The rainforests of Guinea have been highly impacted by fires and agriculture. Today only scattered fragments of forest remain in a sea of grasslands. Some of these small sections of forest still contain emergent overstory trees, valuable for timber,
which are only slowly exploited due to lack of heavy machinery. As of 2005, less than 1 percent of forest cover in Guinea was primary forest.
||Guinea Forest Figures
Total forest area: 6,724,000 ha
% of land area: 27.4%
Primary forest cover: 63,000 ha
% of land area: 0.3%
% total forest area: 0.9%
Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005
Annual change in forest cover: -36,000 ha
Annual deforestation rate: -0.5%
Change in defor. rate since '90s: -23.4%
Total forest loss since 1990: -684,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990:-9.2%
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 1990:0.0%
Social services: n/a
Multiple purpose: n/a
None or unknown: 46.5
Forest Area Breakdown
Total area: 6,724,000 ha
Primary: 63,000 ha
Modified natural: 6,568,000 ha
Semi-natural: 60,000 ha
Production plantation: 30,000 ha
Production plantation: 3,000 ha
Plantations, 2005: 33,000 ha
% of total forest cover: 0.5%
Annual change rate (00-05): 2,040,000 ha
Above-ground biomass: 1,026 M t
Below-ground biomass: 246 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: 748,000 m3 o.b.
Wood fuel: 13,253,000 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 Guinea
In the late 1990s, the government started to push conservation and sustainable development measures, but the effectiveness of these efforts was limited by lack of funds and resources. Guinea's few reserves, which cover just over 4 percent of the country's land mass, are still under-managed and underfunded, and are threatened by mining projects (Guinea has major mineral resources) and subsistence agriculture, which has limited productivity due to severe soil erosion.
From a biological diversity standpoint, of Guinea's 100 or so endemic species, over 40 percent are considered endangered by poaching and loss of habitat. The World Resources Institute says that Guinea has some 3,000 species of plants, 640 birds, 190 mammals, 94 reptiles, and 121 fish.
Mysterious pygmy hippo filmed in Liberia
(12/19/2011) Conservationists have captured the first ever footage (see video below) of the elusive pygmy hippo (Choeropsis liberiensis) in Liberia. The forest-dwelling, nocturnal species—weighing only a quarter of the size of the well-known common hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius)—has proven incredibly difficult to study. But the use of camera traps in Liberia's Sapo National Park has allowed researchers a glimpse into its cryptic life.
Summer from hell: seventeen nations hit all-time heat records
(08/09/2010) The summer isn't over yet, but already seventeen nations have matched or beaten their all-time heat records. According to Jeff Masters' WunderBlog, Belarus, the Ukraine, Cyprus, Russia, Finland, Qatar, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Niger, Chad, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Ascension Island, and the Solomon Islands have all equaled or broken their top temperature records this year. In addition, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Asia was taken in Pakistan at 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53 degrees Celsius); this incredible temperature still has to be reviewed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Goodbye to West Africa's Rainforests
(01/22/2006) West Africa's once verdant and extensive rainforests are now a historical footnote. Gone to build ships and furniture, feed hungry mouths, and supply minerals and gems to the West, the band of tropical forests that once extended from Guinea to Cameroon are virtually gone. The loss of West Africa's rainforests have triggered a number of environmental problems that have contributed to social unrest and exacerbated poverty across the region.
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