Biodiversity conservation and utilisation of ecosystem services in wetlands of transboundary significance in the Nile Basin
As of: June 2021
The Nile flows through several large wetland landscapes, many of which are globally important biodiversity hotspots. The project supports the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) and its member states in biodiversity conservation and the use of ecosystem services in transboundary wetlands in the Nile Basin, combining regional measures for the development of knowledge and resources with implementation measures in selected wetlands. Among others, these measures include management plans and model projects. The project work not only protects biological diversity, it also contributes to climate protection and climate impact adaptation, while securing the livelihoods of the local populations at the same time. The project also brings its experiences to the international biodiversity dialogue. These then serve as best-practice models for other countries in the region.
State of implementation/results
- The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) has developed management plans for three transboundary wetland landscapes Sio-Siteko (Kenya - Uganda), Semliki (Uganda - DR Congo) and Sango/Minziro Forest (Uganda - Tanzania), which have been adopted by the member countries in 2020.
- The NBI has for the first time mapped the peat deposits in the Nile basin and prepared a first estimate of the greenhouse gas storage potential. Together with the member countries, recommendations for action will be developed for measures within the framework of the NDCs. In this context, the NBI has become a member of the Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI).
- A panel of experts from all ten NBI member countries has produced a TEEB report (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) for wetlands in the Nile region. Case studies for four wetland landscapes were completed.
- For the first time ever, NBI has carried out an analysis of minimum ecological discharges along the main waters of the Nile within the framework of the Regional Environmental Flow Expert Working Group. This is particularly relevant for the basin planning process. Thus, first common experiences with this instrument are gained.
- For the Tanzanian part of the Mara River Basin (Kenya - Tanzania), studies and consultations were carried out to determine ecological minimum flow requirements (for example for the Mara wetlands). These will be incorporated into a planned cross-border Water Allocation Plan (WAP). The WAP for the Tanzanian side has already been confirmed by the Tanzanian Ministry of Water. In September 2019, the “Deutsche Welle” published a film about the work of the project on the Mara.
- The NBI and the Regional Wetlands Expert Working Group have compiled an inventory of regionally significant wetlands, an analysis of ecosystem services, and developed a wetland atlas.
- In cooperation with the Nile Basin Regional Wetlands and Environmental Flows Expert Groups (regional), the Nile Basin Wetlands Forum (regional), the South Sudan Wetlands Working Group (South-Sudan), the Mara Joint Technical Committee in the Mara catchment area (Tanzania - Kenya) of the Sio-Malaba-Malakisi Basin Joint Working Group (Uganda - Kenya) and the Lakes Edward and Albert Integrated Fisheries and Water Resources Management (LEAF) Steering Committee (Uganda - DR Congo) as well as the Minziro-Sango Bay Transboundary RAMSAR Site Coordination Group (Uganda - Tanzania), eight structures/processes have been established or strengthened in their function with regard to wetland management.