On 9th May 2017 Mr. Sakkie Franken, District Municipal Mayor of Overberg District Municipality and Mr. Paul John Swart, Local Municipal Mayor of Cape Agulhas Local Municipality, signed the Durban Commitment to formally pledge their commitment to protect biodiversity within the Overberg District Municipal region.

The Durban Commitment is a non-binding international commitment made by local governments, for local governments and the communities that they serve, to protect and enhance biodiversity at the local level. The Durban Commitment was initially signed in 2008 and has since been signed by over 50 local municipalities/ cities globally.

“The Durban Commitment is hugely valuable as it re-emphasises Overberg District Municipality’s commitment to promote a safe and healthy environment for the entire region”.

Mr. David Beretti, Overberg District Municipal Manager

The signing of the Durban Commitment came at the end of the Overberg District Municipality Political Leader Workshop which was co-hosted by Overberg District Municipality and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability as part of the LAB: Wetlands SA Project. The workshop aimed to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity and wetlands in particular and was aimed specifically at key political leaders within the Overberg District Municipal region. The workshop aspect of day involved presentations given by ICLEI –Local Governments for Sustainability. This was followed by a guided fieldtrip to key wetland systems located within the Nuwejaars Special Management Area found within Cape Agulhas Local Municipality. The fieldtrip was guided by SMA.

“This was really eye-opening. The information shared with us is extremely relevant in light of the drought situation we face; it is also long overdue. Now we need to decide where to go from here”.

Mr. Paul John Swart, Cape Agulhas Local Municipal Mayor

Attendants at the workshop included the Overberg District Municipality Mayor, the Cape Agulhas Local Municipality Mayor, members of the Overberg District Municipality MAYCO Committee and key Overberg councilors. Also in attendance were key technical staff from within the district and local municipalities as well as representatives from DEA&DP, Department of Agriculture, CapeNature and some of the NGOs working within the district.

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