This year, Eden DM was one of the top 5 finalists for the prestigious Eco-Logic Biodiversity Award. The municipality has received a Certificate of Merit for its Local Action for Biodiversity: Wetlands South Africa (LAB: Wetlands SA) Project. The award ceremony took place on 5 June 2018, World Environment Day, in Tshwane. The LAB: Wetlands SA project aims to protect wetlands in the Eden District and ensures that these valuable assets provide critical services such as flood attenuation, water storage and water purification, whilst increasing the municipality’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, preventing natural disasters, and preserving vital habitat for local flora and fauna.
The ICLEI’s LAB: Wetlands South Africa Project contributed significantly to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and served as an inspirational and practical example for others. The project continually enhances the awareness of wetlands as well as the integration of biodiversity considerations into local government planning and decision-making. It has improved the capacity of district municipalities to prioritise and effectively manage wetlands and biodiversity. The Eden DM 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 and the Eden District Wetlands Strategy and Implementation Plan. These documents were co-developed by both ICLEI and Eden DM 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.
Other nominated finalists for the coveted Biodiversity Award included the ‘Bearded Vulture Breeding Programme’, the ‘Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project’, the ‘Cape Town Environmental Education Trust – Nature Care Fund’ and the ‘Lifescanner Lab-In-A-Box’ project.
“The Eco-Logic Awards provide recognition for the best eco-champions of South Africa,” says David Parry-Davies, publisher of Enviropaedia and founder of the Eco-Logic Awards.
The Eden District Wetlands Report can be download from the ICLEI website: www.cbc.iclei.org