Despite their incalculable value, West Africa’s tropical forests are severely threatened by human activities. There are two main threats: forest loss (deforestation for agriculture, commercial logging, mining, infrastructure, etc.) and wildlife loss (poaching, unsustainable village hunting and species trafficking for trade). A third threat, which is still poorly documented, is climate change.
According to the FAO State of the World’s Forests reports, the main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in tropical and subtropical countries are:
- Commercial/industrial agriculture (40%)
- Subsistance agriculture (33%)
- Infrastructure construction (10%)
- Urbanisation (10%)
- Mining (7%)