Lake Victoria, the largest African lake, is shared by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Its fisheries are a source of livelihoods for a large population of the lake's basin through fishing, trade and associated activities. It also contributes to the economies of the three countries through fish exports. The declining trend of fish harvests and fish stock biomass, attributed mainly to increasing fishing effort and illegal fishing, threatens the sustainability of the lake's fisheries. The regional trade in immature fish backed by high-level corruption has exacerbated the decline.
Climate change is affecting the livelihoods of the population around the world. Challenging situations require innovative interventions and BirdLife is working hand in hand with local communities, who have unique knowledge of their landscapes, to build alternatives in Rwanda and Burundi.
The Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), produced by IUCN and the World Resources Institute, provides a flexible and affordable framework approach for countries to rapidly identify and analyse forest landscape restoration (FLR) potential and locate specific areas of opportunity at a national or sub-national level. ROAM can provide vital support to countries seeking to move forward with developing restoration programmes and landscape-level strategies.
Communities in and around the Lake Victoria Basin experience a number of interconnected challenges, including dependence on diminishing natural resources, persistent poverty, food insecurity, poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes and inaccessible health services. At the same time, the ecosystem itself is being overused and destroyed.
The GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) supported 265 communities and civil society organizations in 83 countries to avoid or reduce 167,199 tons of waste from entering waterbodies and supported the sustainable management of 164,169 hectares of marine and coastal areas and fishing grounds, and 264,822 hectares of river and lake basins through community interventions.
Lake Albert is shared between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The lake's water is mainly controlled by the Nile River. Population density in some parts of the lake basin is as high as 149 people/km2. The population growth rate is also quite high. Many people around the lake lack access to clean drinking water, improved sanitation and improved health facilities. This results in a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and water related diseases. Lake Albert has a lower fish diversity than other African Great Lakes, but a high fish catch and dependence on fishing for livelihoods.
Lake Edward is the smallest among the African Great Lakes, but its basin includes the highly productive Lake George. The majority of the population along the lake lack clean water and have poor sanitation. The basin is home to 81 fish species and the lake's productive fisheries employ around 2000 fishers. Two National Parks, Virunga NP and Queen Elizabeth NP) border the lake, making this area a valuable tourism stop.
Lake Kivu is one of the two smallest African Great Lakes, but is the third deepest and sits at the highest altitude. Lake Kivu is located in an area with one of the highest population densities and population growth rates in the AGL region. Lake Kivu is home to around 28 fish species, half of which are cichlids found only in Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is the largest local source of fish in Rwanda, providing more than 20,000 tons of fish per year and subsidizing fish imports for animal protein. The fishery supports 500,000 people in Rwanda and the DRC.