MVP Sustainability Map
GDP Per Capita
Bernard Gagnon; License CC BY-SA 4.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Victoria_Falls%2C_Zimbabwe_01.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Bumihillsfoundation; License CC BY-SA 4.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bumi_Hills_Anti-Poaching_Unit_Protecting_Elephants_in_Zimbabwe.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
USAID in Africa; License Public domain; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Delphine_at_her_high_school%2C_Zimbabwe_%2836938574942%29.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources and diverse wildlife. It has a substantial mining industry and agricultural exports. Even with these resources its population is twice as big as is sustainable.
Population growth and density and heavy industry are major sources for concentrations of air and water pollutants. Unregulated mining practices have led to toxic waste and heavy metal pollution. The nation has been estimated to have the highest concentrations of DDT in the world in its agricultural exports. Deforestation, poaching and resource exploitation are destroying park systems.
Foreseeing the human health and environmental toll, in the 1990's the country prioritized education and family planning and saw a huge decrease in fertility from 7 children per woman down to roughly 4 children per woman today. Even with net migration of 100,000 plus citizens a year, population growth is rising due to a still very high total fertility rate. The World Bank reported gains have been made in education and gender equality the past 20 years but significant gaps still remain. Covid has caused a setback with less than 30% of school-going children in rural areas engaged in education and learning during pandemic-related school closures, compared with 70% for urban children.(1)
(1) Zimstat, Rapid PICES phone survey July 2020. https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/zimbabwe/overview