Recently, the ‘Sustainable Utilization of Water Resources and Comprehensive Management of Lake Basins in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa’ project was approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China under the National Key Research and Development Programme for International Cooperation (with UN Environment Programme), with a funding of about USD 1 million for research and exchange activities in the next 2.5 years.

Led by Prof. Shuang Chen from the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGLAS), the project will engage researchers from UNEP-IEMP, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan University, Nanjing University, Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, University of Dar es Salaam, Jomo Kenyatta University of agriculture and Technology, and so on, to assess the level of supply and demand of water resources, the quality of water environment, and the impacts of water resources management policies in view of population growth and rapid urbanization in the region.

On 5 November 2019, a launch and expert consultation workshop for the project was held in Nanjing, China. More than 30 researchers, including 10 invited experts, from Chinese Academy of Sciences and several universities in China attended the workshop and discussed the research programme and specific research tasks reported by Prof. Shuang Chen and some project team members. Dr. Chao Fu from UNEP-IEMP reported on the research task on ‘Evaluation of Water Resources Utilization Policies in Typical Fragile Ecological-Economic Areas’, with an aim to develop SDG-oriented strategy and policy suggestions for sustainable water resources utilization in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa. As a follow up, a consultation workshop with African researchers will be convened in Tanzania in January 2020.