In common with many African countries, Eritrea has a number of environmental and conservation issues; most of the original forest cover has been removed perhaps from 30% of the land area to 1% during the last century; areas of permanent water are often dammed for cattle or domestic purposes; there is a lack of information about the natural resources of the country and a lack of trained staff.
With proposals for new National Parks and Biodiversity Conservation areas, Eritrea is in the process of developing an entirely new conservation infrastructure and system of protected areas independent of that inherited from Ethiopia. Progress is slow however and many other activities continue to take priority over conservation.
Eritrea has ratified a number of international agreements including the Convention on Biological Diversity; CITES; the Convention on Climate Change and the Convention to Combat Desertification.
The African Bird Club made a conservation award in 2003 for the study of Black-crowned Crane Balearica pavonina in Eritrea and to prepare inventories for several Eritrean IBAs.