Lake Malawi in the Africa Great Lakes region is one of the deepest lakes in the world. The total number of fish species in Lake Malawi is estimated at approximately 15% of the global total of freshwater species and approximately 4% of the world's fishes. Particularly noteworthy are the high diversity of haplochromine cichlids. It is listed as a world heritage site due to its outstanding universal values. Lake Malawi is about 586 km long and 16-80 km wide covering 20% of Malawi's earth surface.
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.
The Kagera Basin, which lies within the four countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, is characterized by low-production subsistence agriculture and widespread poverty. Severe land degradation in the area is linked to loss of soil fertility caused by population pressure and primitive farming methods. The basin countries rank among the world's poorest countries. Land cover depletion including deforestation is wide-spread with almost total absence of reforestation activities.
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.
Model households are a key aspect of the Health of People and Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB), an integrated Population, Health_and Environment (PHE) project with sites in Kenya and Uganda. Model households are trained in multiple project activities to illustrate behaviors that allow families to thrive without taking a toll on their environment and natural resources.
Lake Victoria is Africa's largest lake and the world's second largest. It is also a key resource for the people of East Africa. It has the largest freshwater fisheries producing 700,000 to 800,000 tonnes of fish annually, worth between US$350 and 400 million at the landings and US$250 million in export. Additionally there is an important untapped potential to expand both the tourism and transportation industries across the lake. Approximately 30 million people live along its shores and the lake currently provides employment for three to four million people.
Kajulu and Nyando (both upstream) and Dunga (downstream) wetlands are located in Kisumu County. Upstream land is largely privately owned and mainly used for agriculture, energy needs and water. Deforestation and water diversion upstream worsen soil loss, leading to siltation and agro-chemical deposits downstream, which then leads to eutrophication of wetland ecosystems, reduced rainfall and reduced water flow to downstream swamps. All of this combines to cause a loss of wetland biodiversity, low crop output hence worsening food insecurity situation.
In 2012, RIPPLE Africa worked with local community members and district authorities to develop local bylaws to protect a 40km stretch of lakeshore along Lake Malawi in Nkhata Bay District, Malawi, Africa. To support, advocate, and regulate these fish conservation bylaws, RIPPLE Africa has set up local Fish Conservation Committees whose members include fishers and non-fishers. The Committees, together with the District Fisheries Department, manage the local permit system, and monitor and regulate illegal activity in each Committee’s designated area.
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.