Research conducted at northwestern Ontario's Experimental Lakes Area is soon set to be deployed intercontinentally, as the owner of the freshwater science station partners with a foundation seeking to preserve the health of the African Great Lakes.
The partnership between the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education was announced Tuesday. It is intended to attack the key ways lakes are currently being threatened: including algal blooms, climate change, invasive species, and fragile fisheries.
The seven bodies that comprise the African Great Lakes are considered to be biodiversity hot spots, and drastically impact the economy and welfare of an estimated 50 million people across 10 countries.
"We have recognized that no one organization, institution, or even country, can address the challenges that our global freshwater resources face. It is essential, therefore, to strengthen collaborations for leveraging the combined skills, assets, technologies and resources of public, private, and non-profit entities to deliver sustainable instruction, guidance, and research to protect these resources," said Kevin Obiero, chairman of ACARE board of directors and director of the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.
ELA staff will be able to contribute expertise garnered from the 50 years of freshwater research conducted at the 58-lake facility in Ontario. The partnership between Winnipeg-based IISD and ACARE will not only be based on freshwater research conducted at the ELA, but will also extend to collaboration in the realms of legal and policy expertise.
Sarah Lawrynuik reports on climate change for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press climate change reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.