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Country Statistics

With 88% forest cover, Gabon holds a special status as a High-Forest, Low-Deforestation (HFLD) country with the second-highest percentage forest cover in the world (after Suriname). The Government of Gabon has demonstrated strong leadership and action to protect its forests. Gabon’s forests store high levels of carbon, exceptional biodiversity, provide resources and livelihoods for rural populations, and regulate rainfall and mitigate climate change at the national, regional and global scales. Gabon’s Forest Reference Level (FRL) serves as a benchmark for assessing the country’s performance in implementing the five REDD+ activities. Gabon had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 9.07/10, ranking it 9th globally out of 172 countries.

Gabon is forging that path with its Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) to increase economic growth and become an emerging economy through sustainable policies and actions, while conserving its natural ecosystems and contributing to global climate efforts.

Population (Million)
Land Area (1000
0$. Bln
% Forest Area
Deforestation avg. annual %, 2000-2015
Terrestrial protected areas – % of total land area

Our Work

Country timeline
Joint first Biennial Update Report (BUR) /3rd National Communication (2021) 

Forest Reference level (2021)

Main activities in 2020
  1. Support on national legislation on climate change
  2. Support in the development of the Greenhouse Gas inventory (Quality assurance for the Forest Reference Emissions Level/Forest Reference Level)

Since September 2019, after the signing of the Gabon-Norway agreement, the country has been pushing for the preparation and submission of its first Forest Reference level (FREL/FRL). With this push, the country also restructured the internal setup for reporting to the UNFCCC, giving the mandate to the Conseil National Climat (CNC). The CNC is now in charge of submitting the Third National communication and the first BUR. At the same time, the preparation of the FREL/FRL requires the collection of new land use and land use change data to ensure a full and consistent time series that would provide an accurate report.

Gabon is currently building a new legal framework under the creation of the new Climate Change law. This law will consider the requirements under the UNFCCC and provide guidance on how the country will implement future policies to reduce its emissions in the years coming. This law includes the GHG inventory as a basis to estimate status and allow the country to base its policy on a robust system. This law also considers the carbon market and the sale of carbon credits to the international community. Support has been provided by CfRN to Gabon national experts on the draft law. The country will undergo a further round of comments before finalizing the process. The new regulatory framework is set to modify existing legislation on environmental protection to better adapt to the new reality created by the Paris Agreement. In addition, CfRN support is aimed at ensuing any new legislation or modification of existing legislation is in line with the REDD+ MRV requirements under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement and designed to attract the necessary results-based finance. The country is also preparing a joint report for the first BUR and third National Communication. This joint report will contain the GHG inventory, in which the AFOLU sector will be fully consistent with the FREL/FRL. Submission of this report is planned for 2021.

Participants in the CfRN training session at the National Climate Council in Libreville

“In 2018 The Gabonese President announced that all logging concessions must be FSC certified by 2022.”

“Gabon Quote”

Grey parrot of Gabon


Plant growth is rapid and dense. About 85 percent of the country is covered by tropical humid forest. The dense green of the vegetation never changes, since the more than 6,000 species of plants flower and lose their leaves continuously throughout the year according to species. Tree growth is especially rapid; some trees tower as high as 60 m, and the trunks are thickly entwined with vines. There are about 300 species of trees. In the coastal regions, marine plants abound, and wide expanses are covered with tall papyrus grass.

Wildlife includes forest elephants, buffalo, various antelope and monkey species, sitatungas, leopards, three species of crocodiles, chimpanzees and gorillas, and several marine turtle species which nest along the coast. As of 2002, there were at least 190 species of mammals.

Mandrill gabon

Useful Links

Gabon Climate Authority
UNFCCC REDD+ Submissions


Sunshine through the trees at Loango National Park in Gabon

Gabon is a country on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. It has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres (100,000 sq mi) and its population is estimated at 2.1 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville. Gabon generally has an equatorial climate with an extensive system of rainforests, with 89.3% of its land area forested. There are three distinct regions: the coastal plains (ranging between 20 and 300 km from the ocean’s shore), the mountains (the Cristal Mountains to the northeast of Libreville, the Chaillu Massif in the centre), and the savanna in the east. The coastal plains form a large section of the World Wildlife Fund’s Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests ecoregion and contain patches of Central African mangroves especially on the Muni River estuary on the border with Equatorial Guinea. Gabon had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 9.07/10, ranking it 9th globally out of 172 countries.Gabon is home to over 173 endangered species of animals and plants including the African Elephant and the African Golden Cat.

African forest elephant grazing in the dense forest in Gabon at Loango National Park


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