National Geographic : 2011 Nov
TANZANIA ZAMBIA BURUNDI SOUTH KIVU RUAHA NATIONAL PARK KATAVI NATIONAL PARK NSUMBU N.P. MWERU WANTIPA N.P. MAHALE MTS. N.P. LUSENGA PLAIN N.P. GOMBE STREAM N.P. Lake Mweru Wantipa Lake Sagara Rukwa Lake Lake Tanganyika Lake Eyasi Lake Mweru MITUMBA MOU MontsMulumbe MontsMuhila MontsMalimba Marungu Plain Steppe Iwembere Bujumbura Kigoma Kasanga Kipili Mpulungu Itungi Port Kibwesa Sources of the Nile Practically the only highland forests left in the Rift survive in protected areas, which include dozens of parks and reserves. Conversion of forest to farmland was exacerbated by the wars of the 1990s, as huge numbers of displaced people cleared land. Parks are also losing forests because villagers use trees for charcoal. The Rift's western highlands descend into the Congo Basin, the largest tropical forest after the Amazon and rich in timber and minerals. FOREST DEGRADATION (1995 -2006) Subsistence farmers crowd the fertile Rift zones. Some of the highest densities occur near the borders of protected areas, with settlers often spilling into parks and reserves. Land disputes have been at the root of much violence in the Rift, and with population growing, the region will likely stay combustible. POPULATION DENSITY People per sq km (sq mi) LAND COVER Grassland Bare Ground Forest 0mi 100 0km 100 200 (520) 1,000 (2,600) WILLIAM E. MCNULTY, NGM STAFF SOURCES: MATTHEW HANSEN AND PETER POTAPOV, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY; MODIS/TERRA VEGETATION CONTINUOUS FIELDS, NASA; OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY LANDSCAN 2009 CHART SOURCE: UNITED NATIONS 1950 2010 4.5 19 POPULATION IN RWANDA AND BURUNDI In millions Current growth rate is twice the world average.