BUJUMBURA December 13th (ABP) – The Vice President of the Republic, Mr. Prosper Bazombanza, chaired, on Thursday, December 9, 2022, the work of the 10th ordinary meeting of the conference of the Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA) ministers.
In his opening speech, the Vice President specified that the purpose of holding that meeting is due to performance in the action of joint coordination of the management of transboundary resources of Lake Tanganyika and its basin. Thus, the implementation of the integrated development plan of the coastal protection zone and its wetlands will ensure the protection of the coastal zone, the land use of the zone while safeguarding a healthy environment. The document that will be released will serve as a lantern for decision-makers, local and international investors as well as other partners so that the coastline of Lake Tanganyika is valued and protected taking into account environmental, tourist and economic aspects, he said.
Mr. Bazombanza indicated that to support the activities of the LTA secretariat, which is currently in difficulty, Burundi will continue to support the Authority annually, as provided for in the agreement signed by the four bordering countries of the Lake Tanganyika, calling on all the countries concerned to do the same, while hoping that the development partners will remain alongside the authority to ensure the protection of biodiversity and the sustainable management of natural resources.
In his speech, the Ambassador of the European Union to Burundi, Claude Bochu, indicated that the European Union is one of the privileged partners of the LTA. In 2019, the European Union funded the Lake Tanganyika Water Management (LATAWAMA) project, the components of which were the establishment of a water quality monitoring network at the basin level, the development of pilot projects in the main towns of the Lake Tanganyika basin and institutional support to regional basin authorities. In 2020, the European Union had also financed the Lake Tanganyika Fishery Management (LATAFIMA) project with two components, namely the harmonization of the regional regulatory framework, which has already led to the signing of a regional charter of prohibition of fishing between May 15 and August 15 of each year, as well as the establishment of a system for monitoring, control and surveillance of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, coordinated at the regional level.
In the same vein, Claude Bochu announced that the European Union plans to commit, in 2023, a new envelope of 27 million euros to finance a new phase of the LATAWAMA project. According to him, that phase aims to strengthen the water quality monitoring system in the entire Lake Tanganyika watershed and the establishment of a water quantity monitoring system. The phase to be financed will also target the development of regional actions according to a circular economy approach as well as the strengthening of the role of regional basin authorities in their leadership.
The delegations of the four riparian countries of Lake Tanganyika within the LTA had responded to the appointment. Burundi was represented by the Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Sanctus Niragira, Tanzania by the Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, the DRC by the Minister of Fisheries and Livestock and Zambia was represented by the Minister of Green Economy and Environment.
The representatives of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), ENABEL, the Netherlands Embassy and other organizations of the United Nations system in Burundi (AfDB, UNESCO, Bank World) were also present.