MEDIA ADVISORY: UNEP's Achim Steiner Launches Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment in Washington, DC, at Woodrow Wilson Center

Striking Satellite Photos Document Rapid Environmental Change

Jun 30, 2008

WASHINGTON—Africa's rapidly changing environmental landscape, from the disappearance of glaciers in Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains to the loss of Cape Town's unique vegetation, is graphically documented by more than 300 satellite images in Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment, a new publication from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The "before" and "after" photographs, some of which span a 35-year period, offer striking snapshots of environmental transformation across the continent.

The atlas, compiled by UNEP on behalf of the African ministers of the environment, underlines how development choices, population growth, climate change and, in some cases, conflicts, are reshaping the region's natural features. The satellite images also highlight areas where sustainable natural resource management is protecting against—and even reversing—environmental degradation.

On July 1 at 1:00 p.m., UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner will discuss the environmental degradation revealed by the atlas—as well as some of the impressive steps African leaders and citizens have taken to restore the health of their environments.

RSVP/Live Webcast.

What: Washington, DC, Launch of Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment

Who: Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
Dan Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State
Ashbindu Singh, Regional Coordinator, Early Warning and Assessment, UNEP Regional Office for North America (RONA)
Hennie Du Toit, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of South Africa

When: Tuesday, July 1, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. A light lunch reception will precede the event at 12:00 noon in the 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room.

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor Flom Auditorium
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Media planning to cover the event should contact Sharon McCarter at sharon.mccarter@wilsoncenter.org or (202) 691-4016.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs.

Since 1994, the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program has explored the connections among environmental challenges and their links to conflict and security.

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Experts & Staff

  • Roger-Mark De Souza // Director of Population, Environmental Security and Resilience, Wilson Center
  • Sandeep Bathala // Senior Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program, Maternal Health Initiative
  • Katharine Diamond // Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Benjamin Dills // Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Lauren Herzer // Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • John Thon Majok // Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Schuyler Null // Web Editor and Writer/Editor, Environmental Change and Security Program, Maternal Health Initiative
  • Meaghan Parker // Writer/Editor, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Sean Peoples // Multimedia Producer and Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Geoffrey D. Dabelko // Senior Advisor, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Ruth Greenspan Bell // Public Policy Scholar
  • William Krist // Senior Policy Scholar
  • Louise Lief // Public Policy Scholar
  • John W. Sewell // Senior Scholar