There are about 3.4 million hectares (nearly 8.4 million acres) classified as forest and woodland, about 31% of the total land area. Most forests are in northern Benin, and exploitation is subject to public control. Timber production is small. Firewood, charcoal, and building wood for local use are the most important forest products. In 2000, an estimated 6.2 million cu m (218 million cu ft) of roundwood were produced. A project to increase wood production and processing is underway with substantial assistance from Germany. American Peace Corps volunteers are also assisting with the development of the forestry sector, with special attention on the dilemma between ecological balance and fuelwood production.
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