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AFRICA ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES

Major Environmental Concerns  More

[ Land | Forest | Biodiversity | Water | Marine & Coastal Environments | Urban & Industrial Environments ]

 

Underlying Causes More

[ Social | Economic | Institutional | Environmental ]

 

Some underlying natural environmental factors in Africa reinforce the effects of the human-driven causes of environmental degradation. One major factor that affects the continent is the climate, which is generally dry with frequent severe droughts and highly variable rainfall. Droughts and the great unevenness in the distribution of natural resources (such as water and vegetation) are the predominant impediments to development and are intrinsic to environmental degradation. It is clear that Africa is endowed with diverse and rich natural resources; the greatest 3..0roblem lies in the imbalance in the use of these resources as a result of a combination of factors discussed already. These include a lack of investment capital, inappropriate technologies, and poor management.

Little can be done about the natural climate variability save discovering, teaching, instilling, and encouraging behavioural changes to adapt to prevailing conditions. Global climate change could disrupt the weather patterns and contribute to the worsening of the natural climatic conditions. The potential impact of climate change is a concern in Africa .

The poor quality of soils is another constraining environmental factor. In addition to the climatic conditions, phosphorus deficiency, low content of organic matter, and low water infiltration and retention capacity on much of the African soils have been a limiting factor in agriculture. Unlike climate variability, however, this problem can be addressed: soil quality can be augmented through considerable investment in careful management and importation of nutrients.

Natural disasters other than droughts that have negative impacts on the environment and the sustainability of economic growth include invasion by desert locusts, storms, and floods. Although the need is global, in Africa there is a particular sense of urgency about understanding the causal links and the relationships between the various driving forces behind environmental problems in order to help formulate policies that will work.

United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Environment Programme

 

 

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