Global International Waters Assessment: Benguela Current, GIWA Regional Assessment 44
This report presents the GIWA assessment of the Benguela Current region, which includes the entire extent of the Benguela Current system and the freshwaters that drain into it. The environmental and socio-economic problems in the region differ greatly between its freshwater and marine components. A number of anthropogenic activities such as population increase, growth of coastal urban centres, irrigation, agriculture and industry, place increasing demands on the limited freshwater supplies of the region. The potential for conflicts over these resources is also high with large-scale inter-basin transfer schemes and transboundary rivers constituting national boarders. In the marine areas, despite the high primary productivity, overfishing and degradation of important habitats have lead to declines in fish stocks. Freshwater shortage and overfishing were considered priority concerns in the region. The past and present status and future prospects of these concerns are discussed and subsequently traced back to their root causes. Policy options to mitigate these problems are proposed that aims to provide solutions to these fundamental issues in order to enhance the management of the regions aquatic environment.