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.
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.
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.
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.
The Mara River basin covers a surface of 13,325 km2, of which approximately 65 percent is located in Kenya and 35 percent in Tanzania. From its sources in the Mau Escarpment, the river flows for about 400 km and drains into Lake Victoria. The basin is among the most important river basins in East Africa as it traverses the world-famous Maasai Mara Serengeti ecosystem recently declared one of the new seven natural wonders of the world.
Luzira Wetland (the lower part of Nakivubo Swamp) is a mixed papyrus-miscanthus swamp that is part of the greater network of wetlands in the Lake Victoria Basin. Although not a designated site of international importance under The Ramsar Convention, the wetland has been proposed for protection as a conservation area because of its water purification role. The wetland constitutes a critical buffer zone between the run-off from Kampala City and Lake Victoria the biggest water body in Africa.
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.
Lake Victoria Basin covers an area of 250,000 km2 with the lake taking 68,000 km2. The basin has a population of 35 - 40 million people, with rapidly growing secondary towns, which has resulted in unplanned, sponteneous and unsustainable growth, run-down and non-existent basic infrastructure and services and significant negative impacts on the environment and fragile ecosystem of the lake.
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.
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.
Dansk Ornitologisk Forening (DOF) and BirdLife partners in the South (Nature Kenya, Nature Uganda and Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN)), are running a three-year project that began in 2015. The project places a strong emphasis on promoting equality of women and their access to programme benefits and participation, addressing inclusion of indigenous and other marginalised groups, networking and strengthened influence of local civil society groups_and advocacy within the national contexts of programme partner countries.
Farm Forestry (FF) presents opportunities for the improvement of rural livelihoods and biodiversity conservation in Uganda. In a recently implemented project (Integrating FF and Biodiversity Conservation), a multiplicity of grown trees presented great potential, but also constraints when it came to sustaining FF for biodiversity conservation_projects. The constraints can present major setbacks if actual values of crops and trees components on people's farm lands do not explicitly translate into economic values.
Yala wetland is a biodiversity rich and diverse ecosystem comprised of the Yala River, Yala swamp and numerous satellite lakes which serve as habitat for birds, haplochromines and cichlid fish species that long disappeared in Lake Victoria and numerous other species. The wetland faces anthropogenic threats such as reclamation of wetlands for farming, burning and over-harvesting for papyrus crafts and cooking fuel, fishing grounds, accessibility paths and sand harvesting.
In an effort to address the escalating pollution of Lake Victoria, the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) supported a project implemented by Environmental Women in Action for Development (EWAD) aimed at improving the ecosystems of Lake Victoria. This project restored degraded sand mining areas, promoted the use of energy efficient fish smoking kilns and introduced environmentally friendly Eco san toilet facilities in Kigungu, Entebbe Sub district.
Lake Victoria's Yala Wetland is made up of mainly papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) stands. It is an internationally recognized Important Bird Area that hosts many bird species found only in papyrus stands, some of which can only be found in Lake Victoria swamps. Two of these birds, papyrus yellow warbler (Chloroptera gracilinostris) and papyrus gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri) are listed as globally threatened species which require urgent conservation action.1 The swamp provides social, economic and ecological benefits, values and functions to the community and its biodiversity.
Malagarasi-Muyovozi Ramsar Site is the largest wetland ecosystem in Tanzania. Since its establishment in 2000, there have been several studies on the biodiversity of the area. Some of these studies have noted a high deforestation rate and overdependence on wetland resources. Unfortunately, findings and recommendations of previous studies have not been shared with the communities.