Lesotho

THE landlocked KINGDoM of Lesotho, totally surrounded by South Africa, has a land area of 11,717 sq. mi. (30,355 sq. km.), a population of 2,008,000 (2006 est.), and a population density of 153 people per sq. mi. (59 people per sq. km.). Most of the people in Lesotho work in subsistence agriculture, with 11 percent of the land arable, and a further 66 percent used for meadows and pasture, mainly for low-intensity grazing of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. Because it is relatively undeveloped, the carbon dioxide emissions from the country are low on a per capita basis. Exact statistics for the country have not been published for several years.

The effects of global warming on Lesotho involve a possibility of rising temperatures leading to a reduction in the amount of farmland, with increased desertification and soil erosion, and the possibility of drought. The Leostho government took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, and ratified the Vienna Convention in 1994. They also accepted the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on September 6, 2000,; it took effect on February 16, 2005.

sEE ALso: Desertification; Drought; South Africa.

BIBLIoGRAPHY. M.E. Meadows and T.M. Hoffman, "Land Degradation and Climate Change in South Africa," Geographical Journal (v.169/2, 2003); World Resources Institute, "Lesotho—Climate and Atmosphere," www.earth-trends.wri.org (cited October 2007); Gina Ziervogel, "Targeting Seasonal Climate Forecasts for Integration into Household Level Decisions: The Case of Smallholder Farmers in Lesotho," Geographical Journal (v.170/1, 2004).

JUSTIN CORFIELD Geelong Grammar School, Australia

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