Environmental situation Climate change and forest loss
Zambia's biological diversity is unique and is in urgent need of protection. Although the legal framework for environmental protection measures is in place, efforts to implement such measures still fail all too often due to a lack of political will and environmental awareness and because the relevant institutions are underfunded and lack capacity.
Flora and fauna under threat
The dramatic level of largely uncontrolled commercial logging in Zambian forests is alarming. Large sections of the population are also contributing to deforestation, as wood and charcoal are the sole source of energy for most. Zambia now has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. The spoil heaps from copper mining and the inappropriate management of toxic mining by-products are additional sources of environmental pollution, affecting rivers and groundwater in particular.
Zambia's large elephant population is under serious threat from poaching. The rhinoceros population has been wiped out once already and efforts to reintroduce the species in the country have only begun in recent years. The government's announcement in the summer of 2018 that it would permit hunting of hippopotamuses attracted international criticism.