P049_Ethiopia

Collaborative Monitoring for Sustainable Development of Lake Tana UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (Ethiopia)

Lake Tana © APPEAR

Cooperating countries: Ethiopia and Austria

Coordinating institution: Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (Austria), Dr. Michael Jungmeier,

Partner institution: Bahir Dar University (Ethiopia)

Project duration: 1 June 2021 - 31 May 2023

Abstract:

In the project Collaborative Monitoring for Sustainable Development of Lake Tana UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (Ethiopia) an interdisciplinary team will work together with scientists from Bahir Dar University (Ethiopia) and Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. In a two-year project, the methods and possibilities for collaborative monitoring of biodiversity will be explored and further developed. Collaborative monitoring is a form of Citizen Science, so the necessary technologies and devices must be configured in a very simple and user-friendly way. This will be done using the example of the water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), an aggressive neophyte, which has invaded Lake Tana recently and poses a great threat to the ecosystem services of the lake and the livelihoods of the local population. Collaborative monitoring should make it possible to integrate the knowledge and capacities of non-scientific actors and stakeholders into the research process. This enables better, more widely accepted and "socially robust" results of a scientific project. In this project the technical background for this monitoring shall be developed by combining remote sensing data from the European Copernicus program (Sentinel) with SMART tools for terrestrial surveys in a GIS Environment. SMART tools are increasingly used in the management of protected areas in Ethiopia. The project takes place in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This is a "learning region for sustainable development" and thus supports any effort toward Sustainable Development Goals. In the project Goal 14 Life below water and Goal 15 Life on land shall be adressed specifically. The project is in line with the research agenda of Lake Tana UESCO Biosphere Reserve. Against this background, the project should also open up long-term perspectives for cooperation between the two research institutions and the two countries.