The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in Southern Africa

Biodiversity within inland water ecosystems in southern Africa is both highly diverse and of great regional importance to livelihoods and economies. However, development activities are not always compatible with the conservation of this diversity and it is poorly represented within the development planning process. One of the main reasons cited for inadequate representation of biodiversity is a lack of readily available information on the status and distribution of inland water taxa. Inland waters throughout the region are poorly represented within the existing protected areas network which is largely designed for protection of terrestrial ecosystems. Future efforts must take account of the upstream and downstream connectivity in freshwater ecosystems. This report provide a baseline of the status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity throughout all of Africa.