other: 98.08% (2001)
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, diamond, niobium, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower

Gabon: Economy
Economy - overview:Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most of sub-Saharan African nations. This has supported a sharp decline in extreme poverty; yet because of high income inequality a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon depended on timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. The oil sector now accounts for 50% of GDP. Gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management hobbles the economy. Devaluation of its currency by 50% in January 1994 sparked a one-time inflationary surge, to 35%; the rate dropped to 6% in 1996. The IMF provided a one-year standby arrangement in 1994-95, a three-year Enhanced Financing Facility (EFF) at near commercial rates beginning in late 1995, and stand-by credit of $119 million in October 2000. Those agreements mandated progress in privatization and fiscal discipline. France provided additional financial support in January 1997 after Gabon had met IMF targets for mid-1996. In 1997, an IMF mission to Gabon criticized the government for overspending on off-budget items, overborrowing from the central bank, and slipping on its schedule for privatization and administrative reform. The rebound of oil prices in 1999-2000 helped growth, but drops in production hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. In December 2000, Gabon signed a new agreement with the Paris Club to reschedule its official debt. A follow-up bilateral repayment agreement with the US was signed in December 2001. Gabon signed a 14 month Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF in May 2004, and received Paris Club debt rescheduling later that year. Short-term progress depends on an upbeat world economy and fiscal and other adjustments in line with IMF policies.
GDP - per capita$5,800 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)2.1% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productscocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 6%, industry: 58.8%, services: 35.1% (2005 est.)
Industries petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, and gold mining; chemicals; ship repair; food and beverage; textile; lumbering and plywood; cement
Economic aid - recipient$331 million (1995)
Debt - external$3.857 billion (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line (%)NA
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 60%, industry 15%, services 25%

Gabon: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)1,389,201
Population growth rate (%) (2005)2.45%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)5.4
Percent rural (2003)16.2%
Median age (years)total: 18.57 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)4.77 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)Bantu tribes including four major tribal groupings (Fang, Bapounou, Nzebi, Obamba), other Africans and Europeans 154,000, including 10,700 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality

Largest Cities in Gabon

Cities and urban areas in Gabon with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World�s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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