The Great Rift Valley region of East Africa is the largest concentration of tropical lakes in the world. Prior studies have revealed the basic characteristics of lake hydrology, geology and biodiversity, identifying the problems of overfishing, water pollution, biodiversity loss and water level fluctuations exacerbated by climate change, and pointing out the urgent need for integrated management of the Great Lakes basin. The rapid population growth in the African continent since the turn of the century has further exacerbated the deterioration of the water environment and the conflict between supply and demand in the lake basins, but the growing demand for water and environmental improvement falls far short of the backward economic, technological and management capacity of the basin countries.
This project takes Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika basins as the study area, and aims to achieve the following objectives through scientific and technological cooperation between Chinese and African research institutions:
Due to such existing problems as lack of data on soil and water resources and insufficient technical support for large-scale watershed management in the study area, this cooperative research project will be carried out with a focus on the following aspects:
Specifically, the research unit of UNEP-IEMP is in charge of a task to conduct case studies to assess water environment and management, and to provide strategy and policy suggestions for sustainable water resources utilization in the Lake Victoria basin in Tanzania.
The project was approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China under the National Key Research and Development Programme for International Cooperation (with UN Environment Programme) in August 2019. It is led by Prof. Shuang Chen from the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGLAS), with pooled expertise from UNEP-IEMP, Wuhan University, and Nanjing University and on-the-ground support from Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, University of Dar es Salaam, Jomo Kenyatta University of agriculture and Technology, and so on.