Land and Resources, Environmental Issues
overgrazing, fuelwood, whaling, desertification, endangered species
Population pressures in Senegal have led to the clearing of forests for additional farmland and fuelwood, as well as to increased livestock grazing on fragile rangelands. This deforestation and overgrazing, combined with drought conditions, have caused desertification in large areas of the country. In 2000, 32 percent of the country’s total land area was forested. Senegal is the world’s largest exporter of exotic birds, and there is much poaching of other animals.
The government of Senegal has initiated reforestation programs to combat desertification and has protected 11 percent (1997) of the country as parks and reserves. The Niokolo Koba National Park in southeastern Senegal, consisting of 9,000 sq km (3,000 sq mi) of forests and savanna, protects a diverse range of animal species. The park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1981. The government has ratified international environmental agreements pertaining to biodiversity, climate change, desertification, endangered species, hazardous wastes, law of the sea, marine life conservation, ozone layer protection, ship pollution, wetlands, and whaling.
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