Yala wetland is a biodiversity rich and diverse ecosystem comprised of the Yala River, Yala swamp and numerous satellite lakes which serve as habitat for birds, haplochromines and cichlid fish species that long disappeared in Lake Victoria and numerous other species. The wetland faces anthropogenic threats such as reclamation of wetlands for farming, burning and over-harvesting for papyrus crafts and cooking fuel, fishing grounds, accessibility paths and sand harvesting.
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.
In 2005, work began on_assessing the presence and habitat requirements of spotted-necked otters (Lutra maculicollis) in Kenya and Tanzania. During the project team's trip to Kenya they visited a school conservation club presenting information on the otters and involving students in a field trip experience. As a result of this visit, a small group of teachers formed the Kisumu Science Teachers Lake Victoria Otter and Wetlands Conservation Development Group (KISTOC).
Lake Victoria's Yala Wetland is made up of mainly papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) stands. It is an internationally recognized Important Bird Area that hosts many bird species found only in papyrus stands, some of which can only be found in Lake Victoria swamps. Two of these birds, papyrus yellow warbler (Chloroptera gracilinostris) and papyrus gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri) are listed as globally threatened species which require urgent conservation action.1 The swamp provides social, economic and ecological benefits, values and functions to the community and its biodiversity.
This project contributed to poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation by training communities around the Malagarazi Wetland complex in Burundi on sustainable fisheries and agriculture pratices. Some development activities, such as good fishing practices, can be undertaken without a negative impact. However, many fishermen in the region use inappropriate equipment such as mosquito nets and toxic products. Such practices kill all of the young fish, eventually leading to widespread decline in fish stocks.
In an effort to address the escalating pollution of Lake Victoria, the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) supported a project implemented by Environmental Women in Action for Development (EWAD) aimed at improving the ecosystems of Lake Victoria. This project restored degraded sand mining areas, promoted the use of energy efficient fish smoking kilns and introduced environmentally friendly Eco san toilet facilities in Kigungu, Entebbe Sub district.
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 GIS 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 focused on developing an intern's skills in geospatial mapping analysis, while also supporting the BirdLife Africa Secretariat in this important area of work.
Malagarasi-Muyovozi Ramsar Site is the largest wetland ecosystem in Tanzania. Since its establishment in 2000, there have been several studies on the biodiversity of the area. Some of these studies have noted a high deforestation rate and overdependence on wetland resources. Unfortunately, findings and recommendations of previous studies have not been shared with the communities.