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 1.9 million inhabitants. It is one of the poorest countries in the world according to the Human Development Index of 2017: nr 177 of 189 countries. It has 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.

Political instability

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, island 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 east, and forests in the south/southwest. Guinea-Bissau’s natural habitats form an ecological bridge, allowing species migrations, an ecosystem’s feature that is especially critical in the face of climate change.