Forests of Africa
30% of the world’s tropical forests are in Africa mainly in two blocks: the Upper Guinea forest in West Africa and the larger Congo Basin Forest.
The Upper Guinea Forest extends from Guinea into Sierra Leone and eastward through Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana into western Togo. Over 50% of plant and 30% of animal species found there are found nowhere else including the unique Pygmy Hippo which ZSL works to conserve. Around 80% of the original forest of the Upper Guinea region has been lost through human activity. ZSL’s WWP in Ghana looks to help timber companies minimise their impact on wildlife.
The Congo Basin constitutes 18% of the world’s rainforest, making it the second biggest rainforest block after the Amazon, and covers the Democratic Republic of Congo, most of Congo-Brazzaville, the southeast of Cameroon, southern Central African Republic, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea. The 1.8 million square kilometre forest block has one of the world’s richest biodiversity concentrations and is home to over 1,000 bird (36% of which are endemic), 400 mammal, and 10,000 plant species (30% of which are endemic). The forest also provides subsistence for more than 75 million people. The UN estimates that, unless its destruction is halted, 66% of the Congo Basin rainforest will be lost by 2040.