Lake Tanganyika is an international water body that is an important resource for the riparian communities of the four countries bordering the lake (Burundi, DR Congo, Tanzania and Zambia) and is a centre of biodiversity with global significance.

This project was funded under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the United Nations. One of the key outputs was a strategic action programme (SAP) to conserve the lake’s biodiversity and its value as a resource for people in the region into the future. MRAG produced the consultation document for the draft Preliminary Strategic Action Plan, a project milestone.

In support of the SAP, the project included a series of special studies to develop understanding of both the nature of the resource and the threats to its biodiversity. The special studies included Biodiversity, Fishing Practices, Pollution, Sedimentation and Socioeconomics. The knowledge and understanding gained through these studies informed the planning process.

Beyond the special studies, MRAG also provided legal expertise essential for the development of a Convention for the lakes management. The Convention was a major output and provided the institutional framework for the SAP and the future planning process.

A key aim of the Lake Tanganyika Biodiversity Project was to improve the capacity of national institutions within the riparian countries to assess and manage their resource. As a result, the role of the international members of the team was to provide guidance and support to facilitate work completed within the African institutions.

This five year project ended in July 2000.