Things often take a while to happen in Africa so until they are official one doesn’t like to make too many assumptions. I’ve heard today that after 6 years in the making, a new lake reserve has been declared – the Lake Niassa Reserve in Mozambique. More commonly known as Lake Malawi outside of Mozambique, this lake is actually one of the most bio-diverse lakes in the world!
With 1,000 species of fish that are only found in its tropical waters and no-where else in the world, and massive amounts of poverty lining its shores, you can see why this has been an important project for the WWF to get secured. For a bit more information on the WWF’s activities in the area you can have a look at this clip where there is a bit more detail about the project and its necessity.
The local communities call the lake the “calendar lake” – logically, it is 365km long. It is the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa, and forms a shoreline for Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. With human populations living on its shores and depending on the fish in the lake for their livelihood, you can imagine the effect this is having on the fish levels, and the illegal fishing and pollution that comes along with it.
Working with the Mozambique government, local communities, USAID and the international Coca Cola Company this project has finally grown roots and will monitor the following areas:
- Illegal fishing and overfishing
- Erosion and deforestation
- Manage fisheries
- Mitigate the impacts or climate change
Mozambique is gaining ground as a conservation hub. With another US Non Profit Organization – the Carr Foundation/Gorongosa Restoration Project – and the Mozambique Government, massive efforts are in place to develop an eco-tourism industry in the newly regenerated Gorongosa National Park located in the heart of Mozambique. These efforts extend to include the local communities as well as the wildlife. Gorongosa suffered hugely during the long civil war, losing as much as 95% of its mammals.
Having been reminded over the weekend of global warming, climate change and keeping our earth a safe and beautiful place for our children (An Inconvenient Truth) it’s super to see Africa taking shape and developing its conservation projects!