Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe

Victoria falls- Zimbabwe – les chutes Victoria © AFP-photo Alexander Joe

Zimbabwe, former British crown colony under apartheid when it was still part of former Rhodesia, is nearly 400 000km² wide. Counting 3066 km of borders, this country is isolated by highlands. Forests cover 45% of the territory. The northwest border with Zambia is determined by the Zambezi river and the lake Kariba, the second largest man-made lake, after lake Nasser. The Victoria Falls (AKA Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the Smoke that Thunders”) are the largest sheet of falling water of the world. Reserves of gold, platinum, nickel, copper, chromium and lithium are numerous and new diamond mines were discovered in 2006. Since 2003, it’s ongoing political turmoil lead to a considerable agricultural crisis.

Issues

Deforestation: 2 years from now, the Mukuvisi forest, close to Harare, could disappear. Soil erosion is aggravated by extended droughts since, with climate change, the area’s pluviometry is altered (shorter wet seasons).

Zambezi (basin area): based on a Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiative, a forum was created to promote a better management of the basin and a better protection of the wetlands for the 8 countries sharing it: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Conservation areas: National parks and safari zones cover nearly 13% of the territory, most notably: Hwange (southwest), one of the largest (14 620km²), Matopos (south) and Nyanga (northwest).

Wildlife conservation: Elephants would be over 100,000 individuals, which exceeds 3 times the conservation areas capacity. Since the eviction of farmers out of their lands and wildlife reserves, a great part of the wildlife is disappearing. Poaching threatens the black Rhinoceros, living in the Lowveld natural park, of extinction. Warthogs, impalas, greater kudus and gnus are also endangered.

Players

The National Association of Non Gouvernemental Organisations (NANGO) is coordinating the nearly thousand of NGOs active in Zimbabwe. This non-profit association makes easier the harmonization and synchronization with each other.

Zimconservation is listing all environmental changes since year 2000, so that authorities and funding organizations can act accordingly.

Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe spreads knowledge on conservation and environmental issues to schools and local communities.

Actions taken by the WWF in Zimbabwe aims to protect Miombo Woodlands area and particularily to bring awareness against poaching and traffic of rhinoceros and elephant horns.

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Assocition NGO is devoted to fair and sustainable use of natural resources from a legal point of view.

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