Zimbabwe’s natural ecosystems and the services they provide are experiencing increasing pressure from agricultural development, urbanization, wildfire, and mining. This is concerning as substitutes for ecosystem services can be costly or completely unavailable.
A major influence on natural resources has been Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Program, which started in 2000. The program resulted in 12.4 million ha of large-scale commercial farms redistributed across more than 150,000 A1 and A2 farms. The resettlement program had multiple influences, including clearing of woodlands and forests for agriculture – often using fire – reduced fallow periods, and environmental degradation from soil erosion and overgrazing. However, in recent years, trends in the rates of tree loss have declined and the area burned in wildfires has decreased.