The integration of freshwater biodiversity in the development process throughout Africa: mobilising information and site demonstrations

This six-year project was designed to ensure that environmental planning for water resource developments throughout Africa is based on the integration of reliable information on the status, distribution and ecological requirements of freshwater biodiversity.

The project enables water resource managers and environmental planners throughout Africa to integrate information on freshwater biodiversity within the development process. Before now, that information has been inaccessible due to its disorganised and dispersed state. This was achieved through training workshops, development of expert networks, and mobilisation of existing information. It has built upon existing initiatives and national expertise. These combined actions will build capacity to enable national planners to fulfil their obligations to the UNCBD and other major environmental agreements.

In the most extensive and comprehensive assessment ever undertaken of African freshwater species, IUCN with its partners assessed over 5,000 freshwater species for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, including all known species of freshwater fishes, molluscs, crabs, dragonflies and damselflies and selected families of aquatic plants. This information can directly inform development projects across the continent, as results are presented at the river basin scale.

Pan-Africa species assessments are now accessible online from the search tool above. A full report on the status and distribution of Continental Africa's freshwater biodiversity is available to download from here.