International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Regional Forum to Update the Strategic Action Programme on Lake Tanganyika, Africa

05 Oct 2010 | by IW:LEARN
Lake Tanganyika is a hotspot of aquatic biodiversity, harbouring hundreds of species that are found nowhere else in the world. It is Africa’s deepest (1.5 km max) and oldest (estimated 9-12 my) lake, containing approximately 17% of the world’s available surface freshwater.

With support of the United Nations Development Programme / Global Environmental Facility, the governments of the riparian countries drafted a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the protection of biodiversity and sustainable use of the natural resources in the Lake Tanganyika basin, which was adopted in July 2000.  As human populations in the lake basin have increased rapidly over the past 10 years, the magnitude of environmental threats such as pollution, habitat destruction and unsustainable fishing has also increased dramatically. In addition, new threats such as climate change and biological invasions have emerged.

In recognition of the need to revise national priority actions to safeguard biodiversity and ensure access to natural resources for future generations, a Regional Forum to Update the SAP for Lake Tanganyika will take place in Bujumbura, Burundi on 6-7 October 2010.  The forum will be organised by the Secretariat of the Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA), and attended by experts in environmental management and fisheries, government officials of the riparian countries Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia, as well as professionals from a range of local, regional and international research institutes and NGO’s, including ICRAF, IUCN, UNEP and the WWF.

The LTA is honoured to host this wide diversity of experts: “We believe that their skills, views and experiences will provide invaluable input in discussions around how to demonstrate an effective regional approach to control pollution and prevent loss of the exceptional biodiversity of Lake Tanganyika’s international waters” says Mr. Henry MWIMA, Executive Director of the Lake Tanganyika Authority.

For more information:

Alain Gashaka
Communication & Outreach Officer UNDP/GEF Project Regional Coordination Unit
Bujumbura, Burundi
Tel: 257 222 731 05          Cell: +257 799 731 31          Cell: +257 788 731 37 