Bulletin November 2007

Outcome of the Commonwealth meeting in Kampala: reserve gazetted around Lake Victoria In honor of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2007) in Kampala, Uganda government has gazetted 80 square miles out of the 26,800 square miles as a Lucustrine Protected Areas (‘no take reserve’) effective December 2007. This reserve is meant to protect dwindling fish species, encourage research and to promote spot fishing. we welcome this development as one step to counteract excessive fishing pressure in Lake Victoria, use of illegal and destructive fishing gears especially undersized gillnets and beach seines, the fisheries and environmental degradation (for example as a result of periodical enhanced and prolonged oxygen deficits reduce habitable lake space for fish). Nevertheless, we suggest that this momentum should be built on so that Tanzania and Kenya identify similar sites and gazette them in furtherance of Article 4 (2j) of the Protocol for Sustainable Development of Lake Victoria basin - principle of 
he protection and preservation of the ecosystems of international watercourses whereby ecosystems are treated as units. Above all, deliberate steps need to be taken to seek dialogue with society around the gazetted LPA to win their support and appreciation of this important step, rather than letting it to be perceived as ‘being in interest of outsiders’