At just over 36,000 sq km in area, Guinea-Bissau is one of the smallest West African countries. Most of its generally flat terrain averages just 20 to 30 m above sea level, with low-lying plateaus in the east rising to 150 m. Guinea Bissau has an intricate shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean, with numerous estuaries that penetrate inland. Coastal valleys flood regularly, making them conducive to rice cultivation. Half of the population of this former Portuguese colony is found in the coastal zone and has been living for centuries in a tight relationship with the mangrove ecosystem and its rich fisheries. Not far offshore, the Bijagos Archipelago, which includes 18 islands and numerous islets, is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful island groups. Listed in 1966 by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, the Bijagos Archipelago provides a refuge for abundant marine flora and fauna, including sea turtles and sea hippopotamuses. Some of the islands are also protected as a National Park and as a Community Marine Protected Area. The Bijagos Archipelago is economically important for tourism, fishing, and exploitation of native palm trees. Guinea-Bissau’s economy also depends on farming and agro-pastoral activities, as well as on logging for timber. The country ranks fourth in Africa for cashew nut production, with exports from cashews accounting for 60 percent of the national income (FAOstat, 2015).