The Post 2015 Development Agenda and the Global Sustainable Development Goals: Five must-haves for the Lake Victoria basin
Lake Victoria basin is faced with challenges including land use and land degradation due to pressure induced by the fast growing population; water quality decline and pollution due to eutrophication arising from atmospheric deposition, nutrient runoff from agricultural areas; receding water levels of Lake Victoria; decline in fish catches due to excessive fishing effort and use of destructive fishing gears, destruction of fish breeding and nursery habitats, among others (EAC/ LVBC, 2009).
This has been further aggravated by the impact of climate change with no resilience in place for the majority (poor communities). The result of this is further environmental degradation, conflicts in use of natural resources, lack of access to clean and safe water for millions of people, poor sanitation and hygiene for many people, food insecurity, inequality, and lack of jobs and sources of income
At the onset I would like to agree with current discussion that the definition of sustainable development (as per the 1987 report from the UN World Commission on Environment and Development) be revisited to come to terms with the current global challenges emphasizing the need to ‘safeguard the Earth’s life-support system, on which the welfare of current and future generations depends’ (David Griggs, 2013)
In this respect, for the Lake Victoria basin, the post 2015 development and the SDGs process need to take note of the intricate relationship between ‘cross cutting’ development issues and environmental management in this region, while reflecting on safeguarding this transboundary resource, taking into account the welfare of current 35 million dependants and future generations. In light of this, I would to suggest five entry points.
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