Central African Republic - Forestry

There are 22.9 million hectares (56.5 million acres) of forest (37% of the total land area), but only 3.4 million hectares (8.4 million acres) of dense forest, all in the south in the regions bordering the DROC. The CAR's exploitable forests cover 27 million hectares (68 million acres), or 43% of the total land area. Transportation bottlenecks on rivers and lack of rail connections are serious hindrances to commercial exploitation. Most timber is shipped down the Ubangi and Zaire rivers and then on the Congo railway to the Atlantic. More than a dozen types of trees are felled, but 95% of the total is composed of obeche, sapele, ebony, and sipo.

A dozen sawmills produced 703,000 cu m (25 million cu ft) of sawn logs and veneer logs in 2000. The government is encouraging production of plywood and veneer. Roundwood removals were estimated at 3 million cu m (106 million cu ft) in 2000. Competition from lower-cost Asian and Latin American loggers has hurt the local industry, which is encumbered with high transportation and labor costs. In 2000, the country exported $39.6 million of roundwood and $16.3 million of sawn wood.

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