NEWS

Benin plans to protect forests against threats

COTONOU, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Benin's government plans to develop a legislation to protect forests under serious threats of destruction in the country.

A source close to the ministry in charge of quality of life and sustainable development, who has requested anonymity, on Tuesday revealed this to Xinhua here in the capital Cotonou.

The source believes that the envisaged legislation will enable the absolute prohibition of logging in forests and over the entire country as well as of timber exportation.

In April last year, Benin suspended lumber exportation and permits for forest products exportation.

The West African country loses over 70,000 hectares (ha) of forest per year out of 2.65 million ha of existing forest vegetation, according to the latest report from the directorate of forests and natural resources in Benin.

The main causes are identified as bush fires, extension of cultivated areas, logging for timber products, firewood or charcoal.

The report summed up the consequences of deforestation in the lost of the bio-diversity and the degradation of exposed lands that will see a decreasing agricultural productivity.

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