Deforestation is the clearing or thinning of forests by humans. Deforestation represents one of the largest issues in global land use. Estimates of deforestation traditionally are based on the area of forest cleared for human use, including removal of the trees for wood products and for croplands and grazing lands.

Photo by Ousman Ceejay

In the practice of clear-cutting, all the trees are removed from the land, which completely destroys the forest. In some cases, however, even partial logging and accidental fires thin out the trees enough to change the forest structure dramatically.
According to the U.N. FAO, 48.0% or about 480,000 ha of Gambia is forested, according to FAO. Of this 0.2% ( 1,000 ) is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse and carbon-dense form of forest. Gambia had 1,000 ha of planted forest.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2010, Gambia lost an average of 1,900 ha or 0.43% per year. In total, between 1990 and 2010, Gambia gained 8.6% of its forest cover, or around 38,000 ha.

Photo by Ousman Ceejay

Gambia's forests contain 32 million metric tons of carbon in living forest biomass. Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Gambia has some 740 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 0.3% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 0.8% are threatened. Gambia is home to at least 974 species of vascular plants. 0.0% of Gambia is protected under IUCN categories I-V.


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