Lake Chad Basin Natural Resources Manage


  • Reference: P-Z1-CZ0-005
  • Approval date: 13/12/1901
  • Start date: 01/01/2002
  • Appraisal Date: 21/09/2012
  • Status: OngoingOnGo
  • Location: Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Niger, Nigeria


The activities proposed for GEF financing will build on the institutional level approach in the PRODEBALT through community level activities in the SAP implementation. The focus will be on up-stream communities that are not targeted in the baseline project. The activities will be aimed at building the capacity at community level for natural resources management including land, water, fish resources and wetlands to ensure sustainable livelihoods. The GEF incremental financing, whose activities are detailed in section B.1.1, will include: The promotion of transboundary water governance, water use efficiency and sustainable livelihood strategies for riparian communities to improve the participatory water governance rules approved by riparian countries for the sustainability of Lake Chad and improve rural population livelihood to reduce poverty within natural ecosystems dependent population and sustainable use of the ecosystem services, natural and productive, by the communities. These activities will contribute to the SAP Implementation and the strengthening of national and local institutions. The incremental financing will also contribute to the preservation of ecosystems goods and services within the Lake Chad basin therefore strengthening the flow of ecosystems goods and services including conservation of wetlands, reducing vulnerability and increasing the adaptation capacity as well as technology transfer for improved energy efficiency. The Lake Chad Basin program will contribute to knowledge mobilisation for Wetland Biodiversity and Water Resources in the Lake Chad basin through the Ecological Surveys of terrestrial and aquatic Biodiversity resources (trees, wetland vegetation,birds,fish) in the wetland areas to provide baseline data for the NBSAPs and enhance the engagement of Lake Chad riparian countries in knowledge and information sharing regarding water resources utilisation and improved technologies. The Program will also enhance the monitoring of surface water quality and quantity and the exploration of ground water resources (in collaboration with UNESCO) to assess the ground water potential and recharge capacity of the aquifers including water quality and potential water uses to augment the surface water resources. The components described above will all directly build on the activities being financed in the PRODEBALT and the projects in the LCB countries. They will specifically increase the amount of land under sustainable management adding over 20,000 ha to the land targeted under PRODEBALT, increase the amount of fodder being produced for livestock and land coverage, improve community level forest management, increase the reach of the fisheries and agriculture production to communities that are not targeted in the baselines. In the case of the groundwater actives the LCB Programme will go further by assessing the options for ground water recharge and the transfer between the surface and ground water that is not being financed in the PRODEBALT and is vital to the suitability of Lake Chad. Another key addition from the LCB program is the promotion of renewable energy in the fish production facilities, which will improve the resilience of the local communities, promote technology transfer and also enhance their income generation capacity. Another incremental activity from the LCB Program is the protection of wetlands through the separation of access for the livestock, this activity though considered important, could not be financed in the baseline projects due to lack of funds. Reducing livestock impact on the wetlands involves provision of water and feed outside the wetland. Use of ground water through pumping will enable livestock to access water without having to graze in the wetlands. Reforestation activities included in the baseline will enable production of animal feed and discourage direct grazing in the wetlands. The GEF incremental financing will be used to close this gap and illustrate the feasibility of this option in protecting wetlands and conserving biodiversity.

The transboundary nature of the Lake Chad Basin Programme requires the harmonization of management and scientific data collection approaches for water resources, biodiversity and transboundary ecosystem management in all the participating countries and identified agencies. However, the harmonization needs to be conducted at national and regional levels. The common and shared information, successful techniques and practices would reduce the transaction costs. The costs sharing will enhance the cooperation among countries and also reduce the financial burden on the individual countries. The programme will also result in further global environmental benefits such as the development of a sustainable management system for the wetland areas in the Lake Chad basin and the establishment of baseline data for biodiversity and water resources in the Basin with a community based approach. The activities proposed under the GEF programmatic approach build on the PRODEBALT, targeting particularly upstream communities whose activities have an impact on the Lake resources. The activities outlined below are incremental as they are not being financed in the baseline projects being implemented by the Bank at the national and regional level. Therefore without the incremental GEF financing they would not be undertaken and the global environment benefits would not be realized. The PRODEBALT focuses on the regional and national levels while these activities will target capacities at community level. The similarity of the water and environmental problems faced amongst the communities Lake Chad Basin and their solidarity on these issues is a vital component to ensure existing regional political will and existing national policies are built upon in trans-national institutions and the wider civil society. In addition, it is not common for energy planning to be integrated in natural resource management. The proposed interventions will use renewable energy to increase productivity of agro-ecosystems. This will aid in increasing intensity of agriculture production and reducing poverty by enabling farmers to earn more from smaller farms. These activities are expected to decrease vulnerability and increase adaptation capacity of the local riparian communities in these countries.


Funding support is sought from the GEF trust funds based on the transboundary nature of the Lake Chad basin and the need for a concerted effort to address the challenges being faced in conserving the water and ecosystems of the Basin while also ensuring food and energy security for the basin populations. In cognizance of the benefits that accrue from a concerted effort such as the environmental and social benefits outlined in section G above and the cost effectiveness of a regional approach, the five Lake Chad basin countries will contribute part of their allocations from the Biodiversity, Climate Change and Land Degradation focal areas in the Startegic Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) allocations. The forestry activities incorporated in the program will require the selection of appropriate species and establishment or nurseries as well as training of communities in forest management. The funds for these activities are requested from the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) resources. As Lake Chad is one of the priority regional water bodies funds are also requested from the International Waters trust fund. The integrated nature of the proposed program cutting across several focal areas and national boundaries provides rationale and justification for a broad based financing from International Waters, Sustainable Forest Management and the STAR allocations.


The programme will help to strengthen the capacities of local communities to assume responsibility for the control of silting and restoration of the agro-sylvopastoral potential. It will also help to improve the living conditions of the most disadvantaged populations, in particular, and to diversify their sources of income. The main benefits of the programme are as follows: "Biodiversity of global significance conserved: Lake Chad basin is the second largest wetland in Africa, and hosts biodiversity of global significance. In addition to the fishery, the Basin contains other significant wildlife of regional and global importance such as gazelles, elephants, hippos, sitatunga and waterbuck, which also provide means of livelihood to millions of riparian communities . Lake Chad is also classified as an important bird area.

"Ecosystems of global significance restored and conserved: The richness of the Basin's floodplains supports a wide range of economic activities. Some wetlands within the Lake Chad, such as the Waza-Logone floodplain, Lac Fitri, River Sangha, Barombi Mbo Crater lake, and the Estuaire du Rio Del Rey and specific parts of the Lake in Tchad have been nominated under the Ramsar convention. These are critical habitats for biodiversity and provide various environmental goods and services to local, regional and global communities.

"Sustainable Livelihood options and hence poverty reduction for over 20 million inhabitants: Poverty reduction is still a global challenge among the millennium development goals and the interdepence of the global population is increasingly visible with the migration to resource rich areas. Lake Chad is Africa's fourth largest lake, the largest in Western and Central Africa, with over 20 million people relying on lake-based economic activities; this is expected to increase to 35 million by the year 2020. Current depletion trends of natural resources despite national and regional efforts to preserve them while promoting economic development suggest that none of the individual countries can independently afford the revitalisation of the associated ecosystems and their goods and services. This project will deliver sustainable livelihood options in order to reduce poverty among a part of the global population.

"Improved availability of shared water resources. Freshwater shortage has impacted heavily on the Basin's economic activities including the fisheries, agriculture, animal husbandry, fuel wood provision and wetland economic services. There has been consequential food insecurity in the region and this, combined with a lack of potable water, has had implications on the health status of the Basin's population. Social impacts of freshwater shortage have included upstream/downstream conflict over who has the right to use the diminishing water resources. Social tensions have also been further provoked by the increased pressure on resources due to the migration of people from the drought stricken northern regions of the Basin into areas surrounding the Lake and associated river basins.

"Improved local and regional level food security. This program will improve social conditions through water and biodiversity conservation and therefore increase food and energy security by stabilizing crop yields and increasing fuelwood availability. Women often do most of the fuelwood collection, tending gardens and cooking and will therefore benefit more than men from the improvement of the systems of conservation, processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products. The program will target women for much of the training on sustainable livelihood activities and will ensure that they are represented on local management and steering committees.

"Increased solidarity among communities with shared boundaries. Mobilization of transboundary communities to address a common problem will have the effect of reducing conflict and increasing solidarity. This project prepares the interested parties to make more critical decisions in the future like inter-basin water transfers.

Key contacts

DIOP Ahmadou Bamba - OSAN3


Finance source Amount
DeltaUSD 13,396,276
TotalUSD 13,396,276