Restoring wetlands & healing a nation REHABILITATING WETLANDS FOR: WATER SECURITY POVERTY ALLEVIATION BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION

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1 Restoring wetlands & healing a nation REHABILITATING WETLANDS FOR: WATER SECURITY POVERTY ALLEVIATION BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION

2 WETLAND TYPES in South Africa seep marsh wet grassland marsh

3 WETLAND TYPES floodplain Estuarine system Lake Fundudzi

4 TYPICAL WETLAND IMPACTS overgrazing Cattle trampling Gully erosion in a wetland, caused by: fire roads

5 WETLAND IMPACTS A drained wetland, Plantation forestry in a wetland seep marsh Commercial crops grown in a wetland Unsustainable subsistence farming in a wetland

6 SOUTH AFRICA S PROBLEM water scarce country many without access to tap water high levels of poverty Approx 45% wetlands destroyed

7 HOW HAS SOUTH AFRICA TACKLED THESE PROBLEMS? THROUGH A PROGRAMME THAT CATALYSES WETLAND CONSERVATION THROUGH REHABILITATON, WHILE: alleviating poverty securing water resources protecting biodiversity using labour intensive methods providing skills development

8 Partners: Working for Water Dept. Water Dept. Environment Dept. Agriculture WWF-South Africa Contractors & workers Landowners 5 pillars of support: 1. Rehabilitation 2. Developing capacity 3. Partnerships 4. CEPA 5. Research 2003: 1800 people employed 53 wetlands rehabilitated Funding US$ 15 million over past 4 years, rising to $22 million Treasury s Special Poverty Relief Fund Public Works Programme Employment provision, small business creation & support, transfer of marketable skills Projects must: 1. Employ poorest of poor from: single parent families HIV/AIDS affected woman (60%) youth (20%) disabled (1%) 2. Allocate minimum 30% of budget for community wages

9 Before 1. WETLAND REHABILITATION After Plugging drains to re-flood wetland Re-vegetating clay plugs in wetland drain Blocking a gully which has eroded into the wetland, to trap sediment & raise water table Re-vegetating gully erosion, eroding up the wetland

10 1. WETLAND REHABILITATION concrete structure plugging a drain Controlling alien plants Eradicating alien vegetation All rehabilitation work on a catchment based approach Restoration either done to original condition, or stabilization Cause and effect of degradation addressed Gabions stabilizing gulley severe head gully erosion head erosion During rehabilitation, awareness is raised and behaviour changed

11 2. CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT Temporary employment alone will not alleviate poverty Skills are also transferred to workers: Technical skills - vocational skills -business skills Life skills - adult basic education - primary health - HIV/AIDS education - gender equality - personal finances - first aid Opportunities are provided to workers: gaining jobs elsewhere with their new found skills raising their self esteem and self belief an opportunity to help themselves escape the poverty whirlpool

12 Ingredients for success: An NGO partner who is a free ranging catalyst who can initiate Implementation systems of government Technical skills of Depts. of Agric, Water & Environment Political support from the top Landowner involvement People to do the work Government expertise is vital for building large structures 3. PARTNERSHIPS Insert photos of the 3 ministers with water, enviro and agric under each? Political support from ministerial level is vital Landowner involvement is crucial Role players: Dept. Water & Working for Water Dept. Environment Dept. Agriculture Mondi Wetlands Project Contractors & workers Landowners

13 1. Key is integrating wetland rehabilitation with poverty alleviation & water management 2. Catchment based approach vital 3. Important to have partnerships working at all levels simultaneously 4. Long term investment needed 5. Public awareness NB for buy in Lessons learnt 6. Must have strong research and info base Water, water, water! 7. NGO s vital as a catalyst, but govt vital for implementation and funding 8. Water not biodiversity may be the key 9. Monitoring is essential to substantiate efficient use of money 10.Stewardship of wetlands after rehab vital 11.Exit strategies for workers NB to ensure they do no re-enter poverty Employment, skills, & poverty alleviation

14 CONCLUSION The model upon which Working for Wetlands is based has also successfully been used in South Africa for programmes focusing on: eradication of invasive alien plants Community based natural resource management combating desertification tourism infrastructure development sustainable use of agricultural natural resources

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