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MEA Bulletin - Guest Article No. 80 - Thursday, 12 November 2009
Lake Tanganyika Authority Headquarters Agreement Signed
By Saskia Marijnissen, UNOPS, Technical Advisor UNDP/GEF Project on Lake Tanganyika, and Henry Mwima, Executive Director Lake Tanganyika Authority
UN-REDD Programme: Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Civil Society
Signing of the Lake Tanganyika Headquarters Agreement, Bujumbura, Burundi on 4 November 2009. L-R: Henry Mwima, Executive Director of the LTA, and Augustin Nsanze, Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation.
On 4 November 2009, the Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation of Burundi signed the Headquarters Agreement of the Lake Tanganyika Authority. The signing of the Headquarters Agreement is an important milestone for the Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA). In the Agreement, the Government of Burundi committed to house the LTA Headquarters, and provide diplomatic immunity, legal protection, as well as freedom of press to its members.

The LTA is an institutional management structure representing the governments of the riparian countries Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia. The LTA coordinates the implementation of the Convention on the Sustainable Management of Lake Tanganyika, which unites the countries in recognizing that the lake is a shared heritage with unique biological diversity. The Convention also recognizes the significance of Lake Tanganyika and its basin for the development of the riparian states, and the necessity of establishing a sustainable legal and institutional framework for cooperative management.

The Convention forms the legal framework for implementation of the Lake Tanganyika Regional Integrated Management Programme (LTRIMP), which includes interventions identified in the Strategic Action Programme and the Framework Fisheries Management Plan for the lake. The LTRIMP is supported by a range of partner organisations including the African Development Bank, the UN Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility, the Nordic Development Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Union for Conservation of Nature and the UN Environment Programme. Priority actions of the programme include development and capacity building of local and national stakeholders, establishment of sustainable fisheries, pollution control through improved wastewater management, sustainable catchment management demonstrations, and establishment of regional lake monitoring systems.

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