July 31, 2015 23:28 UTC

Home

ENVIRONMENT REPORT - August 16, 2002: UN Report on Africa - 2002-08-15

Broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English ENVIRONMENT REPORT.

A report by the United Nations Environment Program says Africa faces severe environmental problems unless urgent action is taken. It says Africa faces increases in air and water pollution, land destruction, water shortages and wildlife losses.

The report involved hundreds of experts. The U-N Environment Program says it is the most complete study of Africa’s environment ever produced.

During the past thirty years, many things have harmed Africa’s environment. They include growing populations, wars, rising national debt, natural disasters and disease. Experts say there will be many new threats during the next thirty years. They include climate change, the spread of non-native plants and animals, uncontrolled expansion of cities and pollution from cars and industry.

Africa’s people and economies depend on agriculture. Records show that yearly rainfall has been decreasing since nineteen-sixty-eight. Experts say this may be a result of the warming climate caused by man-made carbon-dioxide gas in the atmosphere. They say Africa could suffer greatly from the effects of global warming because of its dependence on agriculture.

Experts also say natural disasters in Africa have become more common and more severe. A lack of rain in some areas and floods in other areas are harming the land and have led to the displacement of people and wildlife.

Air pollution from industries and from old cars is another serious problem. The continent’s wildlife is threatened by the destruction of forests, hunting, the presence of non-native species, and a lack of enforcement of protection laws.

Many African countries are beginning to deal with some of these environmental problems. But experts say more efforts are needed by African countries and other countries. They say more could be done to reduce Africa’s debt, increase aid and help give local communities more power. They say countries need to help enforce environmental agreements, produce clean technologies and open international markets to African goods and services.

The head of the U-N Environmental Program says the report will be important for nations meeting at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. That meeting opens at the end of this month in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This VOA Special English ENVIRONMENT REPORT was written by Cynthia Kirk.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • Audio China’s Stock Market Hit with Turmoil in July

    After a year of increases, stock prices in China had a correction, a sudden drop in price. The Chinese government has put in place a number of measures to support prices including lending money for stock purchases. But some question how much the stock market will affect the economy. More

  • A health worker prepares to inject a man with an Ebola vaccine in Conakry, Guinea, March 7, 2015.

    Audio ‘Highly Effective’ Ebola Vaccine Developed in Guinea

    Researchers say they have developed a vaccine that highly effective at preventing the disease Ebola. The World Health Organization says the vaccine has so far been 100 percent effective in tests in Guinea. Norway’s foreign minister called it “the silver bullet." More

  • Audio In Africa, Obama Praises Progress, Calls for Change

    During his visit to Kenya and Ethiopia, the first African-American president said “the world must recognize Africa’s extraordinary progress.” But he also called for a change in the continent’s cultures of corruption and discrimination. More

  • Audio China Holding Military Exercises in South China Sea

    China’s state media say the exercises took place Tuesday and more are to begin Saturday. Some U.S. and international security experts think China may be preparing to establish an air defense identification area in the South China Sea. | As It Is More

  • Video Wreckage Could Be From Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

    An airplane part about two meters long was on Reunion Island, 3,500 kilometers from where the flight was last heard from. Now, investigators are trying to find out if it really is part of the plane that went missing in March 2014. The piece is about two meters long. It appears to be a flaperon. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Study Shows How Poverty Could Limit Learning

    Studies have shown that children from poor families have more difficulty in school than other boys and girls. Children with higher socioeconomic roots seem better prepared and perform better on school tests. Now, American researchers may have found a biological reason for that difference. More

  • Audio Study: Smoking May Increase Risk of Schizophrenia

    Researchers reviewed 61 studies from around the world; they discovered cigarette smoking is three times more common among those with schizophrenia who were receiving medical care for the illness for the first time compared to people who did not have the mental disorder. More

  • Audio Folk to Rock: When Dylan Went Electric

    Fifty years ago, folk music legend Bob Dylan rocked out at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island on an electric guitar. He was widely booed. The audience may have been unhappy with Dylan’s performance that day, but it changed the direction of music and culture in the United States. More

  • Audio Why Do Mosquitoes Choose to Bite You?

    Mosquitoes need blood to survive and their favorite target is humans. They are completely driven by smell. How do they find their victims and why do they prefer some people more than others? New research now shows how mosquitoes choose who to bite. More

  • 'You're Giving Me the Creeps!'

    "You're giving me the ...!" The jitters, the creeps, the willies, the heebie-jeebies, goose bumps, butterflies, and a heart attack ... you can give all these things to other people. Are they good or bad? Read on to find out! More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs