Angola's rainforests, located in the north of the country, are most threatened by subsistence agriculture which provides food for almost 90 percent of the population. Overgrazing and cutting forest for fuelwood are also significant causes of forest clearing and degradation.
||Angola Forest Figures
Total forest area: 59,104,000 ha
% of land area: 47.4%
Primary forest cover: n/a
% of land area: 0%
% total forest area: n/a
Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005
Annual change in forest cover: -124,800 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -0.2%
Change in defor. rate since '90s: 2.1%
Total forest loss since 1990: -1,872,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990:-3.1%
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
Social services: n/a
Multiple purpose: n/a
None or unknown: 92.9
Forest Area Breakdown
Total area: 59,104,000 ha
Modified natural: 58,973,000 ha
Production plantation: 131,000 ha
Production plantation: n/a
Plantations, 2005: 131,000 ha
% of total forest cover: 0.2%
Annual change rate (00-05): -564,000 ha
Above-ground biomass: 7,605 M t
Below-ground biomass: 2,053 M t
Area annually affected by
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Number of native tree species: n/a
Critically endangered: 0
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood: 1,283,000 m3 o.b.
Wood fuel: 3,913,000 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 Angola
Overall, Angola has a low deforestation rate relative to its total forest cover. Between 1990 and 2005, the country lost only 3 percent of its forests and the rate of forest conversion has kept fairly steady.
Some areas are reportedly showing the effects of land clearing, including severe soil erosion, heavy siltation of rivers and dams, and desertification.
More than 20 years of civil war have let much of Angola damaged. The government, which has hired pricey mercenararies from South Africa to put down uprisings in the resource-rich Cabinda and other areas, is heavily indebted and had sold a number of timber concessions to foreign timber companies. Oil and minerals are also important sources of revenue that could have an adverse impact on the environment.
On paper 10 percent of Angola is protected. The country has some 5,185 species of plants, 930 birds, 235 mammals, 296 reptiles, and 85 amphibians.
Suggested reading - Books
Unless otherwise specified, this article was written by Rhett A. Butler [Bibliographic citation for this page]
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
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World Resources Institute
Last updated: 4 Feb 2006