Guinea Bissau

THE FORMER COLONY of Portuguese Guinea, the Republic of Guinea-Bissau has a land area of 13,948 sq. mi. (36,125 sq. km.), with a population of 1,586,000 (2005 est.), and a population density of 114 people per sq. mi. (44 people per sq. km.). Forests cover 38 percent of the country; some 11 percent of the land is arable, and 38 percent is used for meadows and pasture. Largely because it is an undeveloped state, with many of its people living in poverty, Guinea-Bissau has one of the lowest rates of per capita carbon dioxide emissions in the world, with 0.2 metric tons per person in 1990, falling to 0.18 metric tons by 2003. All the electricity production in the country comes from fossil fuels, with all the carbon dioxide emissions in the country coming from liquid fuels.

Much of the country is low-lying, with a significant number of offshore islands, and coastline that would be flooded if global warming and climate change led to a rise in water levels. Bissau, the capital, is also liable to flooding from the Rio Geba. The government of Joao Bernardo Vieira took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, and the government of interim President Henrique Rosa accepted the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on November 18, 2005; it went into effect on February 16, 2005.

SEE ALSO: Developing Countries; Floods; Guinea.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. J.D. Davila, Shelter, Poverty and African Revolutionary Socialism: Human Settlements in GuineaBissau (International Institute for Environment and Development, Human Settlements Programme, 1987); R.E. Galli and Jocelyn Jones, Guinea-Bissau: Politics, Economics and Society (Frances Pinter Publishers, 1987); World Resources Institute, "Guinea-Bissau—Climate and Atmosphere," www.earthtrends.wri.org (cited October 2007).

JUSTIN CORFIELD Geelong Grammar School, Australia

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