World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on 2 February to highlight the importance and value of wetlands and their conservation. South Africa is one of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. One of the obligations of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention is to commemorate World Wetlands Day.
Wetlands are known for numerous benefits to humans, including filtering pollutants out of waterways, reducing flood risk by holding back water, recharging groundwater supplies, providing food, medicine and materials, and supporting local livelihoods through fishing and tourism.
A wide range of events have been organised by the City to create an understanding among residents of the important role wetlands play. This year’s focus will be on raising awareness at community level in Winterveld where concerns were raised regarding a wetland that is degrading due to illegal dumping into the wetland and the removal of vegetation.
Our initiatives have started with a wetland capacity-building workshop for the community at Ya-Bana Children’s Village. This will be followed by wetland excursions for the community to our nature reserves, and wetland clean-ups.
The rolling out of these various activities will include partners from various environmental institutions, the City’s Nature Conservation Operations Section and teams from the City’s Emergency Services Department. It is our intention that under the banner of the theme for World Wetlands Day 2023, It’s Time for Wetlands Restoration, we reach out to our residents and unite to make environmental issues an effort by all of us.
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