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.
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.
Fish Catch Assessment (CAS) data is required to guide sustainable management of fisheries resources. It monitors removals and changes in fishing effort, abundance of major commercial species and is used to estimate fishing efforts to guide fishery managers in controlling overfishing. The collection of fisheries data in AGL has been very costly leading to inconsistency and gaps in capturing data across years and seasons as well as restrictions in geographical coverage. However, Catch Assessment Survey data has been collected on paper forms in Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika all along.
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).
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.
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.
Building on BirdLife sediment fingerprinting study on the impacts of climate change in the Lakes Kivu and Tanganyika basins, this project will enhance the resilience of communities within the Sebeya and Ruhwa catchments through agroforestry and sustainable agriculture, building capacity for climate change adaptation and disseminating best practices in the African Great Lakes Region. This project is implemented in partnership with ABN – Burundi, NaFIRRI and BirdLife.
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.
This project aims to improve understanding of the importance of wetlands, highlighting the ecological and economic value of Ruvubu National Park through trainings on ecosystem services assessments and identification of biodiversity and ecosystem services characteristics and spatial trends.
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.
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.