Advancing Africa’s great lakes research and academic potential: Answering the call for harmonized, long-term, collaborative networks and partnerships

Citation:
Obiero K, Lawrence T, Ives J, Smith S, Njaya F, Kayanda R, Waidbacher H, Olago D, Miriti E, Hecky RE. "Advancing Africa’s great lakes research and academic potential: Answering the call for harmonized, long-term, collaborative networks and partnerships." Journal of Great Lakes Research. 2020.

Abstract:

Abstract
The African Great Lakes (AGL) have rich fisheries and are renowned “biodiversity hotspots”. Consequently the AGLand the ecosystem services they provide, underpin the welfare and livelihoods of over 50 million people across 10 countries. Despite the recognized importance of the AGL, these vital ecosystems and their livelihood support systems are threatened by numerous anthropogenic stressors at local, regional, and global scales. Past and continued efforts to address critical challenges on these lakes are often short-term, parochial, disparate, and uncoordinated resulting in a lack of comprehensive and comparable scientific data and inadequate resources to influence evidence-based policy. Over the past two decades, several international workshops, conferences and scientific publications have identified the need for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and harmonization of research and management as key elements to enhance conservation efforts in the AGL. In this commentary, we introduce the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE), which aims to strengthen research and provide the scientific evidence needed to make informed decisions related to sustainable fisheries and aquatic resource management in the AGL. 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.

Keywords
African Great Lakes Collaborative networks Transboundary lake advisory groups, educationResearch partnerships

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