The Zambezi River Basin Atlas of the Changing Environment is a basin collaborative initiative with the objective of providing scientific evidence about changes that are taking place in the natural resources and the environment. The Atlas, with climate change as its running theme, is for use by policy makers and other stakeholders, and the general public, to generate action towards climate resilience through adaptation and mitigation of the impacts of climate change.
The Atlas discusses the impacts that these changes are having on the basin’s people and resources, thus contributing to the documentation and study of the relationship between human populations and the environment.
The Zambezi River Basin represents the best of what southern Africa has in terms of shared natural capital. The river and its dense network of tributaries and associated ecosystems constitute one of southern Africa’s most important natural resources. Within the Basin’s large expanse, there are a number of natural resources ranging from water, land and soils, and minerals, to forests and wildlife. The natural capital in the basin defines the economic activities that range from agriculture and forestry, manufacturing and mining, to conservation and tourism, as well as scientific monitoring and research.
The Zambezi River Basin Atlas of the Changing Environment contains five chapters. The chapters make use of satellite images, maps, tables, graphs, photographs and illustrative text to present the key issues in the Basin.
The video below highlights changes in the basin, including deforestation and land degradation. The changes are driven by a growing population, as well as economic growth and poor environmental management practices.