114,763 km²


9,598,787 (2012)


Due to its geographical position, Benin is part of the tropics. It is under the influence of the West African monsoon (south-west trade winds) and of north-east trade winds (Harmattan). The country has mainly a tropical continental climate, characterized by two seasons in the North (rainy and dry) and four seasons more or less marked in the South (two rainy and two dry).

Natural Resources:

In 2003, Benin had 10,150 water sources (all types, of which 90.6% operational). In the same year less than a third of households (31.3%) had access to drinking water. Across the country, firewood (80.3%) and charcoal (13.4%) are mainly used to meet the energy needs of the people. With regard to fisheries, a total of 46 fish families were identified across the two wetlands of southern Benin; the country hosts about 61% of the 106 species known throughout the African continent. Lagoon ecosystems in Benin attract special attention from the scientific community.


Agriculture and forestry are relatively well developed. In 1996, Benin approved a Declaration of Population Policy (DEPOLIPO) to improve the quality of life of its population. This led to a satisfactory situation in terms of food security, except for rice, which is grown in limited quantity.

Climate Vulnerabilities:

The sectors most affected by climate change are water resources, energy, coastal zones, health, agriculture and forestry. With the shortening of the rainy season, in some areas, there has been a visible expansion of the dry season and heavier rains. This has caused reduced agricultural yields and reduced turnover rate of the vegetation cover in some parts of the country. On the coast, the rising water, the ebb and the waves have damaged several villages, forcing people living in coastal areas to move away.



Trade winds: wind system, occupying most of the Tropics, which blows from the subtropical highs toward the equatorial trough; a major component of the general circulation of the atmosphere.

Harmattan: dry, dust-bearing wind from the northeast or east that blows in West Africa especially from late November until mid-March.