UNEP publishes Africa's environmental Atlas

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- 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 now in documentary form, thanks to a newly published Atlas, courtesy of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
The nearly 400-page long publication also underlines how development choices, po pulation growth, climate change and, in some cases, conflicts are shaping and im p acting the natural and nature-based assets of the region.
Titled 'Atlas of Our Changing Environment' , it features over 300 satellite imag es 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-publicised changes such as Mount Kilimanjaro's shrinking gla ciers, 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 envi r onmental changes and challenges.
The images portray the widening corridors of deforestation that have accompanied expanding roads in the northern DR Congo, the disappearance of a large portion o f Madagascar's South Malagasy spiny forest, and the loss of trees and shrubs in t he fragile environment of the Jebel Marra foothills in western Sudan.
The Atlas, compiled in cooperation with researchers and organisations in Africa and elsewhere, offers a sobering assessment of 36 years of environmental change.
The satellite images also highlight positive signs of management that is protect ing against and even reversing environmental degradation, say the authors.

16 june 2008 14:37:00




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