Local Action for Biodiversity: Wetlands South Africa

Under the auspices of the global LAB programme, the Local Action for Biodiversity: Wetlands South Africa (LAB: Wetlands SA) project is currently being implemented in 11 municipalities throughout South Africa. The aim of the project is to protect priority natural wetland resources, thus enabling the supply of ecosystem services and promoting resilient communities under a changing climate within South Africa.

Through the project, ICLEI aims to improve local government knowledge and understanding of the value of wetlands, initiate the process of integrating wetlands and ecosystem services into local government planning and decision making and to implement and pilot on the ground wetland projects within the participating municipalities.

Call for Wetland Project Proposals

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability seeks to appoint service providers to implement wetland projects in the project municipalities.

Download the Call for Proposals here.

Download the Application form here.

Download the relevant Wetland Strategy and Action Plans below.

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Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Project Details

LAB Wetlands SA will enhance the conservation and management of natural wetland resources across South Africa by assisting 9 district and 2 metropolitan municipalities to build institutional capacity and develop local policies for integrating biodiversity across local government departments.

The programme – implemented by ICLEI and key partners, SANBI, SALGA, Working for Wetlands and DEA – is based on the globally renowned LAB Pioneer methodology. The LAB programme recognises the critical role of local governments in biodiversity conversation and the value of biodiversity for delivering ecosystem services and enhancing local climate resilience.

A LAB programme for South Africa

LAB: Wetlands South Africa has been customised to the South African context, where wetlands are the most threatened of all ecosystems and where poverty and the delivery
of basic services are critical issues at the local government level.

Biodiversity, and wetlands in particular, contribute to service provision and disaster risk reduction though ecosystem services such as flood attenuation, water filtration and water security, which are increasingly important in a changing climate. The programme therefore seeks to enhance the conservation and management of natural wetland resources through increased awareness of wetlands and the integration of biodiversity considerations into local government planning and decision- making.

Programme overview

Through enhanced awareness of wetlands, and the integration of biodiversity considerations into local government planning and decision-making, the project will build the capacity of the district municipalities to prioritise and effectively manage wetlands and biodiversity. The programme will focus on mainstreaming biodiversity across government departments and working with community stakeholders to increase awareness and community buy-in.

In the long-term, the programme seeks to contribute disaster risk-reduction and resilience to climate change through effective management of biodiversity and wetland and enhancing ecosystem services.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Resources

Nolufefe Primary School Wetlands Video

For more information, please watch the full 18 minute video here.

Amathole

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Bojanala

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Buffalo City

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Eden

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Ehlanzeni

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Ekurhuleni

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Frances Baard

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iLembe

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Overberg

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West Rand

West Rand

LAB: Wetlands SA brochure

Amathole

Bojanala Platinum

Buffalo City

Eden

Ehlanzeni

Ekurhuleni

Frances Baard

iLembe

Overberg

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West Rand

WSAP Guidelines

LAB WSAP Guidelines

Amathole

Amathole

Bojanala

Bojanala

Buffalo

Buffalo

Eden

Eden Thumbnail

Ehlanzeni

Ehlanzeni Thumbnail

Ekurhuleni

Ekurhuleni

Frances Baard

Frances Baard

iLembe

iLembe thumbnail

Overberg

Overberg Thumbnail

Waterberg

Waterberg

West Rand

West Rand

Amathole

Bojanala

Eden

Ehlanzeni

iLembe

Overberg

Waterberg

West Rand

Amathole

Bojanala

Buffalo City

Eden

Ehlanzeni

Ekurhuleni

Frances Baard

iLembe

Overberg

Waterberg

West Rand

Bojanala

Ehlanzeni

iLembe

Overberg

Bojanala

During the programme, each municipality will:

1. Improve local government and citizen understanding of the value of biodiversity in the local context.
A core focus of the programme is the provision of training, information and resourcesthat will develop awareness and the capacity to identify problems and solutions. Workshops will be convened in each project municipality, bringing together municipal departments and key community stakeholders, ensuring that citizens are included in the learning process and improving community buy-in and ownership of biodiversity projects.

2. Boost political commitment
A core part of the programme is engagement with the mayor and other high-level officials to emphasise the importance of biodiversity and climate adaptation in the local government context and to promote local government leadership in this regard.
3. Integrate biodiversity into local government planning and decision-making
Each municipality will be assisted in the compilation of a Wetland Assessment Report that will take stock of the municipality’s wetland resources and the priorities for management into one resource. The assessment report will provide a basis for the development of a Wetland Strategy and Action Plan, which is a key implementation tool for biodiversity management across the municipality and integrating with the IDP. Integration of biodiversity considerations across departments is a key factor, and the formation of multi-sectoral platforms within the municipality will enhance understanding and input from all departments.
4. Implement on-the- ground wetland projects and develop project proposals for wetland project funding
During the development of the Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, wetland project concepts will be developed. As part of the LAB: Wetlands South Africa programme, three municipalities will be awarded funding to implement a project, based on a competition between participants.

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