The African rainforest stretches across much of the central African continent, encompassing the following countries in its woods: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d"Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Except for the Congo Basin, the tropical rainforests of Africa have been largely depleted by commercial exploitation by logging and conversion for agriculture, and in West Africa, nearly 90 percent of the original rainforest is gone and the remainder is heavily fragmented and in poor use.
Especially problematic in Africa is desertification and conversion of rainforests to erodible agriculture and grazing lands, though there are a number of global initiatives in place through the World Wildlife Fund and the United Nations which are hoping to mitigate these concerns.
By far, the largest number of countries with rainforests are located in one geographical section of the World — the Afrotropical region. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) indicates these 38 countries exist mainly in West and Central Africa. These countries, for the most part, are very poor and live at the subsistence level.
Most of the tropical rainforests of Africa exist in the Congo (Zaire) River Basin, though remnants also exist throughout Western Africa in a sorry state due to the plight of poverty which encourages subsistence agriculture and firewood harvesting. This realm is dry and seasonal when compared to the other realms, and the outlying portions of this rainforest are steadily becoming a desert.
Over 90% of West Africa"s original forest has been lost over the last century and only a small part of what remains qualifies as "closed" forest. Africa lost the highest percentage of rainforests during the