Sierra Leone bans timber exports
January 15, 2008
Sierra Leone has re-imposed a timber export ban after accusing foreign companies of illegally logging its forests, according to BBC News.
The ban will remain in effect until the government develops a policy to ensure that local communities benefit from forestry.
Forest covers more than one third of Sierra Leone. Subsistence agriculture — not logging — is the primary driver of deforestation.
On paper about 5 percent of Sierra Leone is under some form of protection, though there are few funds for forest protection efforts.
The country has 2,090 known species of higher plants, 147 mammals, 626 birds, 67 reptiles, 35 amphibians, and 99 fish species.
In June 2005, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Bird-life International agreed to support a sustainable development project in the Gola Forest in southeastern Sierra Leone, the most important surviving fragment of rainforest in Sierra Leone.