|Description||With an area of 400,000 km2, the Volta basin is one of the largest African freshwater basins. Shared by 6 countries, it is threatened by increasing pollution and sediment loads, introduction of non-indigenous species harmful to human and ecosysetm health, habitat degradation (wetlands, mangroves, estuaries) due to human activities, overfishing and excessive water withdrawals, accelerated erosion caused by deforestation, bush fires and overgrazing. There is an high degree of interdependency between riparian countries, affecting hydropower production/supply, coastal erosion and sediment transport, nomadic populations etc. Currently, thare are no institutional arrangements for managing the water resources of the several transboundary rivers of the basin. During PDF-A activities, the six countries have declared (Volta Basin Declaration) their commitment to address the environmental problems of the basin through a coordinated plan of actions. Purpose of the proposed project is to facilitate the establishment of a multi-country management framework, to produce a diagnostic of main transboundary issues, and to define agreed measures to reverse/prevent resources degradation (SAP). The project will also include priority short-term demonstration actions. A PDF-B grant is being requested to establish a regional coordination mechanism and operations committee, and to develop a preliminary diagnostic analysis and country reports, so that a multi-country full project proposal could be prepared.
March 2003 - Project Brief
This project proposal for integrated management of the Volta River Basin, “Addressing Transboundary Concerns in the Volta River Basin and its Downstream Coastal Area” has a primary focus on some of the major environmental problems and issues of the basin leading to the degradation of the environment by human activities. The long-term goal is to enhance the ability of the countries to plan and manage the Volta catchment areas within their territories and aquatic resources and ecosystems on a sustainable basis. The Project has three main components with associated objectives identified by the root cause analysis carried out during the project preparation process: (i): Build capacity and create a regional institutional framework for the effective management of the Volta Basin; (ii): Develop regional policy, legal and regulatory frameworks for addressing transboundary concerns in the Volta Basin and its downstream coastal areas; and (iii): Initiate national and regional measures to combat transboundary environmental degradation in the Volta Basin. The activities to be undertaken will provide a strong foundation for the long term sustainable environmental management of the Volta Basin. A preliminary Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and a preliminary Strategic Action Programme have been prepared, and these serve as the basis for preparation of this project proposal. The full Global Environment Facility (GEF) project will update and expand the TDA, and will develop a regionally agreed SAP, following clarification of some aspects of the environmental status of the region as well as building grounds for SAP implementation. The project recognizes the complex and interlinked nature of Volta River Basin and aims to develop a more sectorally-coordinated management approach, based on IWRM, both at the national and the regional level, with a strong emphasis on an expanded role for all stakeholders within a participatory management framework, especially the private sector. The Project will demonstrate in a replicable manner, integrated land and water management strategies. The demonstrations will stress the development of cross-sectoral management approaches which will address the requirements for institutional realignment and appropriate infrastructure; adoption of new modalities for sectoral participation; enhancement of regional capacity to manage the basin in a sustainable manner; linkages to the social and economic root causes of environmental degradation; and the overall need for sustainability.|