Three men carrying a fish trap with fish on a raft





The AQUAHUB II project continues the long-term commitment of the Austrian Development Cooperation towards the protection and sustainable use of lakes, rivers and wetlands in Eastern Africa. The overall project objective is to foster the sustainable management of freshwater ecosystems and to contribute towards the achievement of the SDG’s. Supported are capacity development processes at the individual and institutional level towards the sustainable management of freshwater ecosystems in Eastern Africa. Strengthened are HEST institutions in Eastern Africa, which educate professionals, carry-out relevant research/extension activities, contribute to the development of evidence-based policies and enhance regional and international networking.

At least 68 young water/environmental professionals (at least 28 females) from primarily Eastern Africa participate in the Master’s programmes and 35 MSc research projects are carried-out. Implemented is the international joint degree Master’s programme Limnology and Wetland Management by BOKU University, EGU and IHE DELFT with 42 participants and the Eastern African joint degree Master’s programme AEEM by AAU, BDU, EIAR-NFALRC and EGU with 26 participants.
At least 40 Eastern African experts from at least 15 different institutions contribute to the LWM and AEEM programmes. Both Master’s programme curricula put special emphasis on skill-orientated courses, student centred teaching approaches and contain inter- and transdisciplinary course elements to enhance the relevance of the programmes.

Extended is the AQUAHUB knowledge and networking platform to connect at least 350 registered members.

At least 5 collaborative research- & capacity development projects are developed and/or implemented and 40 SDG relevant contributions are delivered via MSc theses, scientific- and professional publications, projects and outreach activities.

Implemented is an impact assessment study by an independent team of experts, based on the input of at least 20 stakeholder institutions and at least 150 Eastern African professionals having attended
IPGL/LWE/LWM/AEEM training programmes over the last 45 years.

Project duration:      01-11-2021 to 30-09-2024
Funded by:                Austrian Development Agency
Project coordinator: BOKU University
Project partners:      Egerton University, Addis Ababa University, Bahir Dar University,
                                   Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, UNESCO-IHE,
                                   Institute for Water Education




waterplants on a lake



SWAQ-Uganda - Sustainable water quality management supporting Uganda’s development ambitions


Water quality challenges are major threats to human health, ecosystem health and economic development in Uganda, but inadequate data and capacity prevents effective management of water quality. The project aims to contribute to the sustainable management of water resources in Uganda, with the expected outcomes of improved knowledge and enhanced capacity in water quality management.

The project activities are structured along three output areas (OPs):

  • OP1: Improving water quality monitoring and information sharing through existing data collation and monitoring;
  • OP2: Developing a water quality modelling framework for Uganda, covering nationwide baseline setup and a case study; and
  • OP3: Enhancing institutional capacity for water quality management to inform policy and practice.

The project is primarily targeted towards the Directorate of Water Resources Management (DWRM) of the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) of Uganda. At least 60 persons (practitioners, policymakers and researchers from Ugandan governments and universities) working in the water sector will directly benefit from the trainings on water quality related aspects.
DWRM, as an institution with an overall mandate for water resources management in Uganda, is our main target institution for the tailored institutional capacity enhancement. Other direct beneficiaries include the national and regional development partners, investors, civil society organisations and scientists. They can make use of the data and assessment report on water quality, which are main outputs of this project.
Due to the impact of water quality on human health and ecosystem services, a much larger group of indirect beneficiaries is envisioned at the impact level, namely the Ugandans who directly or indirectly suffer from water pollution.

Project duration:      01-11-2021 to 31-10-2025
Funded by:                Austrian Development Agency
Project coordinator: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Project partners:      BOKU University, Ministry of Water & Environment of Uganda




bridge with a river underneath in summer, Austria



EcoManAqua - Ecology and Management of aquatic ecosystems in Central, East and Southeast Europe


The network enhances joint teaching activities, specifically at Master and PhD level (joint supervision) and addresses challenges in ecology and management of aquatic ecosystems to achieve sustainable solutions.

Within EcoManAqua, 14 universities and 3 other institutions (research institutes, national park) from 10 countries cooperate in the following fields:

  • Aquatic biodiversity and biogeochemistry;

  • Environmental history;

  • Ecosystem services and social ecology;

  • Effects of climate change & multiple stressors;

  • Restoration and conservation of aquatic ecosystems;

  • Protection of species – e.g. migratory fish species such as the sturgeon species;

  • Aquatic ecosystem management and sustainability; and

  • New techniques and tools in assessment and monitoring of aquatic systems.

Project duration:      2019 – 2026
Funded by:                CEEPUS Network” CIII-AT-1101-00-19/20 & 20/21 & 21/22 & 22-26
Project coordinator: BOKU University
Project Partner:        University of Tirana, St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University,
                                   University of Zagreb, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek,
                                   University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice,
                                   University of Montenegro, State University of Tetovo,
                                   Warsaw University of Life Sciences, University of Bucharest,
                                   University of Agricultural Sciences & Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca,
                                   University of Belgrade, University of Novi Sad, University of Ljubljana




view of a lake framed by the leaves of a tree, Ethiopia



ILWA - Interfaces for integrated land/water resource management


The ILWA project focuses on interface zones (buffer strips and trees/crops next/relatively-close to streams/rivers/wetlands/lakes) by gathering evidence from literature, experimental sites and pilot studies in different catchments in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and Burkina Faso.

The specific focus is laid on land-water interfaces for climate change relevant activities that contribute to a serious erosion reduction, an increase of carbon sequestration, water infiltration, water holding capacity, and ground water level, to cope with drought and floods, plus N and P management to increase water quality for human consumption, ecosystem integrity and fish production.

The project anticipates to expand the international and geographical perspective while increasing the knowledge base on:

  1. Gender-specific, adaptive capacity on Climate Change and Food Security Status - a catchment approach to agro-forestry land-water systems;

  2. Woody plant based restoration in the Upper Catchment of Lake Tana;

  3. Strengthening Research and Adaptive Management of Buffer Zones in Lake Tana catchment;

  4. Strengthening community-based research for river health and climate change mitigation in Eastern Africa; and

  5. Rural women productive resources and their resilience to climate changes.

Project duration:      01-07-2021 to 30-06-2024
Funded by:                Africa UniNet @ Oead, funded by the BMBWF
Project coordinator: BOKU University
Project Partner:       Bahir Dar University; Amhara Region Agricultural Research Institute;
                                  Debre Tabor University; Universidade Zambeze; University of Ouahigouya;
                                  associate partner institutions Egerton University and Kyambogo University