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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This project contributed to poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation by training communities around the Malagarazi Wetland complex in Burundi on sustainable fisheries and agriculture pratices. Some development activities, such as good fishing practices, can be undertaken without a negative impact. However, many fishermen in the region use inappropriate equipment such as mosquito nets and toxic products. Such practices kill all of the young fish, eventually leading to widespread decline in fish stocks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This project introduced collaborative management to the Bururi Forest Nature Reserve through rehabilitating degraded areas and facilitated an agreement between the local environmental associations around the reserve and the government agency "OBPE." This project conducted environmental and socio-economic studies of the forest and initiated income-generating activities like beekeeping. Furthermore, the project raised awareness among the local population about the importance of the forest for the community and provided improved wood stoves in order to reduce deforestation for firewood.
Kajulu and Nyando (both upstream) and Dunga (downstream) wetlands are located in Kisumu County. Upstream land is largely privately owned and mainly used for agriculture, energy needs and water. Deforestation and water diversion upstream worsen soil loss, leading to siltation and agro-chemical deposits downstream, which then leads to eutrophication of wetland ecosystems, reduced rainfall and reduced water flow to downstream swamps. All of this combines to cause a loss of wetland biodiversity, low crop output hence worsening food insecurity situation.
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.
Bussi Island is located in the Wakiso district, which suffers a deforestation rate of 86.7 percent. The leading cause of deforestation is the increased demand for agricultural land, charcoal and fuel wood by a rapidly growing population. The majority of villagers often cook using the three-brick/stone method, which requires massive consumption of firewood, increases carbon emissions and has serious consequences for people's health. Over time, women that use this method of cooking may suffer blurred vision and lung disease.
People living in the Lake Victoria Basin face urgent health, environmental, and economic challenges. They need the power to access sexual and reproductive health services and manage their natural resources sustainably. In two districts in Uganda and two counties in Kenya, the Health of People and Environment in Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB) Project is making sure they can.
This project sought to respond to increased to increased environmental pressures from climate change, and to create and expand incentives to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services in the South Kivu and Rusizi River cathments.
The transboundary Lake Kivu and Rusizi River basins are very important for biodiversity and provide many ecosystem services such as supply of freshwater, food from fishing and agriculture, pollination, soil fertility and erosion control, carbon sequestering, the provision of non-timber forest products, as well as providing aesthetic and recreation experiences. These landscapes are currently facing a multitude of threats arising from unsustainable practices and poor land and catchment management.