Authored by Brad Czerniak

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. Nevertheless inland fisheries play important roles in food and economic security, especially in the riparian countries surrounding the Great Lakes of Africa and Lake Victoria is the second largest inland fishery in the world contributing more than a million tonnes of fish annually. Consequently, the fisheries of the Great Lakes will likely play an important role if the riparian countries are to achieve SDG targets. This research project explores the ecosystem services that are derived from the Great Lakes of Africa watersheds towards food security and livelihoods, and how they have been degraded by anthropogenic pressures in line with population growth. The researchers then looks at options for addressing the problems facing the aquatic resources and specifically the importance of effective management of the fisheries and ecosystems of the Great Lakes to achieving the SDGs to ensure food and nutritional security, sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction.