RI Vice-President Jennifer Jones announced the Rotary Zone Realignment during a webinar with Zones 28 & 29 leaders on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.  This is the text of her presentation:
We have just concluded the January meeting of the RI board and there is a significant decision that was taken that I would personally like to share with you today.
This decision is about Zone realignment that will occur in the year 2020. This realignment will mean significant changes in North America and specifically Zones 28 and 29.
Let's begin with some background:
The RI Bylaws require the Board to periodically review the composition of zones to maintain an approximately equal number of Rotarians in each zone.
In 2016, a Zone Review Committee was formed and is led by current International Polio Plus Chair (IPPC) Chair Mike McGovern.
As you know, we have 34 Zones in the world.  The areas of India, Africa and Asia are seeing continued growth while North America, Australia and Europe continue to see a decline. And while the rate of decline in North America has reduced in the past five or so years it is still going down.
The task of the Zoning Committee was to reduce North America by two Zones and create two additional zones in the under-represented areas of India, Africa Asia.
It was the recommendation of the Zoning Committee that the board continue with 34 Zones as opposed to simply adding the two additional zones. This was in large part because the board has the latitude to make the necessary changes with 34 Zones and any increase would require Council on Legislation approval in 2019.
There are many unanswered questions at this point. The next step it to devise the implementation plan. The Zone Review Committee will be looking at other issues such as Zone pairings and Director Election rotation for the June board meeting.