• Climate Change & Human Security Publications
  • Binationaly Managed Lakes Annotated Bibliography

Binationaly Managed Lakes Annotated Bibliography

Global Environment Facility. (2001). Lake Tanganyika Strategic Action Programme.  Retrieved July

18, 2016 fromhttp://lta.iwlearn.org/documents/projectdoceuments

The Strategic Action Programme is an initiative proposed by Global Environment Facility (GEF), an organization that tackles the most pressing environmental issues, in cooperation with Burundi, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. The key goal of the programme is to introduce an effective system to protect, preserve and promote biological diversity and sustainable use of the resources of Lake Tanganyika. Key risk issues, such as unsustainable fisheries, increased pollution, excessive sedimentation and habitat destruction, were identified after a series of studies.

The whole programme presupposed a wide stakeholder and public involvement into the process of designing the final Convention on sustainable management of Lake Tanganyika, that was signed by the governments of the involved countries in 2003 and ratified in 2008. The Convention defined the framework and actions that must have been taken in order to achieve the main goal of the project. Despite inumerous problems, such as a shortage of qualified people, slow identification on a national scale, and civil unrest in Burundi and in the DRC, the project achieved its primary goals. The key participants of the project, mainly GEF, UNDP (UN Development Programme), UNEP (UN Environmental Programme), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) drafted the Convention on sustainable management of the Lake. Moreover, a series of special studies and Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis were identified. The project participants came up with a number of recommendations for each state to address key issues.


Global Environment Facility. (2003). Reversal of Land and Water Degradation Trends In the Lake

Chad Basin Ecosystem: Establishment of Mechanisms for Land and Water Management.

Retrieved July 19, 2016 from



This project, proposed by Global Environment Facility (GEF), aimed at improving the environmental situation of Lake Chad Basin, the fourth largest lake in Africa. The Basin is managed by Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The research highlighted two sources of Lake degradation: climate and human. Due to climate change the lake’s level declined dramatically. Regarding human causes, short-term policy focus, non-existent or unsuitable environmental and water policies, rural poverty, poor intersectoral program coordination and limited public involvement were mentioned to be the key sources. Taking into consideration the results of the research, GEF in cooperation with representatives of the countries, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and NGOs worked on studies and measures to reduce the Lake’s burden.

Although all the necessary measures were developed, the success of the whole project depends on the willingness of the countries to cooperate, especially in water management programs. The risks of the project were considered to be moderate to high. Participating countries had few economic resources, went through droughts, and suffered internal strifes. All of these caused governments to be more concerned about short-term goals, such as food production, sanitation or education, rather than long-term goals, such as the management of the lake basin’s resources.


African Development Bank Group (AFDB). (2015). Lakes Edward and Albert Fisheries and Water

Resources Management Project (LEAF II). Retrieved July, 21 2016 from


Lakes Edward and Albert (LEA) form a part of the Nile Basin, which defines an international boundary between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda. The LEA is part of the African Great Lakes. The LEA ecosystem faces a number of threats, including the overpopulation of fishing villages, leading to deforestation and the destruction of the wetlands. Additionally, the LEA ecosystem faces pollution from domestic sewage, agricultural production, and mining activities that worsen water quality. Moreover, fish diversity and stock in both lakes are constantly decreasing. All of the threats noted above heavily contribute to growing unemployment and increased poverty, especially in fishing villages.

The primary goal of LEAF II is to reduce poverty in fishing villages and establish sustainable livelihoods in the area through an effective control and management of the LEA basin waters, fisheries and environment. The project, prepared by the African Development Bank Group (AFDB) in 2015 and adopted in 2016, proposes several measures to achieve its primary goal. The water management component involves strengthening the transboundary management coordination of the lakes, as well as monitoring and assessing the water’s quality.


Lake Victoria Basin Commission. (2007). Strategic Action Plan (SAP) for the Lake Victoria Basin.

Retrieved on July 22, 2016 from  


Lake Victoria Basin is shared among Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. The creation of a Strategic Action Plan (SAP) was initiated by the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat as a part of preparation for the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Plan II (LVEMP II), which started in 2009 and will be over in 2017. The SAP determined 18 key transboundary issues, among which there were water pollution and eutrophication, domestic and industrial wastes, water balance and management of water usage.

The SAP tackles a shared regional concern, which defines a regional framework to achieve a sustainable use of the Basin water resources. Lake Victoria Basin wetlands, rivers and the Lake itself are heavily polluted by large quantities of raw or partially treated sewage and industrial effluent from human activities in an increased number of settlements. Different factories dump their wastes directly into the Lake or through wetlands. As a result, the Lake and its river system are experiencing ecological changes and deterioration in water quality. This trend is compounded by eutrophication and proliferation of plant species. To tackle these issues, regional and national measures were proposed.


Lake Huron Binational Partnership. (2004). Lake Huron Binational Cooperation. Action Plan.

Retrieved on July 25, 2016 from


Lake Huron Binational Partnership was established in 2002 by the Binational Executive Committee to manage environmental activities in the Lake Huron Basin. The Partnership includes the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Canada, Michigan’s Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources, as well as Ontario’s Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources. The Lake Huron drainage basin is unique in the Great Lakes System. State borders of the United States and Canada divide the lake almost in half. The U.S. half is located in Michigan, the Canadian half is in the Province of Ontario. Several areas of concern were defined by the participants: Spanish Harbour (Ontario), Saginaw River/Bay (Michigan), St. Mary’s River (Binational area of concern).  

The research, carried out by the Partnership, defined a number of crucial issues, among which was a low-water level. Water levels in the Lake on both sides approached historical lows, this might have been a regional response to climate change.


World Bank. (2004). Aral Sea water and environmental management project: Implementation

completion report. Retrieved on July 26, 2016 from


The Aral Sea is a saltwater lake shared by Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iran. Both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan possess approximately equal length of the shore. Due to the climate change and inefficient usage of water, the lake started to die. As a solution, the Water and Environmental Management Project (WEMP) focuses on stabilizing the environment, improving monitoring and management of international waters, and building the capacity of regional institutions. Measures were put in place, such as the development of national and regional strategies of water and salt management, grants for pilot water conservation projects, and the purchase and install of water flow and water quality monitoring equipment at 25 transboundary water monitoring station. The established goals are broad and ambitious, not reflecting the political and economic capacities of the participating countries.