At the National Wetlands Indaba 2017, the Eden District Municipality was awarded a Certificate of Participation for its outstanding contributions towards the successful implementation of the ICLEI Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB): Wetlands South Africa project.
The Eden District municipality was one of a few other district municipalities which contributed towards the LAB: Wetlands South Africa project which won the prestigious Wetlands Crane award during the National Wetlands Awards ceremony held at this year’s Wetlands Indaba in Port Edward, Kwazulu-Natal.
The prestigious Crane awards are annually sponsored by Mondi and consist of unique bronze Wattled Crane sculptures designed by sculptor Sarah Richards. It is awarded annually to recognise outstanding contributions to wetland work in South Africa. ICLEI’s LAB: Wetlands South Africa project contributed significantly to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and also served as an inspirational and practical example for others. The project has been enhancing the awareness of wetlands as well as the integration of biodiversity considerations into local government planning and decision-making. It has built the capacity of district municipalities to prioritise and effectively manage wetlands and biodiversity.
The Eden District Municipality has fully supported and benefitted from this project. Its participation within the project highlighted the challenges experienced with wetland management within the district which resulted in the development of two essential documents, the Eden District Wetlands Report as well as the Eden District Wetlands Strategy and Implementation Plan. These documents were co-developed by both ICLEI as well as the Eden District Municipality as part of the LAB project. The Wetlands Strategy and Implementation Plan provide for key implementation strategies within the district as well as its incorporation within the Eden DM Spatial Development Framework and Integrated Development Plans. This will facilitate dynamic and focused wetland management and protection initiatives within the district.
Eden DM recognizes that wetlands are of immense value as it contributes to service provision and disaster risk reduction through ecosystem services such as flood attenuation, water filtration and water security, which are increasingly important in a changing climate. The municipality seeks to enhance the conservation and management of the districts’ natural wetland resources through the integration of biodiversity considerations into local government planning and decision- making.