25 October, 2007

World Wetlands Day - 2 February 2008

In preparation for WWD 2008, a task team has been set up. It is headed by Patrick Dowling of WESSA.

Patrick Dowling in the foreground

We are not staging our own ‘event’ but are coordinating interested agencies so that information can be shared, distributed and used optimally.

The latest Western Cape World Wetlands Week Programme can be downloaded HERE.

With assistance from Dennis Laidler, Biodiversity Deputy Director in the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, this blog site has been established.

We will use our new blog to accumulate relevant postings that can then be made available to organisers of WWD events, as well as being used for other purposes.

The home page URL for the Western Cape Wetlands blog is www.wetlandsforum.blogspot.com .

Please feel free to send contributions to the blog editor, Philippa Huntly at wetlandsforum@sanbi.org

The World Wetlands Day 2008 Ramsar Theme is “Healthy Wetlands Healthy People”

In unpacking this theme we have come up with the following attributes of healthy wetlands and healthy people:

  • are not polluted
  • render many valuable services
  • are not dump sites
  • support human and non-human activity
  • help cleanse water and improve its quality
  • help prevent flooding
  • counter the effects of drought
  • are found inland, on the coast, near rivers
  • can be big or small
  • are not infested with alien plants
  • are not under threat by development
  • are not used as sewerage outfalls
  • are not drained
  • are beautiful
  • are crucial habitat to plants and animals
  • are well in mind, body and spirit
  • are helpful and know where to get help
  • are concerned about the environment for themselves and future generations
  • participate in democracy
  • are prepared to make a difference
  • are more interested in need than in greed
  • are not bought off easily
  • work hard and intelligently
  • see health and environment connections
  • are not selfish
  • promote health messages to others
  • are not passive
  • look forward to solving problems
  • do not exploit the environment
  • share resources
  • perceive the earth and all its components as a closed finite system to be conserved and not to be exploited

Wetlands forum meeting 14 November 2007

The last meeting of 2007 was at 13h30 on 14 November 2007 in the KRC Seminar Room

The agenda

The minutes

Two key presentations were:

Hannes Muller of LandCare: Failing the environment by lack of law enforcement; and

Pat Homes: Restoration protocol for Fynbos riparian vegetation following alien plant invasion

There will also be two mini-workshops:

Dennis Laidler: Live demo of the new Western Cape Wetlands Forum blog; and

Patrick Dowling: Workshop in preparation for World Wetlands Day - 2 February, 2008

Wetlands forum meeting 5 September 2007

The meeting of 5 September was held at the KRC Seminar room

The agenda

The minutes

08 October, 2007

Palmiet protects wetlands

Here is a picture of how the palmiet plant protects wetlands during a flood.

This is what it looks like after the waters have receded.

The palmiet completely protects the wetland soil from being swept away.

And here is exactly the wrong thing to do with your palmiet wetland.

At the next heavy rain all this soil will be washed away to some other lucky farmer's land!

Introduction to this blog

This blog has been created by the Western Cape and Southern Cape Wetlands Forums to serve as a communication and information sharing vehicle for members of the two Forums.

We will post links to useful resources, events and proceedings of the two Forums.

The Western Cape Wetlands Forum meets quarterly at the South African National Biodiversity Institute's Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town.

For details on the meeting dates for the Southern Cape Wetlands Forum contact Sarah Fox on sarahf@sanparks.org

The key Western Cape Wetlands Forum contact persons are:

Philippa Huntly: E-mail: WetlandsForum@sanbi.org

George Davis: E-mail: Davis@sanbi.org

The key Southern Cape Wetlands Forum contact people are:

Sarah Fox : sarahf@sanparks.org

Andrew Brown: E-mail: andrewb@sanparks.org