Table of Contents

Implementing Environmental Law

Implementing Environmental Law

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series

Edited by Paul Martin and Amanda Kennedy

At the Rio +20 conference attention was focused upon the variable effectiveness of a large range of international instruments. The IUCN too has recently began to focus upon the effectiveness of legal arrangements for environmental governance. Both of these developments are representative of an increasing awareness that legal environmental governance arrangements frequently fail to achieve the desired outcomes, or give rise to perverse and unexpected effects. The reasons why this may be so include issues such as the limited commitment of the responsible government or its agents, issues of corruption or incapacity, problems arising from the choice of the governance instrument, or the design of the law. This book tackles the challenges of implementation of environmental law, drawing upon the expertise of an international cast of contributors and investigations across a range of jurisdictions.

Chapter 8: Fouling Adam’s Eden: a legal analysis of the collective action challenge in Lake Victoria

Omondi Robert Owino

Subjects: environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law


Omondi Robert Owino* 1. INTRODUCTION Regrettably, Lake Victoria is today seriously threatened due to receding water levels, soil and waste pollution, over-fishing, and a growing decline in the health of its ecosystems. As a result, the livelihoods and well-being of over 30 million people who live around its basin are at risk. It is imperative that we act urgently and decisively to halt further decline of the lake and the surrounding environment.1 Lake Victoria2 is an indispensable shared resource in the East African Community (EAC)3 and its basin is one of the most densely populated * Doctoral Candidate Department of Public Law, International and European Law, Faculty of Law, Bayreuth University (Germany), LL.M (Dar es Salaam), LL.B (Hons) (Moi), Dip (KSL), Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. 1 Kibaki (2007). 2 Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa by area and also the largest tropical lake in the world. It is also the world’s second largest freshwater lake by surface area coming second only to Lake Superior in North America. Lake Victoria boasts a surface area of about 68,000 km2 shared by Kenya (6%); Uganda – (45%) and Tanzania (49%) with a shoreline that extends up to about 3,500 km and an average depth of about 40 m and a maximum depth of 80 m. The Lake lies between latitude 0.7°´N – 3°´S and longitude 31.8°´E – 34.8°´E on a catchment area of about 193,000 km2 that includes Burundi (7.2%); Kenya (21.5%); Rwanda (11.4%)...

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