TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Deforestation rates tables and charts

South Africa Forest Information and Data

According to the U.N. FAO, 7.6% or about 9,241,000 ha of South Africa is forested, according to FAO. Of this 10.2% ( 947,000 ) is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse and carbon-dense form of forest. South Africa had 1,763,000 ha of planted forest. South Africa's forests contain 807 million metric tons of carbon in living forest biomass. Biodiversity and Protected Areas: South Africa has some 1632 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 13.4% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 6.5% are threatened. South Africa is home to at least 23420 species of vascular plants. 5.3% of South Africa is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

2011 Update

In May 2011, Sassan Saatchi of Caltech's Jet Propulsion Lab and colleagues published a paper in PNAS with
new carbon stock estimates for global tropical forests.

Forest definition (canopy cover %)10% tree cover25% tree cover30% tree cover
Forest Area (M ha)19107
Aboveground forest carbon (Mt C)383217152
Belowground forest carbon (Mt C)1257049
Total forest carbon (Mt C)507288202
Average Carbon Density (t C/ha)272829
M=million, t=metric tons; all figures are mean carbon stock values

The following contains data relating to forest cover in South Africa

Previous version of this profile (2009)

SECTIONS:

Forest Cover | Breakdown of forest types | Change in Forest Cover | Deforestation | Primary forest | Planted forest | Forest designation | Forest ownership | Growing stock | Carbon stock | Disturbances affecting forest land | Removals | Removals Value | Employment | Forest policy | Human resources | Revenue | Agreements | Protected areas | Biodiversity - Wildlife | Biodiversity - Plants | Environment | Land use / Resources | Economy | Population / Demographics | Infrastructure | Health | References | Books










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South Africa: Forest Cover, 2010
Total Land Area (1000 square kilometers)121447
Total Forest Area (1000 ha)9241
Percent Forest Cover8
Primary Forest Cover (1000 ha)947
Primary Forest, % total forest10
Other wooded land (1000 ha)24558
Percent other wooded land20




South Africa: Breakdown of forest types, 2010
Primary forest (1000 ha | % of forest area)94710
Other naturally regenerated forest (1000 ha | % of forest area)653171
Planted Forest (1000 ha | % of forest area)176319


South Africa: Trends in Total (Net) Forest Cover, 1990-2010
TOTAL FOREST COVER (1000 ha)
1990200020052010
9241924192419241
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (1000 ha)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
000
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (percent)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
000


South Africa: Trends in Natural Forest Cover (Deforestation), 1990-2010
FOREST COVER (excluding planted forests) (1000 ha)
1990200020052010
7615751774917478
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (1000 ha)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
-10-10-4
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (percent)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
-0.1-0.13-0.05


South Africa: Trends in Primary or Old Growth Forest Cover, 1990-2010
PRIMARY FOREST COVER (1000 ha)
1990200020052010
947947947947
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (1000 ha)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
000
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (percent)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
000


South Africa: Trends in Planted Forest Cover, 1990-2010
PLANTED FOREST COVER (1000 ha)
1990200020052010
1626172417501763
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (1000 ha)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
1053
ANNUAL CHANGE RATE (percent)
Negative number represents deforestation
1990-20002000-20052005-2010
0.590.300.15


South Africa: Primary designated function (percent)
ProductionProtection of soil and waterConservation of biodiversitySocial servicesMultiple useOtherNone or unknown
1901007100


South Africa: Forest ownership and management rights 2005 (percent)
OWNERSHIP PATTERN
Public ownershipPrivate ownershipOther
60400


PRIVATE OWNERSHIP
IndividualsBusiness entities and institutionsLocal, indigenous and tribal communities
---


HOLDER OF MANAGEMENT RIGHTS OF PUBLIC FORESTS
Public administrationIndividualsBusiness entities and InstitutionsCommunitiesOther
960400
South Africa: Growing stock in forest
GROWING STOCK IN FOREST
Total
(million m3)
Per hectare
(m3)
Coniferous
(million m3)
Broadleaved
(million m3)
% commercial species
67073--36
GROWING STOCK IN FOREST
Total (million m3)Per hectare (m3)Coniferous (million m3)Broadleaved (million m3)% commercial species
49120


South Africa: Trends in carbon stock in living forest biomass 1990-2010
CARBON STOCK IN LIVING FOREST BIOMASS
(million metric tons)
1990200020052010
807807807807
CARBON STOCK IN LIVING FOREST BIOMASS
(per hectare in tons)
2000
87
ANNUAL CHANGE
(1 000 t/yr)
1990200020052010
000
ANNUAL CHANGE PER HECTARE
(t/ha/yr)
1990200020052010
000


South Africa: Area of forest affected by fire and other disturbances 2005
FOREST FIRE
1000 ha% wild fire (not managed burn)
--


EXCLUDING FOREST FIRE
InsectsDiseasesOther biotic agentsAbiotic factorsTotal (excluding fire)% of 2005 forest area
------


South Africa: Trends in removals of wood products 1990-2005
INDUSTRIAL ROUNDWOOD
Total volume (1 000 m3 over bark)
199020002005percent of which from forest 2005
154771674621077100
WOODFUEL
Total volume (1 000 m3 over bark)
199020002005percent of which from forest 2005
135701380013800100


South Africa: Value of wood and NWFP removals 2005
Value of removals
(million US$)
Value per ha forest
(US$)
Industrial roundwoodWoodfuelNWFPTotal
763167--n.s.


South Africa: Employment in forestry 1990-2005
TOTAL
(1000 full-time employees)
199020002005
---
IN PRIMARY PRODUCTION OF GOODS-FORESTRY
(1000 full-time employees)
199020002005
-66121
IN MANAGEMENT OF PROTECTED AREAS-CONSERVATION
(1000 full-time employees)
199020002005
---


South Africa: Forest policy and legal framework 2008
National forest policy (year): Yes (1996)
Sub-national forest policy: No
National forest program (year) - status: Yes (1997) Under revision
National forest law (year): Specific forest law (1998) Sub-national forest law: No

South Africa: Human resources within public forest institutions 2000-2008
200020052008
#% female#% female#% female
10000-3749-309545


South Africa: Forest revenue and public expenditure on forestry 2005
Forest revenuePublic expenditure (1000 US$)
Domestic fundingExternal fundingTotal
(1000 US$)Operational expenditureTransfer paymentsOperational expenditureTransfer paymentsOperational expenditureTransfer payments
7349633922797----


South Africa: Status of ratification of international conventions and agreements as of 1 January 2010
  • CbD:
  • UNFCCC:
  • Kyoto Protocol:
  • UNCCD:
  • ITTA:
  • CITeS:
  • Ramsar:
  • World Heritage Convention:
  • NlbI: [an error occurred while processing this directive] South Africa: Environment
    Environment - current issueslack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage outpacing supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification
    Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Natural hazardsprolonged droughts


    South Africa: Land use / Resources
    Land use (%)arable land: 12.08%
    permanent crops: 0.79%
    other: 87.13% (2001)
    Natural resourcesgold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas


    South Africa: Economy
    Economy - overview:South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that ranks among the 10 largest in the world; and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. However, growth has not been strong enough to lower South Africa's high unemployment rate; and daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era, especially poverty and lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative, but pragmatic, focusing on targeting inflation and liberalizing trade as means to increase job growth and household income.
    GDP - per capita$11,900 (2005 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate (%)4.5% (2005 est.)
    Agriculture - productscorn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
    GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 3.4%, industry: 31.6%, services: 65.1% (2005 est.)
    Industries mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textile, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair
    Economic aid - recipient$487.5 million (2000)
    Debt - external$44.33 billion (30 June 2005 est.)
    Population below poverty line (%)50% (2000 est.)
    Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (1999 est.)


    South Africa: Population / Demographics
    Population (July 2005)44,344,136
    Population growth rate (%) (2005)-0.31%
    Population density (people/sq km) (2005)36.4
    Percent rural (2003)43.1%
    Median age (years)total: 23.98 years
    Total fertility rate (children born/woman)2.24 (2005 est.)
    Ethnic groups (%)black African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2001 census)


    Largest Cities in South Africa

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

    CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population
    Cape TownSouth Africa26860003086600
    DurbanSouth Africa23549002354900
    JohannesburgSouth Africa16464005014000
    PretoriaSouth Africa12282001514800
    SowetoSouth Africa12211001221100
    Port ElizabethSouth Africa8339001047600
    PietermaritzburgSouth Africa420500420500
    BenoniSouth Africa406400406400
    VereenigingSouth Africa385600774200
    BloemfonteinSouth Africa371200371200
    NewcastleSouth Africa244300244300
    East LondonSouth Africa236100549300
    WelkomSouth Africa226100226100
    BotshabeloSouth Africa197900197900
    KimberleySouth Africa189500189500
    WitbankSouth Africa185900185900
    CarltonvilleSouth Africa182800182800
    KlerksdorpSouth Africa152700152700
    RustenburgSouth Africa116200116200
    PotchefstroomSouth Africa113100113100
    NelspruitSouth Africa105300105300
    GeorgeSouth Africa104700104700
    King Williams TownSouth Africa103700103700
    NigelSouth Africa102000102000
    PietersburgSouth Africa101600101600


    South Africa: Infrastructure
    Telephones - main lines in use4.844 million (2002)
    Telephones - mobile cellular16.86 million (2003)
    Roadways (km)total: 275,971 km
    paved: 57,568 km (including 2,032 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 218,403 km (2002)


    South Africa: Health
    Life expectancy at birth (years)total population: 43.27 years
    male: 43.47 years
    female: 43.06 years (2005 est.)
    Infant mortality rate61.81 deaths/1,000 live births
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)21.5% (2003 est.)

    South Africa : References & Data Sources
     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 & 2010) and the State of the World's Forests (2009, 2007, 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 mongabay.com



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