Across generations, ethnic tribes, religions and nationalities, the human race continues to derive vital lessons from ancient stories or prophesies, some of which use animals’ characters. An example of such a prophecy is the ‘Prophecy of the Condor and the Eagle’ whose nativity can be traced to South American communities.
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.
Lakes Turkana, Victoria, Tanganyika, Kivu, Edward, Malawi and Albert, all found within the tropics, are collectively referred to as The African Great Lakes. The lakes are shared by 10 countries, namely Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo DRC and Mozambique. The African Great Lakes which are all part of the rift valley lakes are endowed with plethora of uniqueness.
The existence of lakes owes much to the presence of catchment areas or water towers, from where they derive some or a majority of their waters. One such example of a catchment area is the Mount Elgon catchment, a transboundary catchment situated at the border between Kenya and Uganda. On the Kenyan side, the catchment consists of a 73,705 hectares forest managed by Kenya Forest Service, a 17,200 hectares nature reserve managed by the Bungoma County Government and a 16,916 hectares national park under the custody of Kenya Wildlife Service (Nabutola et al., 2022).
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.
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.
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.
Thirty-six countries in sub-Saharan Africa have severe shortages of health workers. At least 2.3 trained health care providers are needed per 1,000 people to provide 80 percent of the population with skilled care at birth and child immunisation coverage. Nurses and midwives are on the frontline of health services in Africa. Ensuring that they are provided with the necessary competencies to work and function properly is key in reducing the alarmingly high maternal and mortality rates in Africa.
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.
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.
Integrating women smallholder farmers into the mainstream economy is key in order to increase their productivity, improve the quality of their commodities, gain a voice in decision-making around all aspects of the agriculture value chain and build adaptive capacity to mitigate climate change. NEPAD recognises the impact that climate change will have on African agriculture, especially African women farmers, and designed the five-year Gender, Climate Change and Agriculture Support Project (GCCASP) with support from the Norwegian government.
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.
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.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014) predicts by the end of this century ~1 4 degrees_C warming and an uncertain trend in future rainfall in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, perhaps 10% lower than present in the Malawi/Nyassa basin and 10% higher in the lake basins to the north. Radar altimetry records of lake level trends available since 1992 display decadal scale variability of 1-2 m, with an overall trend in the last decade towards lower levels in Lakes Malawi/Nyassa and Rukwa, and higher levels in the lakes to the north of Rukwa.
The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development accepts the formidable challenge of integrating historically siloed, economic, social, and environmental goals into a unified plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity. While small-scale fisheries in marine systems were given their target as part of SDG14: Life below water, at first sight the SDGs appear to ignore inland fisheries.