Approximately 46% of Senegal is classified as semiarid. Much of the land is threatened with desertification because of overgrazing, inadequately controlled cutting of forests for fuel, and soil erosion from overcultivation. According to a UN report, at least 4.5% of Senegal's forests have been eliminated. By 1985, the total amount of land subject to deforestation was 193 square miles. Between 1983 and 1993, an additional 4.4% of the nation's forest and woodland was lost. Dakar suffers from such typical urban problems as improper sanitation (especially during the rainy season, when sewers overflow) and air pollution from motor vehicles. The nation has 26 cubic kilometers of renewable water resources with 92% used for farming activity and 3% used for industrial purposes. About 92% of the nation's city dwellers and 65% of the people living in rural areas have access to safe drinking water. Senegal's cities produce about 0.6 million tons of solid waste per year. Important environmental agencies include the Ministry of Scientific and Technical Research, which is responsible for coordinating all research and development in Senegal.
Senegal has six national parks, covering about 4% of the country's total area; game in forest reserves is classified by law as partially or completely protected, but poaching remains a problem. As of 2001, 11% of Senegal's total land area was protected. In 2001, 13 mammal species and 6 bird species were endangered. Fifteen types of plants were threatened with extinction. Endangered species include the western giant eland and four species of turtle (green sea, olive ridley, hawksbill, and leatherback). The Sahara oryx has become extinct in the wild.