Freshwater ecosystems are under-represented in the protected area network not only in Uganda, but globally. Lake Nyaguo is one of the satellite lakes of Lake Kyoga basin, homing threatened native and endemic fishes which have disappeared or become extinct from major lakes like Victoria and Kyoga. The catchment areas of this Lake has been identified as spawning and nursery areas for fish,birds nesting areas, thus needing further protection to maintain its ecological values and integrity. Although Lake Nyaguo function as contemporary refugia habitats for the survival of many threatened aquatic wildlife such as fishes and water birds, reptiles, and mammals, unsustainable human activities like habitat destruction, modification and fragmentation, in addition to water pollution have continued to jeopardize the integrity of this lake to support these vital aquatic resources. This Lake is outside protected areas, and thus suffers from direct human impacts as communities over exploit these resources. This project will contribute to facilitating the recovery of the populations of threatened aquatic wildlife in Lake Nyaguo and the surrounding catchment areas through creation of community protected areas. In partnership with Rainforest Trust, National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI) will work with all stakeholders at all levels of the administration units in Uganda namely, National, District, County, Sub-county and Village to implement the activities of this project to achieve the expected outputs and outcomes.
To create Lake Nyaguo Fish and Wildlife Reserve to better manage, protect and conserve threatened aquatic wildlife and their habitats
1. To create awareness about threatened aquatic wildlife and their habitats among all stakeholders
2. To zone and designate critical habitats of threatened aquatic wildlife in Lake Nyaguo
3. To promote local communities involvement in management of the newly created protected areas
The project will directly help local communities and groups of fishermen to set aside "nursery and spawning" areas for the growth of fish, thus leading to increased chances for the recovery of threatened native and endemic fish species which used to be the main components of Uganda's artisanal and commercial fisheries in the19th and 20th and Centuries . The project will also contribute to enhanced conservation of other fish species, and threatened reptiles, butterflies, mammals and birds like endangered crested cranes. Another key outcome that will accrue from this project will be increased liaison and commitment of local communities and relevant agencies to conserve and protect critical habitats of freshwater biodiversity. Furthermore, the project will assist Uganda to fulfill obligations under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Article-6, and meet strategic objectives and the associated national targets set out in Uganda's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan II (2015-2025). The project will contribute immensely to achieving three strategic objectives of NBSAPs particularly; Strategic Objective 1 (To strengthen stakeholder co-ordination and frameworks for biodiversity management), Strategic Objective 3 (To reduce and manage negative impacts while enhancing positive impacts on biodiversity) and Strategic Objective 5 (To enhance public awareness and education on biodiversity issues among the various stakeholders). The project will also progress Uganda's CBD targets in the revised Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2015-2025 and help fulfill national and regional targets in the framework of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The project will contribute to the attainment of the following Aichi Biodiversity targets by:
A. (Target 1) – making all stakeholders aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.
B. (Target 5) - reducing loss of natural aquatic habitats and riverine forest
C. (Target 6) – implementing measures to promote recovery of depleted fish species, and other aquatic wildlife through creation of protected areas
D. (Target 11) - improving the status of aquatic biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity.
E. (Target 12) - hedging extinction of known threatened aquatic wildlife and their conservation status improved and sustained.