MVP Sustainability Map



Sustainability Grade




Sustainable Population

47.5 %

Contraception Use


Species Threatened

2.89 %

Population Growth

$ 985

GDP Per Capita

Country Comments

Zambia has tremendous natural resource wealth. Its current population could almost double and the country would still be sustainable. However there are two worrisome trends that are speeding up the trend to an unsustainable future.

Firstly is Zambia’s extremely high total fertility rate that has been averaging around 5 children per woman the past decade causing fast population growth. Secondly is the massive investment by international corporations and countries in extracting natural resources from the country to satisfy global demand. China has invested billions of dollars in Zambia’s most profitable industries, and is responsible for most major infrastructure projects in the country. (1)

With internal growth and external demand on its resources Zambia is witnessing worsening environmental issues including air pollution and resulting acid rain in the mineral extraction and refining region; chemical runoff into watersheds; loss of biodiversity; poaching; deforestation; soil erosion; and desertification. (2)

Deforestation alone is causing the loss of 250,000 - 300,000 hectares annually, placing the country 4th in the most deforested countries in the world. (3)

Zambia has begun to recognize the human and environmental toll on its country and the World Bank reported although the country had achieved close to universal access to primary education, secondary school coverage was falling and included only about 40 percent of school aged children.

National data confirmed that investments in human capital development—health, education, and social protection for the poorest and most vulnerable households—were critical to national economic growth.

Based on this knowledge, Zambia made it a priority to help more girls and women reach their potential. With support from IDA, the Girls’ Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods Program was created. The project works to increase access to livelihood support for women and access to secondary education for disadvantaged adolescent girls in extremely poor households in selected districts. (4)