Natural forest formations
Forest cover map
Because of its environmental conditions, with great variations in altitude and climate, the natural vegetation cover of Eritrea shows great differences in terms of species, diversity and cover. In the past, the highlands of Eritrea used to be fully covered by dry semi-evergreen to evergreen forest. Due its varying latitudinal and altitudinal gradients and changing hillside exposition, the land belongs to different climatic and edaphic units. It is therefore possible to identify in this country six different ecological zones defined as:
1) The western lowlands characterized by the hot and dry climate;
2) The western escarpments where the effect of the high elevations allows more fresh climatic conditions;
3) The highlands characterized by cool temperature and an annual rainfall that can reach even 1000 mm;
4) The eastern lowlands where climate is mitigated by the effect of the sea but desertic like;
5) The eastern escarpments characterized by two rainy seasons, one depending from monsoons from the west and another from the effect of the red sea;
6) The coast where the most important environment is the "Danakil depression" that reaches 110 meters below the sea level and has less than 200 mm rainfall during the 5 months of rainy season.
The above map is an extract from the Global Forest Cover map produced as part of FRA 2000. Please refer to FRA Working Paper 19 for a background to the production of the map.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
Map source: Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000, base map: ESRI