An overview of environmental issues in Southern Africa


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This paper provides an overview of some of the significant environmental problems in the Southern African region. The key problems highlighted are global warming and climate variability, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, desertification-land degradation, waste and littering, population growth, urbanization, pollution, poverty and health hazards. These problems present a challenge to governments and other players within and outside Southern Africa to seek for long-term solutions by addressing the root causes of these problems. The paper notes that although the environmental problems facing the Southern African region are being tackled at national, regional and international levels, there is more that can be done. At the national level, the different agencies and players, both within and outside government need to strengthen coordination and implementation of key interventions in different sectors in both rural and urban areas. At the African regional and international levels, there is a need to address geopolitical forces and issues that contribute to the underdevelopment of the African region. Among the major issues are poor terms of international trade, political instability, poverty, declining economic performance and international debt.