January 31, 2015 07:03 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

  • Patriots Football

    Audio The Epidemic of Cheating in Sports

    Throughout time, cheating in sports has caused debate and dispute. Athletes often do whatever it takes to win in competition. Some take drugs that are meant to improve their performance, such as steroids. These might make them run faster or hit a baseball harder. More

  • freedom house vid

    Video Freedom House: Democratic Ideals Threatened Around the World

    The rights group Freedom House has reported a general decline in political and civil rights around the world last year. The group said its measure of international freedom has dropped in each of the past nine years. It added that democratic ideals are now under the greatest threat in 25 years More

  • Dagmar Lieblova

    Video Woman Survives Nazi Death Camp by Mistake

    Dagmar Lieblova was 14 years old when she arrived at the Auschwitz death camp in 1943. Everyone in her family was with her. All of them but Dagmar were to die at Auschwitz. But she was able to leave the camp after several months because of a mistake. That mistake saved her life. More

  • People from the al-Kaseasbeh tribe and other tribes take part in a demonstration outside of Jordan's cabinet in Amman calling for the release of Jordanian pilot Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, who is held by Islamic State group militants, Jan. 27, 2015.

    Audio Deadline Passes in Jordan-Islamic State Prisoner Exchange Deal

    Jordan wants proof that pilot is still alive. Also in the news, a gas explosion near a maternity hospital in Mexico kills at least seven; Benjamin Netanyahu blames Iran for fighting along Israel-Lebanon border; and the World Health Organization's focus on fighting Ebola shifts to ending outbreak. More

  • Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

    Can animals be artistic? Some experts think so. Painting and music are part of efforts to keep animals happy at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Zookeepers there believe that animals need enrichment just like people do. Their unique pieces of art are popular items. More

Featured Stories

  • AFC Championship Football

    Superbowl Sunday: The Patriots, the Seahawks and Katy Perry, Too

    The National Football League championship game is hugely popular with sports fans and television advertisers. Tens of millions of people watch the game for the competitive play and for the funny commercials broadcast throughout. Many also enjoy the halftime show. This year Katy Perry will entertain. More

  • NYC subway art

    Video New York's 'Underground Museum' Pleases Passersby

    For the past thirty years, artists have been asked to create works of art for New York’s huge subway and train system. The works often relate to city life or to the neighborhood of a station. Some people call it New York’s “underground art museum," with over 250 pieces of original artwork. More

  • agridrone

    Video French Farmers Are Using Drones to Examine Their Crops

    It used to be mostly the military that used small, unpiloted aircraft, called “drones.” The little planes were very costly. But as they have dropped in price more people have begun to use them. Rescue workers and farmers are among the new users. The drones save money and time. More

  • Video Is There a Better Way to Track Passenger Planes?

    New technology could help to more closely follow passenger airplanes, and find them when they crash; international group to meet next month to discuss changes. Airline industry leaders and regulators want to improve airplane safety. They want better, more dependable tracking devices. More

  • Obama

    Audio Has Obama Set the Message for the 2016 Campaign?

    “I have no more campaigns to run … I know because I won both of them.” Mr. Obama cannot run for president again – U.S. presidents may serve only two terms. But some observers say his most recent State of the Union message on the middle class sounded like a campaign speech. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs