Planted forests

Sierra Leone

Description of plantation resources


Plantations comprise about one to two percent of the whole forest area. They are scattered throughout the country.

The forestry sector contributes about 6 to 7 percent to GDP. Export of sawn timber accounts for about 0.2 percent and imports, mainly from Liberia, are about 1.7 percent (FD, 1995).

Development of forest plantations

From 1930 to 1979, about 8 500 ha of plantations were established, of which about 3 000 ha were in forest reserves and the remainder in protected forests. Most of these plantations, especially in protected forests, have failed (Ayemou, 1996).

In the early 1990s, in order to reduce deforestation caused by firewood collection, fuelwood plantations were introduced to farmers (Anon., 1998).

There has been a significant increase in plantation establishment due to the involvement of community groups and NGOs with assistance from several donors. There was a project in 1993 and 1994 to plant 1 400 000 seedlings with the assistance of FAO and UNDP (FD, 1995).

Species composition

Before the 1970s, Terminalia spp. and Gmelina arborea were planted extensively. Eucalyptus territicornis and E. camaldulensis have been used extensively for fuelwood. Since 1985, Acacia mangium and A. auriculiformis have been the predominant fuelwood species and have been used to rehabilitate degraded land. These same species are used in private re-afforestation programmes. Some indigenous species such as Xylopia aethiopica are now being used (FD, 1992).

Both the government and the private owners plant rubber. Rubber is planted for the production of latex, not for the production of timber (Schatens, 1989).

Growth and yield

The estimated annual yield is 3 to 15 m3/ha (Anon., 1998).


The number of private and village woodlots has continued to increase. Large-scale industrial plantations for timber are being encouraged for future establishment (FD, 1995).


Lack of human resources and information about forest resources make it difficult for the Forestry Division to carry out its mission.

In the savanna area, wild bush fires destroy not only woodlands but also plantations (FD, 1992).

Most of plantations have not been tended for a long time and consequently they are invaded by indigenous species (Mnzava, 1992).


Anon. 1998. National progress report on forestry. In 11th session of the FAO African Forestry and Wildlife Commission. Dakar, Senegal Dakar, Senegal, April 11-19, 1998. Freetown, Forestry Division, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries.

FAO. 1996. Forestry data, capacity building for the National Forestry Action Programme. By Ayemou, A.O.A. FAO Field Document No 4, FO:DP/SIL/92/006. Rome.

MOAFF-FD. 1992. National report on forestry 1989-1991. In Ninth session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission. Kigali, Rwanda, August 5-14, 1992. Forestry Division. Freetown, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

MOAFF-FD. 1995. National progress report on forestry. In Tenth meeting of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission. Sanbonani, South Africa, November 27-December 1st, 1995. Freetown. Forestry Division, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries.

ISA. 1999. Oil world annual 1999. Hamburg, Germany. Internationale Statistische Agrarinformationen.

FAO. 1992. Forest management, Sierra Leone, Assistance for forestry planning. by Mnzava, E. M. Field Document No. 3, FO:DP/SIL/89/010. Rome

FAO. 1989. Forest inventory and management. By Schatens, P.R. Joint Inter-Agency Forestry Sector Review Mission. Rome.

last updated:  Tuesday, February 23, 2010