This meeting is being facilitated by the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education and developed by the partners and experts working on the African Great Lakes
As experts addressing some of the biggest challenges to our multi-jurisdictional freshwater systems, our need to work collaboratively is paramount. To ensure the sustained heath of freshwater resources, we must work across borders so that individual interests do not supersede the needs of larger communities that rely on these resources. We must ensure consistent and long-term scientific inquiry takes place so that we have the ability to make positive decisions based on information that is more complete. When we work together, our collective knowledge, passion, and resources allow us to solve the challenges that threaten these resources.
Following up the 2019 African Great Lakes Stakeholder Network Workshop, held in Entebbe, Uganda,
we continue to strengthen the network of experts on the African Great Lake. Thus, we are planning the 1st Annual Advisory Group Meetings during November, 2020. While this date may change, depending on funding availability, ACARE is working towards a highly collaborative meeting.
Purpose and Background
During November 5-7, 2019, the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education and its in-country hosts, the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization and the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute held the African Great Lakes Stakeholder Workshop.
Members from all ten African Great Lakes riparian countries (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) were in attendance, as were freshwater experts from the Belgium, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States. In all, there were 92 participants.
The workshop's goals were to create lake-specific advisory groups of freshwater experts on each African Great Lake to serve as mechanisms for consistent, regular, and extensive collaboration and communications.
The workshop was a resounding success with six advisory groups being created by members of each lake's riparian country:
The Lake Albert/Edward Advisory Group
The Lake Kivu Advisory Group
The Lake Malawi/Niassa/Nyasa Basin Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Network
The Lake Tanganyika - Scientific Advisory Group
The Lake Turkana Advisory Group
The Lake Victoria Advisory Group
During November of 2020, ACARE and its partners plan to have the first meeting of a perpetual networking process.
The below agenda gives a brief overview of the objectives and goals of the meeting, but in summary:
ACARE and its partners aim to strengthen research and provide the scientific evidence needed to make informed decisions related to sustainable fisheries and aquatic resource management in the African Great Lakes. To do this, ACARE will administer a highly collaborative network of experts with three long-term goals:
(1) strengthen global and regional research partnerships;
(2) establish transboundary and inter-jurisdictional lake advisory groups; and
(3) build capacity of freshwater scientists through experiential education and public engagement.
November 7th, 2019. Imperial Golf View Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda.
Pictured are the participants of the African Great Lakes Stakeholder Network Workshop. Freshwater experts from 18 countries were in attendance, including members from each of the 10 riparian African Great Lakes Countries. The workshop resulted in the establishment of six multi-jurisdictional collaborative bodies to help address gaps in knowledge on each of the African Great Lakes.
Rudimentary Draft Agenda
The below agenda is vague by design. The agenda will be produced through the input of the various Advisory Groups, local host organizations, and the meeting organizing committee to meet the needs of the participants.
DAY 1: Advisory Group Annual Meeting*
Day 1 Goals and Purpose
Following the November 2019 workshop, ensure each group designs an effective process to address issues pertinent to each lake and group, and continues to highlight needed research on your lake.
DAY 2: Advisory Group Annual Meeting (cont.)
Day 2 Goals and Purpose
Work with ACARE staff to begin to implement Advisory Group processes and develop mechanisms to highlight needed research to the greater freshwater global community. Determine relationships that ACARE and your Advisory Group need to ensure legitimacy and an effective working group.
DAY 3: Council of Advisory Groups: Plenary Session of the Seven African Great Lakes
Day 3 Goals and Purpose
Representatives from each Advisory Group present the results from the previous two days of planning and collaboration. Networking between basins will enhance the greater African Great Lakes network of freshwater scientists. Plans for larger, intra-basin projects, such as monitoring, aquaculture, climate change and others will be discussed. Plenary talks can be given on various subjects.
*Guests and partners can participate on a number of levels including observing Advisory Group meetings, join predetermined discussions on region-wide issues, or other activities relevant to the African Great Lakes. Results from non-Advisory Group meeting activities will also be considered on Day 3 and presented.