Lake Chad is home to a growing population that has urgent needs to address the impacts of climate change on the water resources and the ecosystem of the basin. It provides for millions of people living in Cameroon, the CAR, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria a diverse range of environmental services, mainly provisioning (food and water), supporting (land and nutrient cycling), regulatory (ground water replenishment, carbon sequestration, air purification), and cultural (recreation, spirituality, education) services. Environmental resources are critical to the survival of the Lake Chad population, both for subsistence and for economic mainstay. The escalating degradation of water resources and ecosystems is exacerbated by the current security challenge and the subsequent migration of livestock and people in search of a better life. In 2008 a previous UNDP/GEF project assisted the countries and LCBC in preparing a regional transboundary diagnostic analysis leading to a regionally endorsed Strategic Action Programme (SAP). This UNDP-GEF project has a focus to initiate the implementation of the SAP with the overall objective to achieve climate resilient, integrated ecosystem-based management of Lake Chad Basin through implementation of agreed policy, legal and institutional reforms and investments that improve water quality and quantity, protect biodiversity, and sustain livelihoods. Meeting this objective will address concerns linked to the management capacity of the LCBC and its member countries to develop and implement sustainable management policies and to address unsustainable land/water practices responding to the SAP and the regionally agreed Water Charter.
The project will progress towards this objective through the achievement of six outcomes:
1. A strengthened LCBC capable of: (i) Developing and implementing policies, investments and improved integrated ecosystem-based lake management through enhanced basin-wide monitoring; and (ii): Developing and managing regional projects in accordance with the basin’s priorities expressed in the Lake Chad SAP and other relevant strategic documents for the Lake Chad Basin
2. Strengthened and harmonised approaches to implementing sustainable legal and policy instruments across the Lake Chad Basin countries leading to greater water availability through effective conjunctive use management of surface and groundwater
3. Technical capacity and awareness of national ministries, institutions and other stakeholders (e.g. academia, civil society) strengthened to contribute to the sustainable management practices of the natural resources in the Lake Chad basin at both national and basin levels
4. LCBC and member States operating and utilising data and information from Management Information System for effective and sustainable Land, Water, and Biodiversity Resources management
5. LCBC, national governments and local communities gain practical experience and upscaling validation on sustainable ecosystem management and alternative livelihoods
6. Assessment of stress reduction and livelihood strengthening activities identified in the SAP leads to a broad investment programme to further assist SAP implementation