Gabon's environmental problems include deforestation, pollution, and wildlife preservation. The forests that cover 78% of the country are threatened by excessive logging activities.
Gabon's coastal forests have been depleted, but there is a reforestation program, and most of the interior remains under dense forest cover. There are two national parks and four wildlife reserves in which hunting is banned. Altogether, 2.7% of Gabon's total land area is protected. Pollution of the land is a problem in Gabon's growing urban centers due to industrial and domestic contaminants. Gabon's cities produce 0.1 million tons of solid waste annually. The nation's water is affected by pollutants from the oil industry. Gabon has 164 cubic kilometers of renewable water resources. About 47% of the country's rural dwellers and 95% of its urban population have pure drinking water. As a result of population expansion accompanied by an increased demand for meat, poaching has become a significant threat to the nation's wildlife. As of 2001, 12 of Gabon's 190 species of mammals were endangered. Four bird species in a total of 466 were also endangered along with two types of reptiles. About 78 of Gabon's 6,000-plus plant species were threatened with extinction. Gabon has the world's largest gorilla population.