Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country that depends almost entirely on subsistence agriculture. Uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuelwood coupled with agricultural clearing and grazing lands has resulted in nearly complete deforestation of the country. Massive ethnic civil war and the subsequent collapse of government conservation efforts further reduced forest areas and resulted in increased poaching of wildlife. Before the savage civil war, high population density (450 people per square kilometer) on mountain slopes resulted in heavy soil loss and damage to agriculture.
||Burundi Forest Figures
Total forest area: 152,000 ha
% of land area: 5.9%
Primary forest cover: n/a
% of land area: 0.0%
% total forest area: n/a
Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005
Annual change in forest cover: -9,200 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -5.2%
Change in defor. rate since '90s: 47.6%
Total forest loss since 1990: -137,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990:-47.4%
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: n/a
Forest Area Breakdown
Total area: 152,000 ha
Modified natural: 67,000 ha
Production plantation: 86,000 ha
Production plantation: n/a
Plantations, 2005: 86,000 ha
% of total forest cover: 56.2%
Annual change rate (00-05): n/a
Above-ground biomass: n/a M t
Below-ground biomass: n/a 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: 383,000 m3 o.b.
Wood fuel: 9,310,000 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 Burundi
Due to habitat destruction, gorillas and elephants are extinct in Burundi and virtually all wildlife is threatened.
On paper, just 5.4 percent of Burundi's land mass is under any form of protection. In 2005, the government of Burundi announced a ban on the harvesting of natural Christmas trees in an effort to slow deforestation. Since the Christmas trees are an introduced plantation species, the ban had little effect on the country's biodiversity. Overall, Burundi was once home to 2,500 species of plants, 597 birds, 26 amphibians, 80 mammals, and 116 reptiles.
Recent articles | Burundi news updates | XML
10 African countries to develop satellite-based deforestation tracking systems with help of Brazil
(07/30/2012) Ten tropical African countries will receive training and support to develop national forest monitoring systems, reports the United Nations. Brazil, which has an advanced deforestation tracking system, will guide the initiative in partnership with the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Photos: the aye-aye of frogs rediscovered after 62 years
(03/27/2012) A pair of researchers have rediscovered a long-lost frog in the tiny African country of Burundi. Known as the Bururi long-fingered frog (Cardioglossa cyaneospila), the species hadn't been seen for over 60 years—since the Soviet Union tested its first nuclear weapon in 1949—but was rediscovered in Bururi Forest Reserve.
Deforestation increases in the Congo rainforest
(03/20/2012) Deforestation in the Congo Basin has increased sharply since the 1990s, reports an extensive new assessment of forests in the six-nation region. Released by the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and members of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, The State of the Forest finds that the region's annual gross deforestation rate doubled from 0.13 percent to 0.26 percent between the 1990s and the 2000-2005 period. Gross degradation caused by logging, fire, and other impacts increased from 0.07 percent to 0.14 percent on an annual basis. Despite the jump, rates in the Congo Basin remain well below those in Latin America and Southeast Asia, but the region is seen as a prime target for future agroindustrial expansion.
Rwanda and Burundi agree to protect rare forest area
(09/15/2008) Rwanda and Burundi have agreed to protect a large tract of tropical mountain forest that is home to chimpanzees, rare owl-faced monkeys, and other wildlife.
Deforestation rates jump in Uganda and Burundi, fall in Rwanda
(01/25/2006) Tropical deforestation rates have skyrocketed in Uganda and Burundi, while declining significantly in Rwanda according to mongabay.com's analysis of data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
Suggested reading - Books
Unless otherwise specified, this article was written by Rhett A. Butler [Bibliographic citation for this page]
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Last updated: 4 Feb 2006