A fast-growing population, poverty among rural communities and the pressure for development in southern and central Africa countries means that the resources of the Zambezi River basin are vulnerable.
Development needs often prioritize high-impact agriculture, mining, energy generation and water extraction over the low-impact retention of wild lands for tourism, hunting or conservation.
Poverty forces people into illegal hunting (poaching) of important Zambezi species like the black rhino, buffalo and elephant or unsustainable harvesting of forests and fish.
Increasing levels of corruption at all levels of government make matters worse, as sensible planning recommendations and legislation are ignored and short-term gain pursued at the expense of the environment and people’s livelihoods.
Current development issues of concern to the Zambezi Society include:
- Proposed sand mining in the Ruckomechi River, Mana Pools National Park and other river tributaries of the Zambezi
- High impact mining in the Great Dyke area adjacent to the Mavuradonha Wilderness Area, Guruve District, Northern Zimbabwe
- Resurgence of the proposal to construct a hydro-electric dam across the Batoka Gorge downstream from Victoria Falls
- Increased levels of sophisticated, commercial-scale, organised, poaching in National Parks and Safari Areas in Northern Zimbabwe