the following fyi....very scary...
Johannesburg/Nairobi/London, 10 June 2008 - Africa's rapidly changing environmental landscape, from the disappearance of glaciers in Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains to the loss of Cape Town's unique 'fynbos' vegetation, is presented today to the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).
The Atlas, compiled on behalf of the ministers by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), underlines how development choices, population growth, climate change and, in some cases, conflicts are shaping and impacting the natural and nature-based assets of the region.
The nearly 400-page long publication was launched today by President Thabo Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa who is hosting the AMCEN meeting in Johannesburg.
Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment features over 300 satellite images taken in every country in Africa in over 100 locations. The 'before' and 'after' photographs, some of which span a 35-year period, offer striking snapshots of local environmental transformation across the continent.
In addition to well-publicized changes, such as Mount Kilimanjaro's shrinking glaciers, the drying up of Lake Chad and falling water levels in Lake Victoria, the Atlas presents, for the first time, satellite images of new or lesser known environmental changes and challenges including:
* Disappearing glaciers in Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains, which decreased by 50 per cent between 1987 and 2003.
* The widening corridors of deforestation that have accompanied expanding roads in the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1975. New roads threaten to bring even greater traffic to this biologically rich rainforest and further fuel the bushmeat trade.
* The disappearance of a large portion of Madagascar's South Malagasy spiny forest between 1973 and 2003 as a result of farming and fuelwood gathering.
* The northern edge of Cape Town, which has seen much of its native 'fynbos' vegetation replaced with farms and suburban development since 1978. 'Fynbos' make up 80 per cent of the plant varieties in the Cape Floristic Region, an area with over 6,000 plant species which are found nowhere else in the world and are an economic asset for tourism.
* The loss of trees and shrubs in the fragile environment of the Jebel Marra foothills in western Sudan as a result of population growth due in part to an influx of refugees fleeing drought and conflict in neighbouring Northern Darfur.
* The dramatic expansion of Senegalese capital Dakar over the past half century from a small urban centre at the tip of the Cap Vert Peninsula to a metropolitan area with 2.5 million people spread over the entire peninsula.
on the web: Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment
Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment
anything we can/will do????
food for thoughts..