HTML Document Lake Kivu Islands

Release date 15/07/2015
Contributor Djuma Nsanzimana
Geographical coverage Rwanda
Keywords Lake Kivu, Islands, biodiverisity

Lake Kivu small islands have a rich biodiversity composed of 142 plant species, 80 species of birds, 52 invertebrates, 6 mammals, 6 reptiles, 5 species of amphibian and 26 fish species. Islands have endangered species, already registered on IUCN red list, such as Marsh Mongoose (Atilax paludinosus: inzibyi), some water birds and snakes like Bitis nasicornis and Naja melanoleuca. Islands hold 15 endemic fish species and three migratory species (Cossypha natalensis, Milvus migrans and Bulbucus ibis. Lake Kivu constitutes the big water reservoir for the region, regulates water cycle and by the way climate change. Prosperous fishery industry in Lake Kivu, methane gaze exploitation and transport facilities. High Eco-tourism potentiality in Kivu islands, which can become a relevant income generation source for Rwanda and ecosystem services.

In order to protect the great richness of Lake Kivu Islands and raising incomes generation for the country, there is an urgent need for elaboration of their Management plan taking into account key zones for biodiversity conservation, tourism development and recreation etc. Lake Kivu and its islands have high potential for income generation and sustainable enhancement of local community livelihood. Based on previous studies conducted on Lake Kivu and its biodiversity, the recommendation is about the creation of Biosphere Reserve for Lake Kivu Islands, but more investigations are needed to support the proposition. Eco-tourism development constitutes a high priority for the Lake Kivu islands in order to create more employment opportunities for local communities and reduce pressure on natural resources. The development of tourism will increasingly lead to more off-farm employments thus improving the living standards of people.