The African Great Lakes are part of the International Waters, meaning these resources belong to and are shared by more than one country. However, each nation is governed by its own set of laws, which may not be convergent or with the same level of stringency in some respects with its neighboring country or countries within the African Great Lakes region.
Wetlands are some of the zones which have been misused by surrounding communities despite the huge benefits they provide in the ecosystem. Based on a definition by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a wetland is an area or zone where soil is covered or saturated by water at different times of the year or throughout the year. Wetlands provide habitats for both aquatic and terrestrial species. The aquatic environment offers ideal conditions for the growth and establishment of aquatic plants and promotes the development of soils with aquatic characteristics.
This project contributes to the Theme on Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Management in the African Great Lakes Region (AGLR) and the intervention on cage aquaculture which among the priority interventions identified during the African Great Lakes Conference (AGLC) of 5-7th May 2017 that was supported under the African Great Lakes Conservation Fund (AGLF).
This project aimed to improve the protection and sound management of the natural resources and critical ecosystems that sustain livelihoods in the Great Lakes region of Africa, an area that is experiencing significant pressures from human migration. To achieve this objective, IISD collaborated with the Conservation Development Center, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Frankfurt Zoological Society to research migration and conservation issues, conducting three main activities:
The project aims at strengthening local resource-user groups to participate effectively in safeguarding, sustainably utilize and manage Mabamba Ramsar site ecosystem’s ecosystem that faces increasing over-exploitation of sand, forests and other resources by private business operators leading to ecosystem alteration, destruction of breeding grounds leading to reducing species populations of birds, fish, mammals and plants that give the wetland its international importance status and provide a basis for sustainable pro-poor eco-tourism.
The project intends to achieve its objectives through:
This project aimed at promoting local community members participation and to kindle their support in conservation and wise use of Mabamba Bay Wetland of international importance through community policing, sustainable resource-based and alternative income-generating activities and an effective information exchange system. The project involvesd an Awareness and Education campaign about the benefits of protecting this Ramsar site; providing skills of alternative income generating opportunities and wise use of the resource: and, developing an ecotourism information center.
Cage aquaculture is spreading rapidly on AGLs without lake-specific best management practices (BMPs) to ensure long-term socio-economic and environmental sustainability. PESCA project is developing a decision support tool (DST) and BMPs to guide development or improvement of policies and regulations to improve fish production and profitability from cage aquaculture with minimal impacts on the aquatic environment of the AGLs.
e-CAS is a software developed to manage fish catch and related statistics. The software provides an opportunity for fisheries authorities to engage Beach Management Units in collecting fisheries and related statistics which are then sent by use of mobile phones to a central computer system for processing and utilization. The system increases the frequency of data collection as per the LTA and LVFO standard operating procedure.
Members of this project will host an applied, collaborative workshop which creates lake committees on each of the African Great Lakes. Each lake committee will consist of relevant freshwater experts to harmonize and prioritize research, guide regional research efforts, and facilitate communications between partner countries to positively affect freshwater policy and management using regular in-person meetings, the African Great Lakes Inform, and other relevant means.
The 2017 African Great Lakes Conference, Entebbe, Uganda resolved to advance the African Great Lakes Information Platform (AGLI) (this platform) established by The Nature Conservancy. AGLI was created to promote research and collaboration and support decision-making to ensure the inter-generational sustainability of the lakes and their basins. AGLI will be hosted at the University of Nairobi and managed jointly with the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education.
African Great Lakes (AGLs) contribute 2.7 million tonnes (~25%) to global inland fisheries production (11.9 mt) annually. This is composed of large species (> 20 cm total length, TL) and small pelagic species (< 20 cm, TL). At the turn of the 20th century, fisheries of the AGLs were dominated by large species (tilapine cichlids, Lates spp, cat fishes, Mormyrids, etc.) and management concentrated on these species.
The annual waterfowl counts is a project coordinated by NatureUganda secretariat through a team of volunteers who are bird enthusiasts. The programme is used as an avenue to train young biologists who are presumed to be the next people to continue with the programme and train others too. The water bird monitoring specifically provides clear description of water bird patterns (resident and migratory) including their roosting, feeding and/or breeding sites. It also estimates water bird numbers, providing baselines for species composition.
The Nakasongola District Climate Change Pilot Project documented and shared indigenous knowledge on climate change and contributed to the ongoing debates on how best to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the Nakasongola district in Uganda, while also informing practitioners' understanding of climate change causes, manifestations and effects at local levels. By creating awareness among local landowners and farmers on the value of indigenous tree species adapted to the harsh environment, the project decreased land clearing and persuaded farmers to preserve trees.
Nabajjuzi wetland, a Ramsar site, is located in Masaka district central Uganda some 120km southwest of Kampala. Nabajjuzi wetland remains relatively intact despite a long history of resource extraction by local communities. However growing use of wetland products for commercial purposes as well as subsistence use has led to increased levels of harvesting. Some of the surrounding areas have been modified and are built up into trading centres and small towns and this has further caused an increase in demand for resources.
Musambwa Islands are some of the smallest islands located in Lake Victoria in the Rakai District. Despite their size, they support large populations of African breeding birds like the Grey Headed Gull, Greater Cormorant, Little Egret and the Long-tailed Cormorant. Due to their importance to birds of global significance, the islands have been recognized as an Important Bird Area. The islands are known to be the largest breeding site in Africa for Grey Headed Gulls.
There has been a lot of discourse throughout the sustainable development goals (SDGs) process on the need for integrated policies that consider the synergies and trade-off across SDGs thematic areas and how that is critical for the achievement of sustainable development. However, most of the discussions have remained in the global policy arena, with less focus on how the integration would be achieved at national policy and program levels.
This project was completed as part of the Conservation Leadership Programme's (CLP) internship program. CLP supports projects that develop the skills of early career conservationists working to conserve the planet's most threatened species and habitats. This project allowed an intern to acquire the skills and knowledge required to be well-positioned to take a lead role in developing the capacities of local communities to sustainably manage and benefit from their natural resources.
Luzira Wetland (the lower part of Nakivubo Swamp) is a mixed papyrus-miscanthus swamp that is part of the greater network of wetlands in the Lake Victoria Basin. Although not a designated site of international importance under The Ramsar Convention, the wetland has been proposed for protection as a conservation area because of its water purification role. The wetland constitutes a critical buffer zone between the run-off from Kampala City and Lake Victoria the biggest water body in Africa.
The Lake Edward and Lake Albert Basin (LEAB) area in DRC and Uganda is endowed with rich surface water fisheries resources that are important for economic growth and social development in the region. More than 12 million people live in this basin, and 73 percent of them (8.7 million people) depend on fisheries for their livelihoods.