(Established : 2005)

The Lake Chad is an important international shallow freshwater source that depends for 90-95% of its supply from the Chari Rivers system and its surface area varies from 2 000 km2 to 25 000 km2 depending on the annual amount of rainfall. The population within the basin from Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Niger and Nigeria, is estimated at over 20 million people. The associated floodplains of the Lake Chad cover almost 100 000 km2 where water demand is increasing while drought and desertification are attenuating water flow in the three sub-basins that constitutes the Lake Chad basin. This system is the second largest wetland in Africa and hosts biodiversity of global significance while the floodplains support a wide range of economic activities - recession agriculture, pastoralism, forest regeneration, fish breeding and production and drought fallback security and tourism potential.

The region is characterized by profound situation of poverty and environmental fragility. The 20 million people have no alternative to Chad basin resources for their survival. Use, overuse and/or abuse of wetlands and their resources are deeply threatening wildlife and livelihoods because of the lowering of basin yields due to drought and human impacts. Lake Chad now covers merely 1,350 km2 (521 sq. miles) down from 25,000 km2 (9,653 sq miles) forty (40) years back.

Disturbed by these complex problems, the Heads of States and Governments of the Lake Chad Basin, namely Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Niger, and Nigeria agreed to establish the Lake Chad Basin Commission in 1964 to encourage cooperation in developing the Lake Chad region and to attract financial and technical assistance for research and development. The recent program of action emphasized anti-desertification measures, coordinated protection of crops, animals and forestry, and of Lake Chad. Improvement in road and railway links between member countries is also a major concern of the commission.

The 8th Summit of the Commission held in Abuja in March, 1994 approved the document of the Master Plan for the Development and Environmentally Sound Management of the Natural Resources of the Lake Chad Conventional Basin. This document consisted of 36 projects relating to water resources, agriculture, forestry, biodiversity management, livestock, and fishery developments within the Lake Chad Conventional Basin.

It was at this summit that an international campaign to save Lake Chad was launched. The Summit instructed the executive secretariat to organize a donors' conference in consultation with United Nations' and other donor international organizations/agencies to mobilize international support for the implementation of the Commission's Master Plan.

AGENDA : 63rd International Executive Council Meeting, Adelaide, Australia [In PDF format] ARCHIVE

MINUTES : 63rd International Executive Council Meeting, Adelaide, Australia [In PDF format] ARCHIVE


The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) was established on 24 June, 1950 as a Scientific, Technical and Voluntary Not-for-profit Non-Governmental International Organization (NGO) with headquarters in New Delhi, India.

The Commission is dedicated to enhancing the worldwide supply of food and fibre for all people by improving water and land management and the productivity of irrigated and drained lands through appropriate management of water, environment and application of irrigation, drainage and flood management techniques. [For more information contact http://www.icid.org

Design : Madhu Mohanan, ICID Central Office