Past, present and future perspectives


A. Protection of the environment
A1. Atmosphere
  • Weak early warning system and low capacity for prediction of climate variability
  • In some African states, inadequate integration of transport systems with urban and regional settlement strategies, due to absence of land and land use policies
A2. Toxic chemicals
  • Lack of risk assessment and of dissemination of information
  • Labelling of chemicals not sufficiently understood by the majority of Africans
  • Inadequate industry response to risk reduction programmes
  • Inadequate national coordinating mechanism for liaison between all parties involved in chemical safety activities
  • Weak national enforcement programmes for prevention of illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products
A3. Hazardous wastes
  • Inadequate industry response to treat, recycle, re-use and dispose of wastes at source
  • Inadequate information network and alert systems to assist with detection of illegal traffic in hazardous wastes
A4. Solid wastes and sewerage related issues
  • Commitments to achieving certain benchmarks by year 2000 have not been met. African states agreed that, by 2000, they would:
    • ensure sufficient national capacity for waste management
    • promote sufficient financial and technological capacities at national and local levels
    • establish waste treatment and disposal quality criteria, and
    • ensure that 75 per cent of solid waste generated in urban areas is collected, recycled or disposed of in an environmentally safe manner


A5. Radioactive wastes
  • No significant activity in this area in most African states
B. Natural resources  
B1. Land resources
  • Absence of planning and management systems
  • Little community involvement in information gathering
B2. Combating deforestation
  • Inadequate information base on status of resources and rates of deforestation
  • Inadequate valuation of forest resources
B3. Combating desertification and drought
  • Low capacity for drought preparedness and drought relief schemes
  • Absence of comprehensive anti-desertification programmes integrated into national development plans and national environmental planning
  • Inadequate popular participation and environmental education focussing on desertification control and management of effects of drought
B4. Sustainable development for mountainous areas
  • Lack of database or information systems to facilitate integrated management and environmental assessment of mountain ecosystems
B5. Sustainable agriculture and rural development
  • Africa's agriculture still remains low-input/low-yield, and is therefore unsustainable
  • Limited opportunities for non-farm employment
  • Limited incentives to promote land conservation
  • Inadequate attention given to indigenous knowledge in agriculture
  • Both plant and animal genetic resources are poorly inventoried or documented
B6. Conservation and biodiversity
  • Biodiversity resources poorly inventoried
B7. Environmentally- sound management of biotechnology
  • The potential contribution of biotechnology to sustainable development in Africa is unknown or at best under-estimated
B8. Water bodies, shoreline and aquatic resources
  • Fisheries research focused largely on a few selected species, neglecting the remaining water bodies
  • Absence of land use zones for shoreline areas
  • Inadequate resource inventory and management planing
B9. Protection of quality and supply of freshwater
  • African states agreed that, by 2000:
    • all urban residents would have access to at least 40 litres per capita per day of safe water, and
    • 75 per cent of the urban population would be provided with on-site or community facilities for sanitation