Mafinga Central is the highest point in the Mafinga Hills on the border of Zambia and Malawi. At 2,339-metre it is to be the highest mountain in Zambia, it is most accessed from the town of Chisenga in Malawi. The peak was climbed in 2014 by an international team from the United Kingdom and Lithuania, who measured it to be higher than 2,337-metre Mafinga South, another peak on the watershed close by. A more accurate survey is needed to establish for certain. Both peaks are found on the Mafinga Ridge, an area composed of quartzites and feldspathic sandstones of sedimentary origin; the Luangwa River, one of Zambia's major river systems, rises in the Mafinga Hills on the western side of the ridge
Mozambique the Republic of Mozambique, is a country located in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, Eswatini and South Africa to the southwest. The sovereign state is separated from the Comoros and Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east; the capital of Mozambique is Maputo. Between the first and fifth centuries AD, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to present-day Mozambique from farther north and west. Northern Mozambique lies within the monsoon trade winds of the Indian Ocean. Between the 7th and 11th centuries, a series of Swahili port towns developed here, which contributed to the development of a distinct Swahili culture and language. In the late medieval period, these towns were frequented by traders from Somalia, Egypt, Arabia and India; the voyage of Vasco da Gama in 1498 marked the arrival of the Portuguese, who began a gradual process of colonisation and settlement in 1505. After over four centuries of Portuguese rule, Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter.
After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. In 1994, Mozambique held its first multiparty elections, has since remained a stable presidential republic, although it still faces a low-intensity insurgency. Mozambique is endowed with extensive natural resources; the country's economy is based on agriculture, but industry is growing food and beverages, chemical manufacturing and aluminium and petroleum production. The tourism sector is expanding. South Africa is Mozambique's main trading partner and source of foreign direct investment, while Belgium, Brazil and Spain are among the country's most important economic partners. Since 2001, Mozambique's annual average GDP growth has been among the world's highest. However, the country is still one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world, ranking low in GDP per capita, human development, measures of inequality and average life expectancy; the only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, spoken as a second language by about half the population.
Common native languages include Makhuwa and Swahili. The country's population of around 29 million is composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people; the largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Mozambique is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Southern African Development Community, is an observer at La Francophonie; the country was named Moçambique by the Portuguese after the Island of Mozambique, derived from Mussa Bin Bique or Musa Al Big or Mossa Al Bique or Mussa Ben Mbiki or Mussa Ibn Malik, an Arab trader who first visited the island and lived there. The island-town was the capital of the Portuguese colony until 1898, when it was moved south to Lourenço Marques. Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking people migrated from the west and north through the Zambezi River valley and gradually into the plateau and coastal areas.
They established agricultural societies based on herding cattle. They brought with them the technology for smithing iron. From the late first millennium AD, vast Indian Ocean trade networks extended as far south into Mozambique as evidenced by the ancient port town of Chibuene. Beginning in the 9th century, a growing involvement in Indian Ocean trade led to the development of numerous port towns along the entire East African coast, including modern day Mozambique. Autonomous, these towns broadly participated in the incipient Swahili culture. Islam was adopted by urban elites, facilitating trade. In Mozambique, Sofala and Mozambique Island were regional powers by the 15th century; the towns traded with merchants from both the broader Indian Ocean world. Important were the gold and ivory caravan routes. Inland states like the Kingdom of Zimbabwe and Kingdom of Mutapa provided the coveted gold and ivory, which were exchanged up the coast to larger port cities like Kilwa and Mombasa. From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts displaced the Arabic commercial and military hegemony, becoming regular ports of call on the new European sea route to the east.
The voyage of Vasco da Gama around the Cape of Good Hope in 1498 marked the Portuguese entry into trade and society of the region. The Portuguese gained control of the Island of Mozambique and the port city of Sofala in the early 16th century, by the 1530s, small groups of Portuguese traders and prospectors seeking gold penetrated the interior regions, where they set up garrisons and trading posts at Sena and Tete on the River Zambezi and tried to gain exclusive control over the gold trade. In the central part of the Mozambique territory, the Portuguese attempted to legitimise and consolidate their trade and settlement positions through the creation of prazos tied to their settlement and administration. While prazos were developed to be held by Portuguese, through intermarriage they became African Portuguese or African Indian centres defended by large African sl
Air pollution occurs when harmful or excessive quantities of substances including gases and biological molecules are introduced into Earth's atmosphere. It may cause diseases and death to humans. Both human activity and natural processes can generate air pollution. Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008 Blacksmith Institute World's Worst Polluted Places report. According to the 2014 World Health Organization report, air pollution in 2012 caused the deaths of around 7 million people worldwide, an estimate echoed by one from the International Energy Agency. An air pollutant is a material in the air that can have adverse effects on the ecosystem; the substance can be liquid droplets, or gases. A pollutant can be of man-made. Pollutants are classified as secondary. Primary pollutants are produced by processes such as ash from a volcanic eruption. Other examples include carbon monoxide gas from motor vehicle exhausts or sulphur dioxide released from the factories.
Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants interact. Ground level ozone is a prominent example of secondary pollutants; some pollutants may be both primary and secondary: they are both emitted directly and formed from other primary pollutants. Substances emitted into the atmosphere by human activity include: Carbon dioxide – Because of its role as a greenhouse gas it has been described as "the leading pollutant" and "the worst climate pollution". Carbon dioxide is a natural component of the atmosphere, essential for plant life and given off by the human respiratory system; this question of terminology has practical effects, for example as determining whether the U. S. Clean Air Act is deemed to regulate CO2 emissions. CO2 forms about 410 parts per million of earth's atmosphere, compared to about 280 ppm in pre-industrial times, billions of metric tons of CO2 are emitted annually by burning of fossil fuels. CO2 increase in earth's atmosphere has been accelerating.
Sulfur oxides – sulphur dioxide, a chemical compound with the formula SO2. SO2 is produced in various industrial processes. Coal and petroleum contain sulphur compounds, their combustion generates sulphur dioxide. Further oxidation of SO2 in the presence of a catalyst such as NO2, forms H2SO4, thus acid rain; this is one of the causes for concern over the environmental impact of the use of these fuels as power sources. Nitrogen oxides – Nitrogen oxides nitrogen dioxide, are expelled from high temperature combustion, are produced during thunderstorms by electric discharge, they can be seen as a plume downwind of cities. Nitrogen dioxide is a chemical compound with the formula NO2, it is one of several nitrogen oxides. One of the most prominent air pollutants, this reddish-brown toxic gas has a characteristic sharp, biting odor. Carbon monoxide – CO is a colorless, toxic yet non-irritating gas, it is a product of combustion of fuel such as natural coal or wood. Vehicular exhaust contributes to the majority of carbon monoxide let into our atmosphere.
It creates a smog type formation in the air, linked to many lung diseases and disruptions to the natural environment and animals. In 2013, more than half of the carbon monoxide emitted into our atmosphere was from vehicle traffic and burning one gallon of gas will emit over 20 pounds of carbon monoxide into the air. Volatile organic compounds – VOCs are a well-known outdoor air pollutant, they are categorized as either non-methane. Methane is an efficient greenhouse gas which contributes to enhanced global warming. Other hydrocarbon VOCs are significant greenhouse gases because of their role in creating ozone and prolonging the life of methane in the atmosphere; this effect varies depending on local air quality. The aromatic NMVOCs benzene and xylene are suspected carcinogens and may lead to leukemia with prolonged exposure. 1,3-butadiene is another dangerous compound associated with industrial use. Particulate matter / particles, alternatively referred to as particulate matter, atmospheric particulate matter, or fine particles, are tiny particles of solid or liquid suspended in a gas.
In contrast, aerosol refers to gas. Some particulates occur originating from volcanoes, dust storms and grassland fires, living vegetation, sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes generate significant amounts of aerosols. Averaged worldwide, anthropogenic aerosols—those made by human activities—currently account for 10 percent of our atmosphere. Increased levels of fine particles in the air are linked to health hazards such as heart disease, altered lung function and lung cancer. Particulates are related to respiratory infections and can be harmful to those suffering from conditions like asthma. Persistent free radicals connected to airborne fine particles are linked to cardiopulmonary disease. Toxic metals, such as lead and mercury their compounds. Chlorofluorocarbons – harmful to the ozone layer; these are gases which are released from air conditioners, aerosol sprays, etc. On release into the air, CFCs rise to the stratosphere.
Here they come in contact with other gases and
The Mafinga Hills are a plateau covered by hills, situated on the border between Zambia and Malawi, in Southern Africa. These hills are composed of quartzites and feldspathic sandstones of sedimentary origin; this plateau has the highest point in 2,339-metre Mafinga Central. It once formed a formidable barrier between the Northern and Eastern Provinces that few but the best 4-wheel drive vehicles dared to cross during the rainy season; the shortest road link between the two provinces is now eased by the rehabilitation of the Isoka-Muyombe Road, which traverses their lower slopes. As Muyombe is the district capital of the newly formed Mafinga District, any expedition to the Mafinga Hills would be wise to use Muyombe as a starting point. Besides going through Isoka, Muyombe can be accessed from the south via Chama, though this road passes through Western Malawi's Vwasa Wildlife Reserve, or from the East via the Malawian town of Bolero on route S104; as there are no fueling stations near Muyombe, except for in Lundazi, Nakonde, or Rhumpi, it is advisable that at least one vehicle's full tank of fuel be carried in jerrycans from one of these fueling stations into the Mafinga Hills.
Note that the roads into the Mafinga Hills are passable in the dry season in small vehicles, though needing high clearance and speeding along at 20-30 km/h, but impassable in the rainy season with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. To hike in the Mafinga Hills, it is appropriate to visit the local chief to inform him of the expedition's intentions and request a guide; this is important as there is no formal tourism company set up in the area to take hikers into the mountains and informing the chief of your plans can assist in ensuring safety and that you have received proper information. Without the tourism company, there are no formal guides but the local chief or other headmen could recommend hunters or farmers in the area you wish to explore who know the area well to go with you. Be prepared to offer a gift of food to the chief and to provide food and monetary compensation to any guide going with you. There are no designated trails in the hills; the terrain is rocky with tuffs of grass. There are no dangerous animals in the mountains, too cold for snakes to inhabit.
There are scattered springs in the mountains and the sources for a few different rivers meander through the valleys of the mountains that can be used as sources of water. The Luangwa River, the major river of eastern Zambia, has its source in the Mafinga Hills. Geography of Malawi Geography of Zambia List of countries by highest point Northern Province, Zambia Zambia High Point, Zambia/Malawi, Peakbagger.com
Namibia the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River separates the two countries. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence, its capital and largest city is Windhoek, it is a member state of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations. Namibia, the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, was inhabited since early times by the San and Nama peoples. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu peoples arrived as part of the Bantu expansion. Since the Bantu groups, the largest being the Ovambo, have dominated the population of the country. In 1878, the Cape of Good Hope a British colony, had annexed the port of Walvis Bay and the offshore Penguin Islands. In 1884 the German Empire established rule over most of the territory as a protectorate.
It began to develop infrastructure and farming and maintained this German colony until 1915, when South African forces defeated its military. In 1920, after the end of World War I, the League of Nations mandated the country to the United Kingdom, under administration by South Africa, it imposed its laws, including racial rules. From 1948, with the National Party elected to power, South Africa applied apartheid to what was known as South West Africa. In the 20th century and demands for political representation by native African political activists seeking independence resulted in the UN assuming direct responsibility over the territory in 1966, but South Africa maintained de facto rule. In 1973 the UN recognised the South West Africa People's Organisation as the official representative of the Namibian people. Following continued guerrilla warfare, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990. However, Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands remained under South African control until 1994.
Namibia has a population of a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding and the mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, gold and base metals – form the basis of its economy; the large, arid Namib Desert has resulted in Namibia being overall one of the least densely populated countries in the world. The name of the country is derived from the Namib Desert, considered to be the oldest desert in the world; the name Namib itself is of Nama origin and means "vast place". Before its independence in 1990, the area was known first as German South-West Africa as South-West Africa, reflecting the colonial occupation by the Germans and the South Africans; the dry lands of Namibia have been inhabited since early times by San and Nama. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu people began to arrive during the Bantu expansion from central Africa. From the late 18th century onward, Oorlam people from Cape Colony crossed the Orange River and moved into the area that today is southern Namibia.
Their encounters with the nomadic Nama tribes were peaceful. They received the missionaries accompanying the Oorlam well, granting them the right to use waterholes and grazing against an annual payment. On their way further north, the Oorlam encountered clans of the Herero at Windhoek and Okahandja, who resisted their encroachment; the Nama-Herero War broke out in 1880, with hostilities ebbing only after the German Empire deployed troops to the contested places and cemented the status quo among the Nama and Herero. The first Europeans to disembark and explore the region were the Portuguese navigators Diogo Cão in 1485 and Bartolomeu Dias in 1486, but the Portuguese did not try to claim the area. Like most of interior Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century. At that time traders and settlers came principally from Sweden. In the late 19th century, Dorsland Trekkers crossed the area on their way from the Transvaal to Angola; some of them settled in Namibia instead of continuing their journey.
Namibia became a German colony in 1884 under Otto von Bismarck to forestall perceived British encroachment and was known as German South West Africa. The Palgrave Commission by the British governor in Cape Town determined that only the natural deep-water harbor of Walvis Bay was worth occupying and thus annexed it to the Cape province of British South Africa. From 1904 to 1907, the Herero and the Namaqua took up arms against brutal German colonialism. In calculated punitive action by the German occupiers, government officials ordered extinction of the natives in the Herero and Namaqua genocide. In what has been called the "first genocide of the 20th century", the Germans systematically killed 10,000 Nama and 65,000 Herero; the survivors, when released from detention, were subjected to a policy of dispossession, forced labor, racial segregation, and
An endangered species is a species, categorized as likely to become extinct. Endangered, as categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, is the second most severe conservation status for wild populations in the IUCN's schema after Critically Endangered. In 2012, the IUCN Red List featured 3,079 animal and 2,655 plant species as endangered worldwide; the figures for 1998 were 1,102 and 1,197. Many nations have laws that protect conservation-reliant species: for example, forbidding hunting, restricting land development or creating preserves. Population numbers and species' conservation status can be found at the lists of organisms by population; the conservation status of a species indicates the likelihood. Many factors are considered; the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system. Over 50% of the world's species are estimated to be at risk of extinction. Internationally, 199 countries have signed an accord to create Biodiversity Action Plans that will protect endangered and other threatened species.
In the United States, such plans are called Species Recovery Plans. Though labelled a list, the IUCN Red List is a system of assessing the global conservation status of species that includes "Data Deficient" species – species for which more data and assessment is required before their status may be determined – as well species comprehensively assessed by the IUCN's species assessment process; those species of "Near Threatened" and "Least Concern" status have been assessed and found to have robust and healthy populations, though these may be in decline. Unlike their more general use elsewhere, the List uses the terms "endangered species" and "threatened species" with particular meanings: "Endangered" species lie between "Vulnerable" and "Critically Endangered" species, while "Threatened" species are those species determined to be Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered; the IUCN categories, with examples of animals classified by them, include: Extinct no remaining individuals of the species Extinct in the wild Captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population.
Critically endangered Faces an high risk of extinction in the immediate future. Endangered Faces a high risk of extinction in the near future. Vulnerable Faces a high risk of endangerment in the medium term. Near-threatened May be considered threatened in the near future. Least concern No immediate threat to species' survival. A) Reduction in population size based on any of the following: An observed, inferred or suspected population size reduction of ≥ 70% over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, where the causes of the reduction are reversible AND understood AND ceased, based on any of the following: direct observation an index of abundance appropriate for the taxon a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence or quality of habitat actual or potential levels of exploitation the effects of introduced taxa, pathogens, competitors or parasites. An observed, inferred or suspected population size reduction of ≥ 50% over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, where the reduction or its causes may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on any of to under A1.
A population size reduction of ≥ 50%, projected or suspected to be met within the next 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, based on any of to under A1. An observed, inferred, projected or suspected population size reduction of ≥ 50% over any 10 year or three generation period, whichever is longer, where the time period must include both the past and the future, where the reduction or its causes may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on any of to under A1. B) Geographic range in the form of either B1 OR B2 OR both: Extent of occurrence estimated to be less than 5,000 km², estimates indicating at least two of a-c: Severely fragmented or known to exist at no more than five locations. Continuing decline, observed or projected, in any of the following: extent of occurrence area of occupancy area, extent or quality of habitat number of locations or subpopulations number of mature individuals Extreme fluctuations in any of the following: extent of occurrence area of occupancy number of locations or subpopulations number of mature individuals Area of occupancy estimated to be less than 500 km², estimates indicating at least two of a-c: Severely fragmented or known to exist at no more than five locations.
Continuing decline, observed or projected, in any of the following: extent of occurrence area of occupancy area, extent or quality of habitat number of locations or subpopulations number of mature individuals Extreme fluctuations in any of the following: extent of occurrence area of occupancy number of locations or subpopulations number of mature individualsC) Population estimated to number fewer than 2,500 mature individuals and either: An estimated continuing decline of at least 20% within five years or two generations, whichever is longer, OR A continuing decline, projected
Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a dry area of land becomes a desert losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as through climate change and through the overexploitation of soil through human activity; when deserts appear automatically over the natural course of a planet's life cycle it can be called a natural phenomenon. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem with far reaching consequences on socio-economic and political conditions. Considerable controversy exists over the proper definition of the term "desertification" for which Helmut Geist has identified more than 100 formal definitions; the most accepted of these is that of the Princeton University Dictionary which defines it as "the process of fertile land transforming into desert as a result of deforestation, drought or improper/inappropriate agriculture". Desertification has been neatly defined in the text of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification as "land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities."Another major contribution to the controversy comes from the sub-grouping of types of desertification.
Spanning from the vague yet shortsighted view as the "man-made-desert" to the broader yet less focused type as the "Non-pattern-Desert". The earliest known discussion of the topic arose soon after the French colonization of West Africa, when the Comité d'Etudes commissioned a study on desséchement progressif to explore the prehistoric expansion of the Sahara Desert; the world's most noted deserts have been formed by natural processes interacting over long intervals of time. During most of these times, deserts have shrunk independent of human activities. Paleodeserts are large sand seas now inactive because they are stabilized by vegetation, some extending beyond the present margins of core deserts, such as the Sahara, the largest hot desert. Desertification has played a significant role in human history, contributing to the collapse of several large empires, such as Carthage and the Roman Empire, as well as causing displacement of local populations. Historical evidence shows that the serious and extensive land deterioration occurring several centuries ago in arid regions had three epicenters: the Mediterranean, the Mesopotamian Valley, the Loess Plateau of China, where population was dense.
Drylands occupy 40–41% of Earth’s land area and are home to more than 2 billion people. It has been estimated that some 10–20% of drylands are degraded, the total area affected by desertification being between 6 and 12 million square kilometres, that about 1–6% of the inhabitants of drylands live in desertified areas, that a billion people are under threat from further desertification; as of 1998, the then-current degree of southward expansion of the Sahara was not well known, due to a lack of recent, measurable expansion of the desert into the Sahel at the time. The impact of global warming and human activities are presented in the Sahel. In this area, the level of desertification is high compared to other areas in the world. All areas situated in the eastern part of Africa are characterized by a dry climate, hot temperatures, low rainfall. So, droughts are the rule in the Sahel region; some studies have shown that Africa has lost 650,000 km² of its productive agricultural land over the past 50 years.
The propagation of desertification in this area is considerable. Some statistics have shown that since 1900 the Sahara has expanded by 250 km to the south over a stretch of land from west to east 6,000 km long; the survey, done by the research institute for development, had demonstrated that this means dryness is spreading fast in the Sahelian countries. 70% of the arid area has deteriorated and water resources have disappeared, leading to soil degradation. The loss of topsoil means that plants cannot take root and can be uprooted by torrential water or strong winds; the United Nations Convention says that about six million Sahelian citizens would have to give up the desertified zones of sub-Saharan Africa for North Africa and Europe between 1997 and 2020. Another major area, being impacted by desertification is the Gobi Desert; the Gobi desert is the fastest moving desert on Earth. This has destroyed many villages in its path. Photos show that the Gobi Desert has expanded to the point the entire nation of Croatia could fit inside its area.
This is causing a major problem for the people of China. They will soon have to deal with the desert. Although the Gobi Desert itself is still a distance away from Beijing, reports from field studies state there are large sand dunes forming only 70 km outside the city; as the desertification takes place, the landscape may progress through different stages and continuously transform in appearance. On sloped terrain, desertification can create larger empty spaces over a large strip of land, a phenomenon known as "Brousse tigrée". A mathematical model of this phenomenon proposed by C. Klausmeier attributes this patterning to dynamics in plant-water interaction. One outcome of this observation suggests an optimal plan