Kaart Guinee BissauGuinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is a small country in West Africa with a total area of 36,125 km2, slightly larger than Belgium, and an estimated population of 1,500,000 inhabitants. It is one of the poorest countries in the world with a Human Development Index (2011) among the bottom ten and one of the lowest life expectancies and literacy indicators. Guinea-Bissau’s economy depends largely on farming and fishing. Cashew is the main cash crop and the country now ranks fifth in cashew production.

Political instability

The inequality of income distribution is one of the most extreme in the world and a short war between several groups within the army in 1998 destroyed most of its productive infrastructure. In recent years, the country has experienced prolonged periods of political and institutional instability.


With five major ethnic groups, the Guinea-Bissau’s cultural diversity is as rich as its wealth of landscapes and natural resources. Almost a quarter of the country’s territory is water and its coastal region is a vast expanse of mangroves, islets and estuarine environments of extraordinary ecological quality.

Transition zone

Wedged between Senegal to the north and Guinea Conakry to the south and east, Guinea-Bissau constitutes a transition zone between sub-Saharan arid savannah ecosystems and more humid tropical forest ecosystems (Guinean Moist Forest, Global 200 Ecoregion).

Ecological bridge

The country counts on a tight mesh of small river basins and associated freshwater ecosystems.  It is thus endowed with a great diversity of plant and animal species from its rich coastal and marine ecosystems, the savannahs in the north/northeast, and forests in the south/southeast. Guinea-Bissau’s natural habitats form hence an ecological bridge, allowing species migrations, an ecosystem’s feature that is especially critical in the face of climate change.