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Diamonds in a tree-house

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Gabon presents itself to EXPO visitors from a "Mbandja", a large tree house. The Banja is built from the bark of the Okumé and is the focus of village community life in Gabon. Because of its origin, this tropical deciduous tree is also called the Gabon tree. Hamburg merchants introduced the timber of the Okumé to Europe around 100 years ago. Today, along with crude oil, tropical wood is Gabon's most important export commodity. The people of Gabon are concerned with sustaining their forests. Each year, less than one percent of the 23 million hectares of tropical forest is harvested. In many cases, as little as two valuable trees are chopped down per hectare. The forest closes the ensuing gaps. Because of this, more than two thirds of the West African country are still covered in forest.

Gabon demonstrates this form of sustainable forestry management within the scope of its exhibition at the EXPO. Visitors may also see a film showing how diamonds are mined in Gabon.

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 Nation: Gabon
 National Day: 21.09.00
Synopsis of Participants