Paper presentations (arranged alphabetically)
Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
Various Feedback from provincial Wetland Forums
Eastern Cape Wetland Forum: Eric Qonya firstname.lastname@example.org
Free State and Northern Cape Wetland Forum: Nacelle Collins email@example.com
Gauteng Wetland Forum: Garth Barnes firstname.lastname@example.org
KwaZulu-Natal Wetland Forum: Mbali Goge Goge@sanbi.org
Limpopo Wetland Forum: Masindi Meshack email@example.com
North-West Wetland Forum: Lufuno Netangaheni
Mpumalanga Wetland Forum: Gavin Cowden Gcowden@mpg.gov.za
Western Cape Wetland Forum: Leighan Mossop LeighanM@sanparks.org
Mathew Bird Aquatic invertebrates as indicators of human impacts on wetlands firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Cape MS Bird and JA Day
The success of the SASS (South African Scoring System) macroinvertebrate index towards the bioassessment of South African rivers has prompted
queries as to whether it may be used in wetlands, and if not, whether other index approaches using aquatic invertebrates can be developed for these
unique ecosystems. This study aims to assess the performance of SASS in wetlands; and to investigate the feasibility of developing bioassessment
indices specifically for wetlands using aquatic invertebrates (macro- and microinvertebrates). Empirical data collection was undertaken in the Western
Cape winter-rainfall region, where seasonally inundated wetlands predominate. 125 isolated depressions and 15 valley bottom wetlands were sampled
for invertebrates and various environmental constituents across a broad range of human disturbances during the winter/spring wet season of 2007.
Various indices were tested using the dataset including SASS, the multimetric IBI approach of the US EPA and a modified version of SASS incorporating
a numerical biotic index framework. Index performance was further validated using an independent test dataset (De Roeck 2008). None of the indices
tested gave consistent results in terms of their ability to classify wetland impairment. The macroinvertebrate taxa sampled in this study did not show clear
relationships with human disturbances and often portrayed generalist-type responses. This study did not find preliminary evidence from metrics or
indicator species testing to suggest that microcrustaceans are useful for inclusion in wetland bioassessment indices. Evidence collected from this study
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
and the literature concludes that the SASS index should not be directly applied in the bioassessment of wetlands (including flowing types) without some
degree of modification. It is suggested that the prototype framework for an invertebrate index as developed in this study (essentially a modified SASS
approach), though not successful in seasonal wetlands of the Western Cape, should be tested in other wetland types and regions of South Africa and
particularly in more perennial environments.
Alastair Campbell Conservation and environmental considerations at Ingula email@example.com.
The Nature 1 2
AM Campbell , PA Nelson , and A Rhode 3 za
Environmental Control Officer, Nature Conservation Corporation, Ingula Pumped Storage
Conservation Manager, Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme
Environmental Manager, Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme
The construction of two large dams and the associated infrastructure as part of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme has significant environmental and
social impacts on the surrounding area, and the fact that the Eskom owned properties will be managed as a conservation area in future, significantly
increases the care needed in managing and mitigating the construction footprint. This paper will look at some of the conservation, environmental and
social challenges on the project and in the district, and the innovative solutions implemented to ensure the project meets its vision to be an internationally
renowned sustainable conservation area supported by industry.
Julie Carlisle Bitou wetland and catchment: What can we do to make it better? A Project Programme firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bitou Wetland & Catchment Corridor in Plettenberg Bay has been recognised as a critical biodiversity area within the Garden Route. Scientists
agree that the Bitou River needs special attention as it, and the Keurbooms River, feed the Keurbooms Estuary, ranked as being one of SA’s most
important estuaries. The need for this focus has been highlighted recently with the likelihood of abstraction from the Keurbooms River being increased
and resulting in diminished flow into the estuary.
A group of property owners in the corridor recognised the potential benefits and need to rehabilitate the Bitou Wetland and, with this, the Eden to Addo
Corridor Initiative secured funding from the Table Mountain Fund (TMF) to identify and prioritise projects that will start the rehabilitation process. To do
this, Eden to Addo will engage local landowners and government stakeholders in a series of meetings and workshops to identify what the real and
perceived needs are.
The outcome of the Wetland & Catchment proposal is to develop an agreed road forward for the management of the wetland and catchment that will
hopefully encompass the ideas, wishes and needs of property owners, environmentalists and stakeholders and that will result in enhanced ecosystem
functioning and benefits to the immediate communities.
While this would appear to be a relatively simple project to execute, its implementation takes place within a context of historic and ongoing feuding
between environmentalists and developers. Politically, there is a lack of willingness by the Local Authority to support or engage in dialogue around the
project. They are supported by landowners who wish to develop within the corridor and as such are opposed to anything that may curtail their perceived
rights to develop their own land.
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
To incentivise the project for property owners, funds have been granted to clear invasive plants within the flood plain and riparian areas
Alan Cochran Mire on Fire – an overview of expected impacts of climate change on the peatlands of email@example.com
Golder Associates South Africa firstname.lastname@example.org
Anton Linstrom, Piet-Louis Grundling and Jonathan Price DOtto@golder.co.za
Climate change will have a definite impact on southern Africa. Sub-continental warming is predicted to be greatest in the northern regions with
temperature increases between 1oC and 3oC by the mid 21st century. The highest rises will occur in the most arid regions with a reduction in rainfall from
5% to 10% in summer rainfall regions. This will be accompanied by an increasing incidence of droughts and floods, with prolonged dry spells followed by
intense storms. Winter rainfall regions might receive more early winter rains and eastern regions might be wetter.
Permanent wetlands in South Africa are mostly groundwater driven and mires even more so. Ten percent of our wetlands may contain significant peat
and are more sensitive to changes in the water balance than non-peatlands. It is acknowledged that significant ground water resources occur in South
Africa and these will be more exploited in future. Herein lays the potential for future conflict: It is expected that peatlands in the western and drier, ground
water dependant regions will be adversely affected by climate change combined with human exploitation. Recent peat fires in karst landscapes and
timber areas are indicative of the over exploitation of water resources.
Wetlands in drier regions will compete with society for water resources and are likely to suffer desiccation and fire. Accelerated erosion in regions
experiencing drought followed by intense storms poses challenges to future wetland management on a catchment level. Land use practices such as
urban development, timber, mining and agriculture in or near wetlands will worsen future climate change impacts. Wetlands, especially mires, have the
ability to sequester carbon. Future management of these valuable eco-systems will ensure a healthier environment for society, but over exploitation and
a lack of informed management will result in degradation adding to the effects of climate change.
George Davis Wetlands Value, vox pop Davis@sanbi.org
vox pop is a video presentation comprising sound bites from people with an interest in Princessvlei on the Cape Flats in Cape Town. Some, but not all,
of the issues surrounding this urban wetland remnant, with its long history, its cultural significance, its hydrological importance, and the conflicting
potentials for its recreation, conservation and commercial development, are touched on through the voices of stakeholders in this node of the City of
Cape Town’s renowned Biodiversity Network.
Liz Day When is a dryland a wetland? Dry season indicators of cryptic wetland presence and email@example.com
The Freshwater type
In South Africa, approved methodologies for the formal identification and delineation of wetlands are based primarily on soil morphology, and can be
used on the majority of wetland types, even in their dry condition. A number of wetland types and conditions have however been identified, in which the
use of soil as a wetland indicator is problematic. These types include seasonally saturated to inundated wetlands in sandy coastal aquifers, as well as
some of the so-called cryptic wetlands (ephemeral pans) that occur in the more arid areas of southern Africa. Since many of these wetlands also support
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
plant and animal taxa that are also only ephemerally visible in the wetlands, the use of other wetland indicators such as vegetation is also problematic.
This paper, which forms one of the products of the Wetland Health and Integrity Research Programme (WRC Project No. K5/1584), explores a number
of other abiotic and biotic features that can be used to identify and characterise cryptic wetlands. These features include: the presence of eggs or other
inactive life cycle phases of wetland animals (e.g. certain zooplankton crustaceans), key algal and macrophyte indicators of ephemerally saturated to
inundated conditions and abiotioc features such as topography, sediment deposits, the presence of muck layers, water marks and biotic crusts.
In addition to providing species lists of macrophytes associated with seasonal or ephemeral wetland conditions, the paper also makes use of a tested
methodology for the incubation of crustacean fauna from sediments collected from wetlands in their dry season. Fauna emerging from incubated dry
season sediments were compared with wet season aquatic invertebrate community structure, from the same wetlands. Correlations between
invertebrate community composition, water quality and dry season sediment moisture data were explored, and a methodology was complied, outlining
how both abiotic and biotic criteria can be used as indicators of certain wetland types, character and function.
Given some understanding of the reference conditions pertaining to assessed wetlands, such indicators also provide an indirect and non-quantitative
means of assessing wetland condition resulting from changes in hydrological, physical or chemical characteristics or system drivers.
Johann du Preez Floristic classification of Florisbad wetland, Free State Province dPreezPJ.SCI@ufs.ac.za
University of the P.J. du Preez & H Fourie
Data from 25 sample plots of hydrophytic plant communities associated with the Florisbad wetland were collected. Sampling was done along the
topographical gradient extending across the wetland covering all relevant terrain units. At each sample plot all plant species encountered were identified
and assigned a cover-abundance value according to the Braun-Blaunquet scale. The soil in each sample plots was sampled. The soil samples were
analyzed for various components which could potentially affect species assemblage. Other attribute data collected include slope, aspect, geology and
various climatic variables and biotic influences. The plant species data was classified using an agglomerative clustering technique after having applied a
log-transformation to the data. Clustering was done using the Ward's linkage method and the Relative Euclidean (Chord) distance. All clustering
procedures were performed using PC-ORD v.5 which was accessed via the JUICE v7.0.28 programme linkage. Ordination was done using CA and CCA
(CANOCO v4.5). The identified plant communities could all be positively linked to various environmental factors. It is a unique wetland as it is dominated
by the exotic sedge Schoenoplectus triqueter and this is also the most inland locality for Limonium dregeanum.
Fred Ellery A method for assessing cumulative impacts on wetland functions at the catchment or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhodes University landscape scale
WN Ellery, SE Grenfell, MC Grenfell, C Jaganath, H Malan and DC Kotze
A tool has been developed through the Wetland Health Research Programme to assess the effects on wetland functionality of the cumulative impacts of
human activities at a catchment or landscape scale. It uses 2 metrics, a land cover change impact metric that describes the intensity of impact on
wetland hydrology of land use change as mapped at national and regional scales, and a loss of function metric that describes the magnitude impact of
human activities on wetland functionality. By multiplying the land cover change impact metric by the extent of land cover change in the landscape being
considered, a magnitude of impact score is determined for each land cover class. Through the use of equations that describe the relationship between
the magnitude of impact of different land cover classes and the loss of function caused by such impacts, a functional effectiveness score is derived.
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
Functional effectiveness scores are combined in a structured way to produce an overall functional effectiveness score for individual wetlands in a
catchment or landscape, and these are translated to functional hectare equivalents. The scores for each wetland are then combined to produce an
overall score for the catchment or landscape being considered. The difference between the functional hectare equivalents of an unimpacted catchment is
compared with the current state to assess the cumulative impacts of human activities on wetland functionality.
Use of the tool to assess the cumulative impacts of land use change in the Goukou River Catchment in the Western Cape will be illustrated, as will its
application for helping decide appropriate rehabilitation interventions within this catchment.
Paul Fairall Mitigating a wetland disaster email@example.com
After fierce competition the Pan African Parliament is to be built in Midrand, City of Johannesburg, South Africa. A site adjacent to the Development
Bank of South Africa and next to the Ben Schoeman motorway was selected. This is a project of the National department of public works. [DPW.]. A
basic assessment was duly undertaken and this led to a favorable RoD. being given. The process that led to the RoD. was flawed, and a hillside slope
wetland and seepage area was extensively damaged when the bulk civils earthworks were under taken. The project was then stopped by the
competent authority, DEA. A panel of three wetland specialist practitioners were appointed to a\ delineate the areas. b\ propose and implement
mitigating measures against the immanent rainy season to prevent further damage to the site and the important valley bottom wetland system at the foot
of the slope. The panel is; Dr. Johan van der Waals soil scientist, Retief Grobler ecologist, Paul Fairall mitigater. An investigation is currently under
way to determine the best possible remediation, rehabilitation and mitigation for the site. This will include the two options of:
1. Remediation and in-filling of the wetland;
2. The continuation of the development with focused mitigation and storm water management measures.
Any debate regarding the desirability of either is premature as there are significant technical challenges to the options that have to be quantified and
assessed. The main emphasis will be on the prevention of any down slope and down-stream wetland impacts due to activities on the construction site.
This aspect is critical (irrespective of the outcome of any legal processes). As the rainy season is imminent with anticipated large-scale impacts, if no
mitigation measures are put in place immediately. This paper deals with these emergency mitigation measures. A panel of inter-governmental
stakeholders will have to take the decision if the Parliament is to be built on the site or elsewhere. This committee will consist of DEA. GDARD, DWA.
The wetland specialist panel is in favor of the parliament being built on the proposed site with the necessary mitigation measures in place to ensure the
integrity of the water moving laterally through the soils over the halfway house granite dome. This paper deals with all these aspects and highlights the
dangers of any alternative.
Melissa Fourie Defending a Ramsar wetland: The case of the proposed Riviera Tungsten Mine firstname.lastname@example.org
Centre for upstream of the Verlorenvlei Ramsar site
Environmental Melissa Fourie and Philippa Huntly
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
The Verlorenvlei was conferred its status as Ramsar site under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (known as the Ramsar
Convention) in 1991. It is one of the largest natural wetlands on the West Coast, and constitutes an important feeding area for wading birds, including a
number of threatened bird species. The site is also home to various rare species of flora and has a rich aquatic ecosystem. Unfortunately for the
Verlorenvlei, it is situated downstream of a deposit of the robust metal tungsten, situated in the Moutonshoek Valley. Since 2005, a number of
prospecting and mining rights applications have been lodged in respect of this tungsten deposit, though no mining has yet taken place. In 2009, a fresh
mining rights application was lodged by Bongani Minerals, an application that is vociferously opposed by a coalition of residents, workers, business and
environmental groups known as the Verlorenvlei Coalition.
This presentation will explore the potential environmental impacts of the proposed tungsten mine on the Verlorenvlei, the legal mechanisms currently
available for defence of a wetland like the Verlorenvlei, and make recommendations for improved protection of South Africa's wetlands.
André Grobler Developing GIS Data Standards for wetland work email@example.com
This project is a secondary spin-off from the Gauteng Wetland Forums Wetlands Database. The issue arose of consistency in the format and content
that wetland data is gathered in Gauteng, mostly by consultants and fieldworkers of various agencies and how it relates to the records and databases
kept by the institutions. An informal process was started to get as much information from the DWAF, the GDACE and SANBI. The benefits of
standardising GIS Data collected, would be the increased ease of sharing data between institutions, as well as the increase in ease of use and value of
any data collected by individuals or institutions, especially in future. Furthermore the product of this process provides assurances that work done by
consultants (EIA or other) meet the needs of the relevant authorities. We would like to kick off a formal process with which we get input and needs and
requirements from stakeholders and also chart the way forward, comments will be appreciated.
Candice Haskins How Cape Town’s stormwater policies enhance sustainable management of the City’s Candice.Haskins@capetown.go
City of Cape Town wetlands v.za
Candice Haskins, Rod Arnold and Martin Thompson
The Council of the City of Cape Town has recently approved two progressive policies which enhance management of the city’s rivers and wetlands. The
principles of sustainable development are firmly entrenched within the “Floodplain and River Corridor Management Policy” in that balanced consideration
of engineering, ecological and social aspects is required. Developers and planners are encouraged to integrate developments with the aquatic
landscape, and the Policy provides measures to control various types of development adjacent to aquatic ecosystems by requiring that the development
be set back beyond the greater of the applicable flood zone or ecological buffer. Buffers which are determined using a range of national classification and
ecological assessment methods are required to protect rivers and wetlands from potentially harmful activities.
The second Policy entitled “Management of Urban Stormwater Impacts” promotes Water Sensitive Urban Design principles and concentrates on three
key Sustainable Urban Drainage System objectives for minimizing the impacts of urban areas on receiving waters: 1) improve quality of stormwater
runoff; 2) control quantity and rate of stormwater runoff; and 3) encourage groundwater recharge. Various structural and non-structural best management
practices and measures are available to achieve these objectives. For new developments, on-site water quantity, quality and infiltration measures are
required on development sites larger than 50 000 m2, while a combination of regional and on-site measures are necessary for smaller sites.
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
The City’s wetlands have been mapped and classified, and are prioritized in terms of their biodiversity and conservation importance. While these policies
are applicable to all aquatic ecosystems in the City, wetlands flagged in this manner will receive careful attention from urban stormwater management,
planning and development perspectives.
Dean Impson Cooperative conservation and rehabilitation initiatives between CapeNature and firstname.lastname@example.org
River Health Working for Wetlands
The Cape Floristic Region is a hotspot for freshwater fish conservation in Southern Africa. Although not diverse in fish species, most species are
endemic and threatened. The primary threat is the predatory impact of invasive alien fish species, with smallmouth bass having the most severe impact.
CapeNature has embarked on a challenging and ambitious river rehabilitation project to eradicate alien fishes from sections of four rivers. To achieve
total eradication from a river section, it is necessary to have a natural (e.g. waterfall) or artificial barrier (e.g. weir) to prevent re-invasion of the cleared
area from downstream sources of fish. Working for Wetlands structures have excellent potential to assist with fish conservation programmes in South
Africa, especially in smaller rivers, by stopping the upstream movement of unwanted fish species. Co-operation has already started between Western
Cape WfW and CapeNature, allowing respective objectives to be met. However, WfWetland structures also have the potential to be a threat to migrating
indigenous fishes, if they are too big and don’t have fishways. Good communication with freshwater fish experts is essential prior to the construction of
Nancy Job Different approaches and application of four wetland inventory projects in the Western email@example.com
Independent and Northern Cape
An overview of several wetland mapping projects in the Northern Cape and Western Cape. The approaches taken reflect the various intended uses of
the projects, as well as the time, budget and available resources. The presentation will also focus on some of the challenges of wetland mapping
projects, such as developing protocols for mapping of riverine wetlands for large-area projects, the time burden of mapping “by hand”, among other
Marius Kieck Advances made, and future challenges in rehabilitation of the Verlorenvlei wetland firstname.lastname@example.org
Working for system
The importance of rehabilitation interventions in the Verlorenvlei wetland system was identified by Working for Wetlands in 2006 within the Greater
Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor. Since the project started tremendous inroads have been made in terms of rehabilitation work, creating awareness and
employment opportunities within the Verlorenvlei wetland system. Examples of work that have been done includes clearing of alien invasive plants in the
vlei and catchment, construction of groin structures to stabilize banks of the Verlorenvlei, and awareness raising through the construction of a bird hide,
brochures and landowner wetland management guidelines.
These interventions are an ongoing process and the project has entered its second three year phase at the start of 2009. However all is not well as
external forces can hand a possible devastating blow to this wetland system with some controversial future plans in the catchment of this RAMSAR site.
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
A Tungsten mining has been proposed within the upper catchment of the Verlorenvlei in the Kromantonies tributary. What could the possible mining
effects be on this system and the livelihoods of the local communities living from and alongside the Verlorenvlei wetland? What challenges does possible
tungsten mining present in both economic and biodiversity terms?
Hans King The role of agriculture in the rehabilitation of wetlands in South Africa HansK@elsenburg.com
There are many causes of wetland degradation in South Africa. Among these are the bulldozing of watercourses by farmers and the impact of invasive
alien vegetation. It has been observed by the author that once erosion takes place at one site in a river, it tends to de-stabilize the whole river
downstream because the sediment injected into the river forms islands which in turn divert the river into the banks and cause yet more erosion and
injecting more sediment into the river. In the Western Cape, the Department of Agriculture is attempting at some sites, to slow down the degradation of
wetlands by the introduction of strategically placed structures with the intention that they are not permanent, but must last long enough to facilitate the re-
establishment of indigenous vegetation in the watercourse. Although in most cases the original braided nature of the rivers cannot be re-established, the
vegetation is expected to restore the long-term stability of the watercourse. This presentation looks at the causes of wetland degradation and the
methods used by the Department of Agriculture Western Cape to reverse the trend.
Donovan Kotze A wetland assessment across Mondi’s national area of operation using systematic KotzeD@ukzn.ac.za
University of Kwa- conservation planning tools and WET-Health and WET-EcoServices
Zulu Natal Kotze1, D Walters2 ,D and van Zyl3 ,D.
In many forestry estates, wetlands form the “backbone” of the plantations’ natural open areas. These wetlands are subject to important impacts,
including a diminished supply of water, invasion by alien plants, etc. A systematic assessment of the state of health of the wetlands across the different
geographical areas under Mondi’s responsibility is being undertaken in order to enhance the effectiveness of management of these wetlands. The
assessment involves the collaboration of Mondi, Mondi Wetlands Programme and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Wetlands have been selected for
assessment within approximately 300 000 ha of Mondi’s land holdings, including southern Mpumalanga province, northern KwaZulu-Natal and the
KwaZulu-Natal midlands, based on criteria developed for the systematic conservation planning of freshwater ecosystems in the two provinces. A Mondi
wetlands layer was developed, overlaid with the aquatic biodiversity layers for each province and a spatial intersection was performed as a means to
rank the wetlands according to their modeled conservation significance in terms of irreplaceability value. Ideally this priority list should be reviewed each
time a revised conservation planning iteration is released by the respective provincial conservation authorities and as more knowledge of each wetland is
The ecological condition of many of the selected wetlands was not known, and thus a rapid field assessment and airphoto-interpretation of these
wetlands is being carried out using WET-Health, which is a modular-based approach for evaluating and monitoring the present ecological state of the
wetlands by evaluating three inter-related components of health, namely hydrology, geomorphology, and vegetation. In addition, the ecosystem goods
and services provided by the selected wetlands are being assessed using WET-EcoServices, which is a rapid method for assessing the importance of
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
individual wetlands in providing ecosystem goods and services. The assessments highlight that although certain impacts, namely diminished water
supply, are common to all of the five management areas, the level of some impacts, e.g. alien plant invasion, varies greatly across the different areas, as
do the ecosystem services delivered.
Donovan Kotze Application of WET-SustainableUse, a system for assessing the sustainability of KotzeD@ukzn.ac.za
University of Kwa- wetland use, to a case study in Malawi
WET-SustainableUse is designed to assist with the assessment of the environmental sustainability of wetland use. It focuses on the grazing of wetlands
by livestock, the cultivation of wetlands and the harvesting of wetland plants for crafts and construction; which are three of the most widely encountered
uses of wetlands in South Africa. WET-SustainableUse provides two levels of assessment. Level 1 is less detailed and rests upon several
generalizations regarding each of the land-uses considered. Level 2 is more detailed, and its approach and structure is closely allied with WET-Health.
At level 2, ecological sustainability of a particular use of a wetland is assessed through scoring the impact of the use on the following components of the
wetland’s ecological state.
• Retention and distribution of water
• Retention of sediment (and its loss by erosion)
• Storage of Soil Organic Matter (SOM)
• Retention and cycling of nutrients (and other elements)
• Maintenance of the native vegetation composition (diversity)
Each component consists of a set of metrics that are combined in a simple algorithm to represent how that component (e.g. storage of SOM) is affected
WET-SustainableUse was applied to a case study consisting of three wetlands in the Dwangwa catchment, which is one of the most degraded
catchments feeding Lake Malawi. Inappropriate agricultural practices (including those in wetlands) are generating increasing erosion and nutrient runoff
into the lake, with potential impacts on biodiversity and livelihoods dependent on the lake. WET-SustainableUse was applied in order to assist in rapidly
identifying those specific land-use practices impacting negatively on downstream ecosystems and the long term sustainability of use.
Clyde Lamberts What are the threats to the ephemeral wetlands of the Kamiesberg Mountains in email@example.com
C Lamberts1, ³, MI Samuels2, LM Raitt1, CF Cupido2, & MBV Swarts2
Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, University of the Western Cape
ARC– API: Rangeland & Nutrition Unit, BCB Dept., University of the Western Cape
³CapeNature Scientific Services
Wetlands are very important habitats in ecosystems. They act as indicators of ecosystem health and play numerous functions in catchments. In the
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
Kamiesberg Mountains of Namaqualand various remnants of ephemeral wetlands still act as sources of food and water for people and their livestock as
well as source of building materials for local land users. These wetlands are also perceived to contain high levels of plant and invertebrate endemism.
However, wetland habitats and services are under threat from various land use activities. This study is an attempt to identify the major threats to the
ephemeral wetlands of the Kamiesberg Mountains of Namaqualand.
Water extraction, grazing, alien invasive, poor road engineering and maintenance and cultivation are the major threats to the wetlands of the Kamiesberg
Mountains. Water extraction for domestic use and watering of animals has drained some of the wetlands. Grazing by livestock has decreased plant cover
and species composition. Inula graveolens (Khakibos) has recently started to invade wetlands and this alien poses a threat to indigenous plants as it
competes vigorously for water and nutrients. Runoff from roads has resulted in sedimentation of some parts of the wetlands. Cultivation in wetlands has
also resulted in soil erosion, loss of cover and facilitated the invasion of Inula graveolens. Perhaps the greatest threat is the long-term allocation of
sections of wetlands to individuals in the communal areas for cropping purposes. This practice has been in existence in the communal area even before
the proclamation of the CARA legislation. Ignorance of land users regarding environmental legislation on wetlands has to be addressed to ensure the
future existence and functionality of these wetlands.
Heather Malan Wetlands and invertebrate disease hosts: are we asking for trouble? Heather.Malan@uct.ac.za
University of Cape H. Malan, C. Appleton, J. Day and J. Dini
Wetlands provide a range of benefits to society, and yet in South Africa, wetlands continue to be affected by human activities. Considerable effort is now
being directed towards rehabilitation of degraded wetlands and the construction of artificial systems to treat effluent and storm-water. At the same time,
wetlands provide potential habitat for vectors or intermediate hosts (collectively referred to as ’invertebrate disease hosts‘: IDHs), of parasites implicated
in the transmission of such important diseases as malaria and schistosomiasis (bilharzia). This paper considers the ways in which wetland degradation,
rehabilitation and creation may affect the availability of suitable habitat for disease IDHs and highlights issues that urgently require research and testing
in the South African context. We conclude that in regions of the country where the diseases are prevalent there is the likelihood that wetland
rehabilitation and creation could inadvertently encourage the IDHs responsible for transmitting malaria and schistosomiasis. Assessment of the potential
risks and benefits of a proposed wetland modification needs to be undertaken in a holistic manner using an adaptive framework that recognises the
critical need to balance health, both human and environmental.
B.E.Mapeshoane The biology and hydrology of different wetland systems in the Bokong wetlands of firstname.lastname@example.org
University of the Lesotho
Free State Mapeshoane,B.E & van Huyssteen,C.W
Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, University of the Free State
The inflow and outflow of water through different wetland systems in a catchment is dependent on soil, geology, and topography. The presence of
wetland hydrology can be determined by hydric soil properties. Hydric soils are mostly found in the lowest parts of the landscape, but some are formed
in hillslope seep areas due to local stratigraphy causing local groundwater discharge. While redox features which are reflected on the soil colour have
been used as indicators of wetland hydrology, the soil colour is also affected by a high organic matter content, resulting in dark colours. In Mollisol
landscapes, high organic matter and natural mixing by soil organisms often mask redoximorphic features and the Fe-based field indicators of hydric soils.
These are therefore not always useful for identification of hydric conditions in Mollisols. NRCS developed 11 field indicators for soils with thick, dark A
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Presenter TITLE and AUTHOR(S) Email
horizons for wetland delineation. The thickening and darkening of surface horizons in Mollisols as a result of soil saturation has been used as an
indicator of soil water saturation and an index, the Profile Darkness Index (PDI), was developed. In Lesotho, palustrine wetlands have been
characterised by other researcher, using peat profile characteristics which include peat colour, colour of expressed water, the Von Post humification
scale, and description of fibre content. Although peat thickness and its characterization did not show any difference between landscapes, gravel
interbedded in the peat and associated with alluvial fans which result from erosion of the Maluti mountain landscape was observed. Further
characterization using hydric soil field indicators would help to conceptualize these accumulations or depletions. It is also possible that these soil
indicators can be related to soil classification to facilitate the interpretation of soil maps for wetland restoration.
Namhla Mbona SANBI National Wetland Map and NFEPA overview email@example.com
The National Wetland Inventory seeks to map the extent, distribution and diversity of South Africa’s wetlands, and identify the functions and values of
individual wetlands, including social and cultural values.
The inventory was launched at a workshop in November 1997, which included various stakeholders including government departments, NGOs,
conservation bodies and research institutes. The project came from the National Land Cover 2000 project. In the last few years the project has gone
through a lot of developmental stages. We had Beta version, Version II and now we are on draft version III.
A National Wetland Classification System has also been developed by the FCG which will be used on the NWI and other wetland inventory initiatives.
The proposed classification system was to cater for the broad suite of “wetlands” as defined by the Ramsar Convention, which includes Marine,
Estuarine and Inland wetlands as well as natural and artificial systems. The envisaged uses of the revised, fully developed version of the proposed
NWCS include application to the National Wetland Map (to generate a National Wetland Inventory), application within the National Freshwater
Ecosystem Prioritisation Assessment (NFEPA) and the next rendition of the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment (NSBA), as well as the
classification of wetlands for regional and local-scale applications.
This talk aims to address:-
• Progress report on wetland inventory and different map versions
• The final NWCS
• Provincial mapping initiatives (including the GWF database)
• Wetland mapping standards
Stefan Milandri An investigation into the ability of various wetland plant species to treat stormwater in firstname.lastname@example.org
the City of Cape Town, South Africa
Stefan Milandri & Kevin Winter
Historically, stormwater planning and design in urban areas has collected runoff and removed it as quickly as possible via the closest watercourse.
However, this regularly impacts negatively on the receiving environment through downstream flooding, concentrating land-based pollution in water
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bodies and depleting groundwater levels. In response these negative impacts, many countries are replacing traditional approaches with alternatives that
manage the quantity (flooding and total volume) and quality (pollution) of stormwater runoff as close to the source as possible. This is referred to as
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS). SUDS seek to achieve three objectives, namely the reduction of stormwater volumes, improving
stormwater quality by using vegetation to remove pollutants and improving site amenity. Of the available SUDS technology, those that use plants
(biofilters) to treat stormwater are gaining popularity as they can be applied to a range of developments and are effective in attaining the SUDS
objectives. Examples which utilize biofilters include roadside swales, retention and detention ponds and natural or artificial wetlands.
At present, South African stormwater management is plagued by a host of constraints. Not only are cities struggling to reduce peak flows, but water
quality and site amenity are in desperate need of improvement. Matters are further complicated by uncertainties of climate change, which is altering the
distribution and intensity of rainfall thus increasing the chance of urban flooding. SUDS, and especially those that include biofilters, have the potential to
address many of the concerns raised by traditional engineering solutions. However, not all species effectively treat stormwater. This necessitates a local
study to identify which plants should be used in a local context.
Eric Munzhedzi Development of fish ladders in Working for Wetlands Programme email@example.com
Working for Wetlands is a government-led programme dedicated to the rehabilitation, protection and sustainable use of South Africa’s wetlands. It is
managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute on behalf of the departments of Water and Environmental Affairs, and Agriculture, Forestry
and Fisheries, and forms part of government’s Expanded Public Works Programme.
Rehabilitating wetlands using gabion, concrete and other structural types to trap sediments, raise water table and deactivate head cuts is necessary in
this programme. This is done by employing the poorest of the poor in disadvantaged communities.
In some of the river systems where working for wetlands programme is being implemented it is necessary to include fish ladders in the design to promote
the movement of fish up and down stream. Free movement of some fish species is necessary for breeding purposes.
In the Northwest Province, fish ladders are being implemented in the Rustenburg project. Started last financial year by one structure where fish ladder
was done as a trial. This is continuing with more correction and lesson learned from previous year.
Kiriban Naicker Administration and implementation of the Ramsar Convention in South Africa firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was developed as a means to call international attention to the rate at which wetland habitats are disappearing
across the world, in part due to a lack of understanding of their important functions, values and attributes.
Many wetlands are international systems lying across the boundaries of two or more countries (e.g. Orange River Mouth). The health of these and other
wetlands is dependent upon the quality and quantity of the transboundary water supply from surface or ground water. Further, the migratory movement
of many wetland dependent species necessitates international cooperation in order to ensure their conservation and management.
South Africa is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in terms of which 19 Ramsar sites were designated as flagships of wise use and good
management of wetlands in the country. Each Contracting Party is invited to designate a national governmental agency to act as the Administrative
Authority of the Convention in the country. The Administrative Authority is the focal point for communications with the Ramsar Secretariat and the main
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agency responsible for the implementation of the treaty. The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) plays this role in South Africa. The management
of Ramsar sites is carried out by the relevant authorities under whose jurisdiction each site falls, generally the provincial authorities, South African
National Parks (SANParks) or other relevant conservation agencies.
DEA is responsible for administering the convention in South Africa, and consequently leads the process of designation of new Ramsar sites,
development of management bodies in accordance with the Convention and national preparations to participate in the COP. These include compiling and
submitting a national report, preparing position papers on draft resolutions to be considered at the COP, and assembling a delegation to attend the
In accordance with the Resolution adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP) each Contracting Party should establish the National Ramsar
Committee to manage the implementation of the Convention in the Country and DEA has initiated these process. The aim of this committee is to:
• Coordinate the management of Ramsar sites in the country
• Create a platform for exchange of advice and information
• Network and exchange experience relating to the management of Ramsar sites
• Provide advice on issues related to Ramsar sites
Mandy Noffke Source-to-Sea: River Corridor Restoration for People & Nature email@example.com
Cape Town is among only a few cities in the world that can offer incredible natural recreational spaces on its doorstep. Restoration of degraded natural
corridors within urban areas forms the core of the Source-to-Sea concept. The Sand River catchment is uniquely placed to showcase the natural
environment within an urban setting at the gateway to the Table Mountain National Park.
Connecting these corridors via a series of multi-use trails will provide a stunning array of recreational opportunities to both the people of Cape Town &
Linking in and developing the many related eco-heritage, educational and tourism opportunities in the catchment will provide added value to the
recreational opportunities within the catchment. Such development also has the potential to provide both short-term & longer-term local employment
opportunities on a variety of levels.
Many current examples of urban stewardship exist in the catchment where local civil society, mainly in the form of Friends Groups, take up the
responsibility for the management & maintenance of natural pockets of open space dotted throughout the catchment. The Source-to-Sea project aims to
support these initiatives by providing an overarching management framework to assist & guide these individual efforts. As this management approach
needs to be robust & flexible enough to guide implementation by a range of stakeholders, the foundation cornerstone must be the building of strong
partnerships between these implementers. It is through this approach that Source-to-Sea aims to ensure quality service delivery for the people, by the
In order to achieve these goals a baseline ecological needs assessment has been undertaken. This detailed “Action Plan” outlines rehabilitation
requirements throughout the catchment. In sympathy with the legend of the captured Khoisan princess, the development of the Princess’s Trail
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investigates opportunities for connecting the Cape Flats with the mountain via a series of multi-use trails from Princessvlei to Prinskasteel.
This presentation outlines the objectives of the ecological & social restoration from Source-to-Sea.
Dean Ollis Further development and refinement of a national wetland classification system for firstname.lastname@example.org
The Freshwater South Africa
The preliminary development of a proposed National Wetland Classification System (NWCS) was completed by the Freshwater Consulting Group (FCG)
and the Freshwater Research Unit (FRU, University of Cape Town) in 2006. The proposed classification system was to cater for the broad suite of
“wetlands” as defined by the Ramsar Convention, which includes Marine, Estuarine and Inland wetlands – both natural and artificial systems. In late
2007, a follow-up project was initiated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) to further develop and refine the proposed NWCS for
use within the National Wetland Inventory and for other applications. The envisaged uses of the revised, fully developed version of the proposed NWCS
include application to the National Wetland Map (to generate a National Wetland Inventory), application within the National Freshwater Ecosystem
Prioritisation Assessment (NFEPA) and the 2010 update of the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment (NSBA), as well as the classification of
wetlands for regional and local-scale applications. FCG was appointed to complete this follow-up project, with assistance from FRU, the Institute of
Natural Resources (INR, University of KwaZulu-Natal), and the University of Free State. The project was recently completed and this presentation
provides an overview of the main outcomes thereof.
Glenda Raven Learning for sustainable catchment management: a case study of training in the email@example.com
SANBI Olifants Doring Catchment Management Area firstname.lastname@example.org
To support implementation of the National Water Act (1998) and capacity development amongst water users to engage meaningfully in related decision
making processes, a training framework and set of associated materials were commissioned by WWF-SA in 2007 for a pilot capacity development
programme in the Olifants – Doring Catchment Management Area. The materials and training framework were then piloted in the catchment between
February and March 2008.
The training framework provides sound structure that might inform training processes in other catchment management areas. It includes an exploration
of key ecological concepts, policies and departmental frameworks, as well as flexibility for learning around contextual and relevant local issues and
concerns, through a responsive action orientation.
Monitoring and evaluation was undertaken during the training to gain insight into learning for sustainable catchment management, in order to document
the lessons learnt from the pilot and possibly inform similar training processes in other catchment management areas. One of the primary insights
emerging is the need for the institutional location of a training programme of this nature. This might enable ongoing learning interactions and continuous
capacity development amongst the diverse water users tasked with engaging in the complex change processes associated with new water resource
management decision making processes.
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This workshop shares the curriculum framework and materials that informed the training process, the insights gained through the process of monitoring
and evaluation and the recommendations made to strengthen learning for sustainable catchment management. It would similarly likely to engage other
trainers in deliberations around how this pilot might into other training initiatives of this nature.
Mark Rountree Methods for the Environmental Reserve and other Resource Directed Measures for email@example.com
Fluvius wetland management and protection
Environmental Mark Rountree, Barbara Weston & Jackie Jay
The National Water Act regards all water as an indivisible natural asset under the custodianship of national government. There is “no ownership of water
but only a right (for environmental and basic human needs) or an authorisation for its use” (DWAF, 1997 Principle 3). The only right to priority of use is
that of the ‘Reserve’, which includes “the quantity and quality of water required … to protect aquatic ecosystems in order to secure ecologically
sustainable development and use of the relevant water resource” (NWA, Ch 1, para. 1.(xviii)). The quantity and quality of water which remains in excess
of the Reserve is considered to be the ‘total allocatable resource’, and this may be allocated to users within the catchment. The water requirements of
the ecosystem must thus be met before any allocation of resource quality or quantity for productive use may be made.
Whilst the methods for determining environmental flows (the Reserve) for rivers in South Africa are internationally renowned, methods for estimating
environmental water requirements for wetlands remain poorly developed. A joint WRC/DWA:RDM project is currently underway to develop the methods
for rapid (fats, low confidence) methods for Reserve Determination for wetlands. However, the determination of environmental flows is not the only way
in which protection measures may be prescribed for water resources. A variety of other approaches are also being proposed to afford protection of the
country’s wetlands in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Erwin Sieben A vegetation database for wetlands in South Africa siebenEJ@qwa.ufs.ac.za
University of the
Vegetation is one of the three main aspects by which wetlands are being recognized, categorized and delineated (the other two are soil and hydrology).
Yet very little work has been done to create a general framework for wetland vegetation across the country, even though vegetation descriptions have
been made for individual wetlands. Yet several questions arise for which detailed knowledge of vegetation in wetlands is required, for example in
conservation planning (which wetlands should be prioritized in conservation because of rare vegetation types and associated biodiversity?), wetland
monitoring (which species can be used as indicator species for rehabilitation success ?) and wetland rehabilitation (what is the restoration target in terms
of vegetation or which species to use if revegetation is considered as a restoration measure?). Since 2008, I have been active in looking for vegetation
data on wetlands across the country in research reports, journal articles and university thesises. This vegetation data has been compiled into a single
database that uses a uniform standard. This also implies that in the future, this standard can be used when collecting new vegetation data in wetlands.
Vegetation data should consist of a complete list of all vascular plant species together with the vegetation structure and an estimate of cover-abundance.
Various other characteristics of a site, such as wetland type, soil type, hydroperiod etcetera, should be collected in the header data.
Kate Snaddon Prioritisation of wetlands for conservation: a case study from the City of Cape Town firstname.lastname@example.org
The Freshwater Snaddon*, K., Holmes , P., Day*, L., Ewart-Smith*, J., Ollis*, D., Job*, N., Ractliffe*, G. and
Consulting Group Dallas*, H.
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* The Freshwater Consulting Group (FCG)
City of Cape Town
Over the past 3 years, the wetlands of the City of Cape Town have been captured on a GIS layer, with the associated wetland classification, according to
the draft National Wetlands Classification System. Wetlands were further grouped into similar types, based on the surrounding vegetation type. 54
wetland types were described in the City of Cape Town, a few of which will be described in this paper, in the context of using vegetation as a surrogate
for wetland biodiversity.
A subset of wetlands on the City Wetlands Map was partially ground-truthed in 2008, and the accuracy of the Map found to range from approximately 40
to 100%, depending on the wetland type. Dune strandveld depressions and sandstone fynbos seeps were found to be the most difficult wetland type to
accurately map. The next phase of work required the prioritisation of wetlands, for the conservation of biodiversity, and for their inclusion in the City’s
largely terrestrial Biodiversity Network and Bioregional Plan. The prioritisation of wetlands was achieved using a scoring method, whereby a number of
criteria were used to rank wetlands within each wetland type, and also across the City as a whole. Criteria were chosen based on the availability of
spatial information that could be used to score each wetland. These criteria will be presented, and some thoughts on required research in the field of
wetland conservation planning.
Kate Southey Garden Route Wetlands Rehabilitation Project email@example.com
SANParks P.K Southey and A. Brown
South African National Parks
The Garden Route region in South Africa boasts numerous freshwater and estuarine wetland systems, several of which are of high conservation
importance. The Garden Route Wetland Rehabilitation Project (GRWR) includes four separate estuarine wetland systems. These systems are namely
the Wilderness Lakes, which includes a Ramsar site; the Swartvlei; the Goukamma and the Knysna Estuary System. The GRWR project aims to reverse
riparian wetland degradation, maintain the quality and functioning of the estuarine systems, restore natural plant communities and create numerous
Changes in land use and resource utilization have placed increasing pressure on wetland ecosystems throughout the region. This has lead to
environmental degradation, particularly in the larger estuarine wetland systems. All of the wetland ecosystems are affected by excessive sedimentation,
eutrophication and erosion. The five year GRWR project has prioritized the Knysna Estuary as the estuarine wetland system requiring initial
interventions. This is due not only to its ranking as the estuary of highest conservation importance but also due to it’s large scale economic importance,
and increased level of catchment degradation. The project was initiated by Knysna Municipality and South African National Parks.
Nompumelelo A strategy aimed at establishing management plans for estuaries in the Cape Floristic firstname.lastname@example.org
C.A.P.E. Estuaries Pierre De Villiers and
Programme C.A.P.E. Estuaries Programme, CapeNature
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To ensure the long - term conservation and sustained utilization of the estuarine biodiversity in the Cape Floristic Region, a Regional Estuary
Management Programme is being implemented as part of the overall Cape Action Plan for People and the Environment. This involves the co-operation
of National, Provincial and Local Authorities as well as all stakeholders. This C.A.P.E. Estuaries Programme will be the first of its kind in South Africa and
will serve as a test case for the incorporation of strategic decision making into local estuary management. The overall aim of the programme is to align
processes, interventions and actions with the Integrated Coastal management Act (2008).
The C.A.P.E. Estuaries Programme is driven by a co-ordinator and is directed by an inter-Governmental Task Team. The process is supported by a
Technical Working Group and two guiding documents central to estuary management in the region, namely the C.A.P.E. Estuaries Conservation
Planning document and the C.A.P.E. Generic Estuary Management Planning document. Estuary Management Plans are in the process of being
developed for in excess of 15 estuaries in the CFR. Additional estuary management plans are being developed in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
using a similar process. Estuary management training courses have been developed to increase capacity in the field of estuary management and a
National database has been developed to store and maintain estuary data. Processes are being developed to integrate estuary management into the
broader catchment and coastal management fields.
Jane Turpie Development of protocols and indices for assessing the economic and livelihood email@example.com
Anchor values of wetlands
Wetland valuation studies may be carried out for a number of purposes including lobbying, conservation and development planning, designing financing
and incentive mechanisms, allocation of water, management plans, appraisal of development applications, strategic environmental assessment,
monitoring and natural resource accounting. While methods for the comprehensive and rigorous valuation of ecosystem services have become
increasingly refined, there is also pressure to carry out rapid evaluations due budgetary or time constraints. It is therefore important to determine the level
of confidence or certainty required for the decision-making process that the valuation study informs, as well as to ascertain the potential impact of the
more rapid methods on the reliability of those results. The comprehensiveness of a study can be described in terms of its scope (coverage of different
values), the extent of valuation (how beneficiaries are defined and value expressed) and accuracy (or methodological rigour). Methodological rigour is
the primary determinant of the level certainty or confidence associated with the results. The trade-offs between scope, extent and rigour will be dictated
by the scale and purpose of the study. Guidelines were developed for monetary valuation at different scales and rigor, based on international best
practice as well as experiences gained during a series of case studies on natural resources, flow regulation, water quality amelioration and tourism value
of wetlands under the WRC’s National Wetland Research Programme. The Wetland Livelihood Value Index (WLVI) was developed for determining the
relative importance of wetlands to people’s livelihoods (including non-monetary benefits), which takes both wetland characteristics and a community’s
socio-economic circumstances into account.
Petrus Venter The wetland projects within the DWAF/DWEA Harties Metsi A Me (My Water) Integrated firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Water Biological Remediation Programme
Affairs and the
The Harties Metsi a me programme started in July 2006 as a joint venture between the former Department of Water Affairs (DWAF) and the former North
West Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (NWDACE). Rand Water is responsible for the implementation of the programme.
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Amongst all the different dam basin and catchment projects, this programme includes the maximizing of aquatic ecosystem services from wetlands and
In-stream habitat. This includes phytoremediation, bioremediation and hyperaccumulation principles implemented in four focus areas: 1) Natural &
artificial wetlands; 2) In-stream Habitat stabilization and re-vegetation; 3) Floating wetlands; 4) Shoreline re-vegetation, showing the accomplishments of
these projects to-date.
These are aimed at enhancing the functionality of the following:
• Optimization of nutrient recycling in foodwebs and biodiversity.
• Cleaning, purifying and restoring of “life giving properties” in the water - thereby improving the water quality, flow regime and erosion control -
which will in turn, assist with the removal of unwanted excessive minerals.
• Storm-water reduction, dissipation and retention - which will help with the reducing of sediments in the system by reducing storm-water peak
flows and aid with the ground water infiltration.
• Supplementation of the shoreline/riparian vegetation destroyed by the construction and development of housing schemes, golf courses, boating
and water sports facilities;
• Manipulation and increased species diversity (macrophyte and macroinvertebrate) to obtain the desired food web structure through rehabilitation,
restructuring, monitoring, maintenance and management.
Johann van der Generalised soil characteristics of the wetland zones of the Halfway House granites, email@example.com
Waals Gauteng Province
Terra Soil Science
Current wetland delineation guidelines (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2005) identify four wetland indicators namely: terrain unit, vegetation,
soil form and soil wetness indicators. Due to human impacts in many landscapes increased emphasis is placed on soil indicators because soil
development is a slow process and therefore soil characteristics can be used to accurately describe and delineate wetlands, even when disturbed. The
guidelines are relatively generic and application to specific problem areas poses significant challenges. The Halfway House granites in Gauteng Province
represents such a case in that in excess of 70 % of the soils in such landscapes often qualify as wetland soils according to the guidelines. In many cases
widely differing delineation results, for the same site as determined by different workers, complicate decisions by developers and authorities. Examples
of prime wetlands that have been “missed” and that have consequently been destroyed due to guideline interpretation problems are discussed.
The soils of the Halfway House Granite Dome are predominantly sandy and bleached as well of shallow depth, leading to the occurrence of numerous
hillslope seepage areas that often exhibit a patchy distribution and that are difficult to delineate – even when using strict delineation criteria. Typical
wetland zone soils are often deeper due to colluvial soil material accumulation and often lack the mottling within 50 cm depth to class them as such soils.
The typical soil associations for the Halfway House Granite Dome are described in terms of the catena concept with expansion to include convex and
concave landscapes. A revision and adaptation of the delineation guidelines is suggested for the Halfway House granites and a concept wetland
delineation guideline for the area is presented for comment.
Heidi van Deventer Using landforms to classify wetlands at a national scale in South Africa: initial results HvDeventer@csir.co.za
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CSIR Van Deventer, H.; Job, N.; Ewart-Smith, J.; Mbona, N.; Nel, J. & Maherry, A
The classification of wetlands according to the Level 4 Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) units as detailed in the National Wetland Classification System for South
Africa (Ollis et. al., 2009) was attempted using a Geographical Information System (GIS). Landforms were calculated for South Africa using the ArcGIS
Topography Tools (Dilts, 2009) per tertiary catchment according to average valley widths of the geomorphological provinces of South Africa (Partridge et.
al., 2009) and the tertiary catchment. The initial results and progress is presented, highlighting the challenges in calculating landforms at a national scale,
the differentiation between valley bottoms and floodplains, followed by the initial results of the national classification of wetlands, and a comparison
between the wetlands classified at national scale as opposed to two examples classified at local scale. The classified wetlands would be used as one of
the input layers in the National Freshwater Ecosystems Priority Areas (NFEPA) project and used in the conservation planning software Marxan.
Cornie van The chemistry of wetland soils firstname.lastname@example.org
Huyssteen van Huyssteen,C.W
University of the
Free State Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, University of the Free State
Wetlands are saturated with water for certain periods of time. This water saturation expels air and oxygen, resulting in anaerobic conditions. Anaerobic
and facultative anaerobic micro-organisms can now utilise other electron acceptors in their respiratory metabolism processes. These other electron
acceptors are used in a strict sequence, due to the decreasing amount of energy released in the process. This reduction sequence is: O2, NO3-, Mn4+,
Fe3+, SO42-, CO2, and lastly H+. Prerequisites for the development of reducing conditions are water saturation (absence of oxygen), availability of organic
material and anaerobic or facultative anaerobic micro-organisms. The net result of anaerobic conditions is therefore a decrease in redox potential,
coupled with an increase in the pH of the soil. The reduction sequence results in specific soil morphologies. It is these soil morphologies that are used
as indicators of water saturation and therefore wetland conditions. Under water saturated and therefore anaerobic conditions NO3- is denitrified by a
series of micro-organisms to N2 gas, which escapes to the atmosphere. The prerequisites for denitrification are: absence of oxygen (waterlogged
conditions), availability of NO3- and organic material, pH > 5, and optimal temperature (25-35°C). Phosphate occurs in soil as H2PO4- or HPO42-,
depending on the pH of the soil. Under normal conditions P is highly insoluble in soil, but is even more so at high or low pH conditions. At a high pH
phosphate precipitates as a Ca-phosphate (apatite) and at a low pH it precipitates as a Fe-phosphate (strengite). In reduced soils phosphate can
therefore precipitate as apatite, because the pH is high, or as strengite, due to the availability of soluble Fe2+. The two nutrients with the biggest
environmental impact are therefore rendered safe by wetland soils. Nitrogen is released as a gas to the atmosphere, while phosphate is insolubly
Ernita van Wyk Alien plants, rapid response and wetland conservation: How do we know we are email@example.com
SANBI making a difference?
Society supports the control of alien plants with the expectation that ecosystem goods and services (e.g. water provision, flow, flood attenuation, food
production) that constitute benefits to society, will be protected and sustained. Small populations of two Australian species of the genus Melaleuca were
recently found in the Western Cape in South Africa. Both of these species are adapted to seasonally flooded habitats and as a result, are found to invade
wetlands and areas where soils are periodically water-logged. As an Early Detection and Rapid Response attempt, these populations are being removed
and their recovery carefully monitored and suppressed. But, we know very little about the relationship between the impacts of these plants on wetland
ecosystems and often the only information available is based on experiences in other countries. Because our knowledge is incomplete, our control efforts
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are based on information that helps us estimate the risks and uncertainties associated with plant invasions. In this talk, we present how information on
invading plant population characteristics can help in estimating the risk of spread if we were to let the plants continue to invade. By making risks and
uncertainties explicit, we are able to make more informed assessments about the value of early detection and rapid response attempts in wetland
systems. In other words, we are able to better evaluate whether we really are contributing to the conservation and protection of wetlands and the
associated ecosystem services to society.
Claret Walker Stakeholder engagement: are we on track? firstname.lastname@example.org
For the last four years I have been involved in the Rehabilitation Planning Process for the Working for Wetlands Program, as part of the LRI Consulting
Team, working primarily in the Western Cape Province. During this time, one of the aspects of the process which has always raised an interest and a
concern, is the way in which landowner engagement has been taking place during this Rehabilitation Planning process, but also beyond this, within the
Working for Wetlands programme`s operations, throughout the year.
The main objective of this MEd Thesis is to develop an understanding of exactly how Private Landowners have been gaining knowledge about their
wetlands, over a period of time? Has it been through Agricultural extension practices, Intergenerational transfer, experience and peer learning
(Community of Practice), conservation efforts by the local Cape Nature officials, or a combination of these knowledge transfer methods? Furthermore, to
determine the most successful process (or combination of processes) of learning by Private Landowners. Lastly, to reach some conclusion on the
preferences of the farming community (Landowners) on the processes of communicating information regarding “better” management mechanisms of a
natural resource located on their property?
It is generally accepted that the main responsibility of this task falls on the shoulders of the Working for Wetlands Coordinator`s and their Implementing
Agents. It is also well known that these individuals are completely over capacitated by their current workload to give justice to what is required of this very
important and sometimes completely underestimated activity of Landowner participation/engagement and knowledge sharing. Another challenge facing
these officials is that they do not always have the necessary skills, knowledge base and the accompanying information or material to approach these
landowners with such a loaded message of the betterment of their wetland management practices and engaging them with the correct approach.
Through the very active Biodiversity Stewardship Programme running within the Western Cape Province, administered by Cape Nature, it is a fact that
more of our conservation worthy natural assets/resources are located on Private Land and are under the management of private landowners.
Biodiversity Stewardship offers a possible educational response to an array of socio-ecological issues and risks existing within the terrain of biodiversity
conservation versus private landowner`s land use practices and ethical responses. The option of acquiring land to expand the protected area network of
the country is just too expensive for any conservation agency. Hence, the stewardship concept provides a cost-effective alternative, by getting
landowners to commit to conserving and managing biodiversity on their own land, through more active participation, engagement and information
sharing, leading to capacity building of basic environmental management knowledge. This includes private farms, communal lands and land owned by
national/provincial government departments, municipalities and parastatal organizations like Eskom, SANRAL and Transnet Freight Rail as well as some
The suggested hypothesis of this research study is therefore, that to enhance landowner engagement practices throughout the operations of the Working
for Wetlands Programme, the officials having to deal with this aspect should become more informed about the available suite of participation options
and knowledge sharing mechanisms. This should also be internalised and advocated by the programme managers and the programme in general. The
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possibility to establish a partnership between the WfW Programme and the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme of the Western Cape, has the potential
to achieve more awareness and behavioural change by the landowners, which will contribute substantially to establish long term sustainable practices
and conservation actions within those wetlands where WfW does their rehabilitation work. The experiences and knowledge of the officials from these two
programmes should be documented and captured in a data base for future training and to form the basis to stimulate cross pollination and sharing of
lessons from successful field experiences in the past.
Barbara Wiseman Application of Buffers to wetlands: Responsible Environmental Management or email@example.com
Allan Batchelor and Barbara Wiseman
Wetlands are currently afforded a high level of protection because they are perceived to be providing important benefits to society. All wetlands provide
each of these perceived benefits to a greater or lesser degree.
Currently many provincial departments (eg. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the Department of Water Affairs) recommend the application of 20, 32 or 50m
buffers as an approach to protect these perceived benefits. The expression “buffers” used in this approach does not extend beyond a measurable width
on the ground. In other words the requirements for maintenance of a system are considered and this is translated into a width on the ground. This is
currently also considered the solution to protecting the wetland from the impacts of surrounding or adjacent land use and development. This is not in our
opinion the best approach.
There is currently a review of buffer width guidelines being undertaken. This presentation examines the appropriateness of buffer width guidelines in the
development and planning context. It highlights the shortfalls in addressing the impacts of development on certain perceived benefits and in particular
impacts caused by altered hydrology, resulting from increased development within a catchment. Recommendations are made as to a more
environmentally sound approach.
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