A non-governmental wetland conservation programme established in 1991 – a partnership between two of SA’s largest conservation NGO’s (WESSA and WWF) together with the funding from two corporates (Mazda Wildlife Fund and Mondi Ltd).
The programme was started with the aim to raise awareness of the strategic importance of wetlands to facilitate proper management and restoration of wetlands and focuses mainly on wetlands outside nature reserves.
All parties involved are educated to bring about social change in their approach to wetlands, with emphasis also being placed on root causes of problems with solutions based on increased awareness. Mondi Wetlands Programme has changed the way government, communities and industries manage wetlands and has produced much publicity with regards to wetland conservation. The Programme will need another 5 years to ensure that government, community, and industry partners have fully integrated the wetland management into their operations.
This was the first nation-wide government effort to restore wetlands, with employment relief programmes in mind. Working for Wetlands was established July 2000 with the main goal of restoring degraded wetlands to enhance water supplies and conserve biodiversity.
The programme functions through formation of partnerships with private sector companies in the mining and forestry industry. The success of the programme led the national government to substantially increase investment in 2004.
Priority is given to wetlands with greatest conservation and water supply implications
Activities undertaken include:
There will be various events in Cape Town on Thursday, 2 Feb 2012. One might find a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium worth a visit. Two of the exhibits are based on the theme of the day: The ‘Sappi River Meander’ will explain the flora and fauna residing in the South African Wetlands and ‘The Story of a River’ will outline coastal river-mouth ecology right up to mountain catchment areas – and will highlight many of the threats facing wetlands
Source: Green Times (Katie Bell)
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