African Development Bank reiterates support for Lake Chad Basin Heritage Project

Heritage Stewardship

African Development Bank reiterates support for Lake Chad Basin Heritage Project
25/07/2018 – The African Development Bank will continue its support for an environmental initiative to protect the shrinking Lake Chad – a source of water to millions of people in central and West Africa, the Bank’s Director General for Central Africa Region, Ousmane Dore told UN bodies and representatives of west and central African UN missions.

In the past decade, the Bank has invested more than $160 Million through regional projects aimed at fighting the ecological and humanitarian crises in the Lake Chad region.

The UNESCO Biosphere and Heritage of Lake Chad (BIOPALT) project, funded by the Bank, is a multi-disciplinary project, linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project is implemented in five countries within the Lake Chad area: Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.

The lake has shrunk to nine tenths of its size due to climate change, population growth and irrigation.
Addressing participants at the meeting, UNESCO Assistant Director General Flavia Schlegel described it as a platform for governments, UN agencies, civil society and academia to reflect on the relevance of adopting a multisectoral response to solving the region’s humanitarian and ecological crisis.

The Lake Chad area is important for its terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity, but a 90% reduction in rainfall has affected more than 40 million people, Zacharie Serge Raoul Nyanid, Permanent Mission of Cameroon, said.

Dore who represented the Bank at the meeting, reiterated its commitment to work closely with the five member countries’ governments to restore and rehabilitate degraded ecosystems, improve the livelihoods of the communities and bring back lasting peace in the region…