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Sao Tome and Principe - Main Details

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity


The biological resources of the country are a potential source of wealth, with large potential benefits for the population, if they are managed and utilized in a sustainable way. There are four main ecosystems defined for the country: marine and coastal; inland waters; forest; and agricultural. Sao Tome and Principe consists of 2 main islands with a total area of 1,001 km2, located in the Gulf of Guinea. In terms of species richness Sao Tome and Principe is host to: 895 vascular plants (134 endemic), 63 bird species (25 endemic), 16 reptiles (7 endemic) and 9 amphibian species (all endemic). There are around 300 species of medicinal plants that are utilized by the indigenous communities of the islands. Sao Tome and Principe offers a unique opportunity to link, through tourism, the conservation of biodiversity with sustainable economic development. Some of the main threats to biodiversity include: coastal erosion and destruction of beaches; inadequate fishing practices; pollution; misappropriation of natural land; indiscriminate burning and logging; uncontrolled hunting; exploitation of species like parrots and sea turtles; and introduction of exotic species (including pests and viral infections).

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

Convention on Biological Diversity gave rise to the following sub-objectives in the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of Sao Tome and Principe: reinforcement of in situ and ex situ conservation; the valorization of biodiversity; the reinforcement of legal and institutional frameworks; and the creation of mechanisms to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of biological resources at the national and international level. Five strategic axes were developed and taken into consideration, which are: the conservation of the coastal and marine ecosystem; the conservation of inland waters; the conservation of forest ecosystems; conservation of agricultural ecosystems and the reinforcement of legal and institutional frameworks. For each of these axes the action plan where presented incorporates primary activities and measures. These measures and activities should continue into subsequent actions that will develop depending on the organizational capacities and financing resources that become available.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme