South of Saudi Arabia, bordering Arabian Sea, includes the island of Socotra


National websites

Ministry of Information

Embassy / Chancery in U.S.

Suite 705, 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

Agencies responsible for biological inventory and conservation

Environment Protection Board
P.O. Box 19719
Sana'a, Republic of Yemen
Tel: (9671) 264-072
Fax: (9671) 264-350


Non-governmental organizations concerned with conservation


Socotra Biodiversity Project


The Arab Environment and Development Media Forum


UNOPS helped establish the first permanent marine science center on the Yemeni coast of the Red Sea


Netherlands Climate Change Studies Assistance Programme - Yemen (studies Climate Change)



Major Natural Resources

Some of Yemenfs greatest natural resources are petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble, small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper.  Also, the soil in West Yemen is very fertile. The array of plants and animals in Yemen is greater than in any other part of the Arabian peninsula.  Yemen is described as having a gmixture of African and Arabian wildlife in one countryh (Wild Life in Yemen).  Yemen, especially the island of Socotra, houses a wide variety of endemic plants that can be used for medicinal purposes (see Health Page - Issue 21 - Yemen Times).  For example, the Dragonfs Blood Tree on Soqotra island can be used for colic treatment and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. 

See also:

Yemen : Biological diversity assessment of the Republic of Yemen



Major Environmental and Conservation Issues

There is a serious shortage of water in Yemen: there are very limited natural fresh water resources and inadequate supplies of potable water.  Other environmental issues in Yemen include overgrazing, soil erosion, and desertification.  The biodiversity of Yemen is being drastically reduced due to unchecked cutting of trees and forests for firewood, major declines in water tables, and massive erosion of the highland terrace ecosystems. Infrastructure development, especially rural roads and coastal construction, is also degrading the environment. (see Environmental Profile of YEMEN).  Another problem in Yemen is Pollution due to carbon dioxide emissions, pesticides and non-biodegradable plastic products (25,842 tons in plastic products were produced in Yemen from 1992 to 1996).  A problem of international and economic importance is the use of Rhino horns for production of dagger handles and ornamental use in Yemen.  It is feared that as Yemen grows economically, this problem will become worse, as more people will be able to adorn their clothing with rhinoceros horns.

*See Health Section of Yemen Times Online for most recent articles on environmental issues in Yemen.


Information Sources

Land area

527,970 km


Area of forest


Query World Resources 1996-97 Data has numbers from 1990

Additional Link:

Forests in Yemen?!


Area of wetlands



Area of territorial waters

0 km





Population Density

~29 persons/Sq. km)


Area protected (ha) (only areas >1000ha) at all IUCN levels

 There are NO protected areas in Yemen!

 Click on these links and search for Yemen:

World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Protected Areas Information Service


UN 1997 list

Fraction of land area protected (%)



Major Protected Areas


 Yemen's environment

Endemic Species
















Birds of Yemen, by Richard Porter


Wildlife in Socotra


Query World Resources 1996-97 Data Choose Globally Threatened Species, search all types, Yemen, and check gEndemic speciesh


Wildlife Conservation in Eastern Yemen


Endangered, Threatened and Vulnerable Species















Complete Plant Listing

World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Animal 

World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Plants

Extinct Species















Complete Plant Listing

World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Animal

World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Plants

Species listed on CITES Appendix I

15 species

CITES-listed Species Database

Species listed on CITES Appendix II

 70 species

CITES-listed Species Database


Laws protecting endangered or threatened species

Attempts to ban rhinoceros horn trade include ga 1982 ban on the import of rhinoceros horn; a 1987 prohibition on the re-export of rhinoceros horn; and a 1992 decree banning domestic trade in raw rhinoceros horn, making it compulsory to register horn stocks and ordering inspections of rhinoceros horn stocks. In addition in 1987, every craftsman had to sign an agreement not to use rhinoceros horn.h  (The Rhinoceros Horn Trade in Yemen)

Laws protecting endangered ecosystems


Citizens of Yemen vow to plant more trees; Gov't promises to manage resources more effectively

Signatory to CITES

Accession in 1997

Signatory to Ramsar Wetlands Convention

Not a party to the Ramsar Convention (see Ramsar Contracting Parties)

Signatory to Convention on Biological Diversity 


Signatory to Migratory Bird Treaty


Member of International Whaling Commission

Not a member: International Whaling Commission

Signatory to other international treaties designed to protect or manage biological resources

Multilateral Treaties Status Matrix for Yemen

Natural Resource Use

Information Sources


Exported 9495 tons of fish-wealth exports, bringing $20,120,774 in revenues.

 Data on Fisheries in Yemen—includes a table on types of fishery exports in 1996


League of Arab States







Trade in wildlife products

Saudia Arabia just recently lifted a ban on the imports of livestock from Yemen


Click on link for more information about Rhinoceros Horn Trade.

 BBC News | Middle East | Saudi Arabia lifts livestock ban 


The Rhinoceros Horn Trade in Yemen


Black Rhino and Trade




Other uses of natural resources



Human Impacts on Natural Resources

Information Sources

Air pollution



Water pollution

 Click on link to the right for more information on Water Resources Management

 Water resources in Yemen

Development activities



Introduced species


 Database on Introductions of Aquatic Species - Search Form (search for gIntroduced to eYemenfh)

Legislation addressing these issues



Restoration and Reintroduction

Information Sources

Programs for restoration of damaged habitat 



Programs for ex situ conservation (captive breeding and reintroduction) of endangered species



Return to Endangered Species Protection around the World

Page compiled by Sana Ahmedani as a part of a class project in h90 "The Science of Biodiversity and Conservation" (Peter J. Bryant, Instructor), University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA