Gabonese Republic


According to the UNPP World Population Prospects’ Review 2008, about 1,369 million inhabitants are living in Gabon, with a corresponding population density of only 5 habitants of km2. Around 85% of the population is concentrated in urban areas.

Before the emerging petrol sector in the beginning 1970s, forests contributed at first place to the national economy. Nowadays, the forest sector contributes 6% to the Gabonese GDP and ranks on 2nd place for official income from exports. As in many other Central African countries, the contribution of NWFP to the economy is not taken into account in national statistics.

Activities connected to forest, NWFP and wildlife are governed by the law 16/01 being the forestry code from 2001 and describing two major directions of interventions: Sustainable and rational use of forest resources, as well as, enhancing local processing of timber to support local economy.

Major NWFP in Gabon are edible products like Gnetum spp. (nkumu), palm trees like Raphia laurentii, wild mango (Irvingia gabonensis – odika), different packaging leaves, rattan as well as medicinal plants and honey.

Sources : Les Forêts du Bassin du Congo – Etat des Forêts 2008. Eds : de Wasseige C., Devers D., de Marcken P., Eba'a Atyi R., Nasi R. et Mayaux Ph., 426 pages, ISBN 978-92-79-132 11-7, doi: 10.2788 /32456, Office des publications de l'Union européenne, 2009. 

Non-wood forest products of Central Africa: Current research issues and prospects for conservation and development. Editors : Sunderland, T.C.H., Clark, L.E., Vantomme, 288 pages, FAO, 1999.


The following map shows the Gabonese forests of which closed forests cover about 80% of the national territory. More in-depth information can be found on the FAO country profile site ( and the forest country profile site of FAO’s Forestry Department ( The above cited “The forests in the Congo Basin - State of the Forests 2008” provides a comprehensive overview on the Gabonese forest sector and can be found online under

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

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.

last updated:  Wednesday, January 13, 2010