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Sao Tome and Principe

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Environment
The largest environmental concerns facing Sao Tome and Principe are land and water pollution.1 The lack of access to water sanitation facilities and the general lack of water treatment centers contribute to this problem significantly. The rate of access to sanitation facilities overall is only 35%, with the average access rate in rural areas as low as 23.3%. Soil degradation and overexploitation have also been noted as environmental concerns in Sao Tome and Principe, which comes as little surprise due to the nation’s heavy reliance on cocoa exports. The country struggles with the negative effects of coastal erosion and flooding as results of climate change.2

Show References
1 http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Africa/S-o-Tom-and-Pr-ncipe-ENVIRONMENT.html#b
2 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tp.html
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Geography

Central Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea, just north of the Equator, west of Gabon
Area

Total 964 sq km
Land 964 sq km
Water 0 sq km

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; one rainy season (October to May)
Natural Resources

fish, hydropower ;
Natural Hazards

NA
Current Environmental Issues

deforestation; soil erosion and exhaustion

Demographics

Nationality
Sao Tomean
Population
186,817 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Finances

This small, poor island economy has become increasingly dependent on cocoa since independence in 1975. Cocoa production has substantially declined in recent years because of drought and mismanagement. Sao Tome and Principe has to import fuels, most manufactured goods, consumer goods, and a substantial amount of food, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in global commodity prices. Over the years, it has had difficulty servicing its external debt and has relied heavily on concessional aid and debt rescheduling. Sao Tome and Principe benefited from $200 million in debt relief in December 2000 under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program, which ...See More helped bring down the country's $300 million debt burden. In August 2005, the government signed on to a new 3-year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) program worth $4.3 million. In April 2011 the country completed a Threshold Country Program with The Millennium Challenge Corporation to help increase tax revenues, reform customs, and improve the business environment. Considerable potential exists for development of a tourist industry, and the government has taken steps to expand facilities in recent years. The government also has attempted to reduce price controls and subsidies. Potential exists for the development of petroleum resources in Sao Tome and Principe's territorial waters in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, which are being jointly developed in a 60-40 split with Nigeria, but any actual production is at least several years off. The first production licenses were sold in 2004, though a dispute over licensing with Nigeria delayed the country''s receipt of more than $20 million in signing bonuses for almost a year. Maintaining control of inflation, fiscal discipline, and increasing flows of foreign direct investment into the oil sector are the major economic problems facing the country. Show Less ;
GDP Purchasing Power Parity

$408.6 million (2012 est.); $392.1 million (2011 est.); $374.1 million (2010 est.)
Gross National Saving

20.4% of GDP (2012 est.); 15.2% of GDP (2011 est.); -12.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
Agriculture Products

cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish
Industries

light construction, textiles, soap, beer, fish processing, timber