This project aims at developing a set of governance as well as technical indicators to be used in analyzing the current performance of transboundary river and lake basins in Africa and to test these indicator sets in order to support management processes at the basin level in selected basins. After the initial discussions, which were started during a first joint workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in November 2007, three focused workshops were held with representatives from selected basin organizations.
In October 2008, Ecologic supported the organization of these workshops with representatives from international basin commissions in the Lake Victoria basin, the Orange-Senqu basin, and the Congo River basin. The workshops were intended to facilitate the discussion about the indicator set at the basin level and prepare the actual application of these indicators at the respective basin commissions.
The Lake Victoria Workshop took place at the Lake Victoria Basin Commission’s headquarters in Kisumu, Kenya, on October 1, 2008. It was attended by approximately 10 staff members of the commission as well as other institutes in the Lake Victoria region, such as the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) Kisumu, and WWF Uganda. Discussions showed that indicators need to be explicitly tailored to the specific situation and requirements in a lake basin environment. Amendments to the technical indicators were suggested in order to cater to the data currently available in the basin.
Discussions for the Orange-Senqu basin were conducted in a focus group format, involving ORASECOM (Orange-Senqu-Commission), as well as their consultants. The meeting, held on October 6 and 7 in Pretoria, South Africa, demonstrated again the necessity to adapt the governance indicators to the specific institutional set-up in place in this basin.
A further consultative meeting was held with representatives of the International Commission for the Congo-Oubangui-Sangha (CICOS) in Kinshasa, DRC from October 16 -19, 2008. Initial discussions focused on the applicability of the indicators to the situation in the Congo basin. It became obvious that in order to cater to the situation in a complex river system such as the Congo, it will be of crucial necessity to follow a sub-basin approach as well as to select certain issues of specific concern as priorities for investigation.
The subsequent general meeting was also attended by representatives from the Volta river basin. The meeting focused on the review of the project’s progress so far, as well as potential ways forward. In addition to continuing the work with the original river basins, new basins will be included in the next project phase. The project will furthermore host a session at the World Water Forum in Istanbul to showcase project results attained so far and to leverage interests from other river basins in Africa as well as experts and stakeholders in indicator systems for managing river basins.