The East African Rift System defines the setting of most of Kenya's important internal (e.g., Lakes Nakuru, Naivasha, Baringo, Bogoria) and transboundary (e.g., Lakes Turkana, Victoria) lake basins. The lakes support ecosystems that are rich in birdlife, wildlife and aquatic macrophyte species, but the influent rivers have low species diversity. The lakes and rivers are valuable to the area inhabitants as they provide water and food for humans and livestock, food and nutrition from fisheries, materials for building and weaving, tourism and recreational services, and have aesthetic values.
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 Metu district is located in the southwestern part of Ethiopia, where the UNESCO registered biosphere is one of the few remnants of natural forest and home of forest coffee Arabica. Over time, the population increased tremendously and over-used the banks the rivers for agriculture severe deforestation and over grazing has completely changed the environment of the district and the Wuchi wetland lost its water and remained bare.
Tanzania's Northern Lake Nyasa basin contains montane forests that are renowned for their endemic plants and critically endangered fauna (e.g., Kipunji). The region's wetlands are rich in species diversity and among the world's most biologically productive ecosystems. The significant ecosystem services linkages between these areas with downstream aquatic biodiversity, fisheries production, and human well-being, however, receive little attention. The basin's rural human population is expected to grow rapidly, further straining the natural resource base.
Lake Chilwa Basin in Southern Malawi has experienced environmental degradation, climate variability and change that have manifested negative impacts on people's livelihoods, food security and health, particularly among the most vulnerable groups such as women and children. However, what has not been established has been the linkages of climate variability and change, and population dynamics particularly migration and public and reproductive health.
Lake Turkana is Kenya's largest lake, renowned as the world's largest desert lake, with 90% of the lake's inflow provided by Ethiopia's second largest river system, the Omo Basin. The natural hydrological cycle of the Omo / Turkana ecosystem is being dampened by a cascade of major hydropower developments, and in addition, large-scale irrigation plantations downstream will exploit the regulated river flow, and thereby deplete the natural river inflows to the lake. Local people utilize the lake resources, living in harsh conditions.
Over 800 million people are malnourished and the global population is growing, and at the current trend 9 out of 10 children living in poverty in 2030 will be from Sub-Saharan Africa. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Zero hunger and the SDG Life below water'promote the conservation and sustainable use of aquatic resources for sustainable development.
The research effort_looks at the trends in fishing effort and landings from 2000 to 2014 in relation to the performance of the Beach Management Units (BMUs) since they were put in place. Having conducted a survey on the performance of the BMUs, researchers notice that the BMUs have rules and regulations that have been put in place. Respondents identified critical habitats that are presented in this research, some of which have since been demarcated. Results show that BMUs know critical habitats and identify them as areas where fish breed (97%).
The transboundary Lake Kivu and Rusizi River basins are very important for biodiversity and provide many ecosystem services such as supply of freshwater, food from fishing and agriculture, pollination, soil fertility and erosion control, carbon sequestering, the provision of non-timber forest products, as well as providing aesthetic and recreation experiences. These landscapes are currently facing a multitude of threats arising from unsustainable practices and poor land and catchment management.
A recent expert review of the ecological risks of net pen aquaculture in the North American Great Lakes made a number of recommendations for Best Management Practices (BMPs) that should be applied to establishment of net pen farms. Based on that_study, researchers identified nine generic BMPs that could be applied to all Global Great Lakes.
Earth system models are the only scientific tools yet developed that are capable of integrating the multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes that determine past, present and future climate. Researchers here use the Community Earth System Model (CESM) to generate depictions of environmental futures under climate change specifically to serve stakeholder needs for each of the major Great Lake watersheds.
This paper highlights lessons from a study that was conducted along Lake Malawi from January to March 2014. The study aimed at building climate change resilience in the Malawi's fisheries sector. Collection of data was guided by the framework called Climate change impact pathways to fisheries and aquaculture systems . Several lessons on vulnerabilities, impacts, responses and measures were drawn from the study.
The researchers studied the spatial distribution of large mammals in Murchison Falls National Park in north-western Uganda as oil exploration was on, and found that most large mammals avoided disturbed habitats. Species with a large home range such as elephants, giraffes, buffalos and hartebeests were more negatively affected by oil and gas mining and avoided areas close to the disturbance. Small home range species such as warthogs and oribis were tolerant. Species response varied with disturbance level. High disturbance led to high avoidance behaviour.
Population, Health, and the Environment (PHE) is a community-based development model that uses integrated approaches to improve access to health services, especially family planning and reproductive health, while helping communities manage natural resources and conserve the critical ecosystems on which they depend. PHE is a last mile approach that reaches vulnerable populations in rural areas that are typically beyond the reach of government services and large-scale development projects. For over two decades, diverse organizations around the world have carried out PHE projects.
Lake Victoria supports the worlds largest freshwater fishery which employs over 1 million people, and provides the regions most inexpensive source of dietary protein. Unfortunately, eutrophication and climate change are threatening critical ecosystem services, though the precise impact of these stressors is not clear. Remotely-sensed satellite data is well suited to fill large knowledge gaps and help stakeholders monitor and track ecosystem changes in this and other African Great Lakes.
Tourism in Uganda has over the years witnessed steady growth and is increasingly supporting economic growth and contributing to natural resource conservation. Although studies have been carried out to assess the impact of tourism on natural resources in Uganda, limited attention has been given to examining how tourism developments influence ecologically sensitive shore environments.
Well-dated sediment cores from Lake Tanganyika provide records of environmental change over timescales of centuries to millennia, giving us insights about how this complex ecosystem has responded to processes such as climate change (both before and after the onset of the industrial revolution) and watershed deforestation. They extend our knowledge of changes into the pre-observational era and the period prior to intensive land use, large-scale fishing and anthropogenic warming.
Lake Turkana is a transboundary resource, spanning the borders of Kenya and Ethiopia. The lakes importance to the well-being of local communities and national governments is not well documented compared to other Great Lakes of Africa. The lake basin is experiencing accelerated anthropogenic activities including construction of cascading dams and large scale irrigation projects along River Omo; oil discovery and ongoing exploration; associated resource use conflicts and construction of Africas largest wind power plant and episodic climatic changes.
Indicator 6.6.1 tracks changes over time in the extent of water-related ecosystems. It uses the imminent date of 2020 in order to align with the Aichi Targets of the Convention of Biodiversity, but will continue beyond that date to align with the rest of the SDG Targets set at 2030. Whereas all ecosystems depend on water, some ecosystems play a more prominent role in the provision of water-related services to society. Consequently, one of the focuses for global monitoring of this indicator is lakes.
Lake Victoria has one of the highest endemic fish species-area-relationships of any freshwater bodies in the world. More than 90% of this diversity is composed of haplochromine cichlids that have undergone an evolutionary radiation in the region into more than 700 endemic species in the past 100,000 years. These species belong to more than 20 different major ecological guilds from large benthic and small pelagic herbivores at one end of the consumer food web to inshore and pelagic fish predators at the other end.