ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center will engage two metros in South Africa on the Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB): Wetlands and Communities project.
The project is set to raise local awareness and promote the sustainable use of wetlands by local governments and communities in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the City of Tshwane.
ICLEI Africa, in partnership with Working for Wetlands will work with municipal technical officers, researchers and community representatives within the selected metros to enhance policies, strategies and action plans that strategically profile and prioritize wetland management in city biodiversity plans and spatial development frameworks. The project is also set to create an enabling environment for participating local municipalities and communities to access and unlock resources for wetland restoration. Working for Wetlands is a South African government led program dedicated to the rehabilitation, protection and sustainable use of wetlands.
Wetlands in the vicinity of settlements remain a wealth of ecosystem goods and provide services such as flood mitigation, water retention and water purification. However, wetlands are under growing threat due to unsustainable land use practices. The loss of wetland ecosystems is likely to negatively impact livelihoods; threaten food security, health, and access to decent shelter; degrade water quality; and reduce access to open green spaces, thus depleting the general quality of life. In a move to remedy this, the Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB): Wetlands and Communities project has been conceptualized to help the participating local governments better understand the multifarious economic value of ecosystems and biodiversity. This outlook is set to restore community stewardship to biodiversity and ecosystem management.
The Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB): Wetlands and Communities project is receiving funding from the South African National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund. The project was conceived and promulgated from the internationally acclaimed Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB) Pioneer Project.