Lack of Meteorological Data

Southern Africa’s mountains are a data black-hole: there are very few weather stations located above 1,700m in a region that stretches south from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania all the way down to the Cape.

Without locally generated observed data the region’s scientists and policy-makers are forced to use modelled data, which is less accurate when making assumptions and policy decisions about the region’s mountains.

Biodiversity and Habitat Loss

Southern Africa’s biodiversity faces increasing threats from climate change and human activities. The region’s ecosystems are vulnerable, with inadequate research hindering conservation and restoration efforts. Extreme temperatures, erratic rainfall, and increased human encroachment are degrading these habitats and triggering irreversible landscape changes. Droughts and forest fires have particularly impacted many species habitats too.

Alien Invasive Species

The introduction of alien invasive species like black wattle and patula pine poses a series threat to the southern African mountains. These plants which are not native to the region, degrade the natural ecosystem and disrupt the delicate balance of local flora and fauna. They also consume excessive amounts of water which makes it harder for these mountains to act as water towers, impacting lowland agriculture, towns, and even cities which rely on this vital resource.

Overgrazing by Livestock

Overgrazing plagues the southern African highlands, posing a severe threat to ecosystems. Intensive grazing by livestock exceeds the land’s capacity to regenerate, resulting in soil erosion, reduced vegetation cover, and biodiversity loss. This destructive cycle hampers ecosystem resilience, impacting both wildlife and local communities dependent on these delicate landscapes.

Help us on our mission

Mountains Matter. They are home to 15% of the world’s population, host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, provide freshwater for everyday life to half of the global population and help to sustain agriculture and supply clean energy and medicines. Help us to protect them.

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