Our Programs / Freshwater Biodiversity & Resources

Overview: Freshwater Biodiversity and Resources

Freshwater resources in Africa are insecure in quantity and quality, and water resource development is a high priority for governments and international donors. Audiences for data and knowledge of freshwater biodiversity include the conservation sector to help in the protection of wetlands and influence policy decisions and investors in water infrastructure for hydropower and human use, who rely on biodiversity and fisheries information to reduce risk and plan development.

We seek projects in which there is a partnership between knowledge providers and users. Further, the partnership must make a strong case that the resulting data and information services will improve human lives, and have a positive impact on conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development.

  • We are developing grantmaking initiatives in Freshwater Ecosystem Assessment and in Freshwater Safeguarding Informatics. We aim to address the urgent need for better freshwater biodiversity assessment. Grants may focus on developing data systems and mobile technologies, and filling knowledge gaps for conservation purposes, particularly as they apply to vital biodiversity areas that lie in the path of or support human development.
  • Over time, we will work to strengthen informatics systems and multiple sectors’ access to and use of freshwater biodiversity data. Grants will seeks to improve how Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for important infrastructure investments use biodiversity data and to mobilize existing EIA data.



In 2016, JRS launched its Freshwater Biodiversity and Resources Program with a call for proposals that sought biodiversity informatics projects that brought together data providers and knowledge users and that built capacity for biodiversity information systems.   We have approved five grants in the program to-date and, as of January 2017, three have been announced and two will be announced very soon – please see the grant list below.  To-date our grants cover these areas and reflect our interest in information systems, projects that create access to existing and new data, projects that can serve as hubs for training, and projects that engage the end-user of the biodiversity knowledge.  The projects are in these areas:

As those projects progress, we will share reports and lessons learned here.

View Publications

Freshwater News and Stories

Freshwater Grants

Project Title


Amount / Months


International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
$252,000 / 33 Months
University of Cape Town
$215,900 / 48 Months
University of Botswana Okavango Research Institute
$111,600 / 30 Months
Stellenbosch University - Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology
$296,000 / 47 Months

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