Benin - Environment

Benin has two national parks and several game reserves. In addition, the government has set aside 5,900 hectares (14,580 acres) for nurseries to foster reforestation. As of 2000, 6.9% of Benin's natural areas were protected. Among the government organizations with responsibility for the environment are the National Commission for Combating Pollution and for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment, which is under the Ministry of Public Health, and the Ministry of Rural Development and Cooperative Action. The main environmental issues facing the people of Benin are desertification, deforestation, wildlife endangerment, and water pollution. The spread of the desert into agricultural lands in the north is accelerated by regular droughts. Benin has also lost 59% of its forests from uncontrolled agricultural practices and fires. Between 1983 and 1993 alone, forest and woodland was reduced by 12%. For the period between 1990-1995, deforestation occurred at an average rate of 1.25% per year. Benin has 10.3 cubic kilometers of renewable water resources. About 74% of the city dwellers and 55% of rural residents have access to safe drinking water. Factors which contribute to the endangerment of the wildlife in Benin are the same as those which threaten the forests. As of 2000, threatened species included: 9 of the 188 species of mammals; one of 307 bird species; and 2 of the 2,000 plant species. As of l994, the chimpanzee was extinct.

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Caroline Hall
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Feb 20, 2008 @ 9:21 pm
it is a great article, i got the info. i needed...

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