Among the most serious of Zimbabwe's environmental problems is erosion of its agricultural lands and deforestation. By 1992, deforestation was progressing at the rate of 70,000–100,000 ha per year, or about 1.5% of the nation's forestland. The confinement of large segments of the population to relatively unproductive lands before independence put severe pressure on these lands, a substantial portion of which may have been irreversibly damaged.
Zimbabwe's air is polluted by vehicle and industrial emissions, while water pollution results from mining and the use of fertilizers. Zimbabwe's cities produce 0.5 million tons of solid waste per year. The nation has been estimated to have the highest DDT concentrations in the world in its agricultural produce.
In 2001, nine of the nation's mammal species and nine bird species were endangered, as well as 73 types of plants. Zimbabwe has about half of the world's population of black rhinoceroses, an endangered species. Rare or threatened species include the cape vulture, black-cheeked lovebird, and brown hyena. For protection, the government has adopted a policy of shooting poachers on sight.