The UN Environment Programme released a 400-page “Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment” yesterday. The document contains 300 satellite images taken in over 100 locations that compare before and after photographs that span a 35-year period.
Striking environmental changes depicted in these images include:
- The shrinking of Lake Chad and Lake Victoria
- Disappearing glaciers in Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains
- Widening corridors of deforestation after new roads were introduced in northern Democratic Republic of Congo
- The loss of trees and shrubs in the arid foothills of western Sudan
The Atlas also shows some very positive results from land-use management:
- Action on overgrazing in the Sidi Toui National Park, southeastern Tunisia has produced a dramatic rebound in the natural ecosystem.
- A new management plan for the Itezhi-tezhi dam in Zambia has helped to restore the natural seasonal flooding of the Kafue flats
- New policies and improved enforcement have significantly reduced unsustainable exploitation of the forests of Mount Kenya
- A review of forest concessions in Liberia has helped protect the forest in Sapo National Park from logging