Freshwater resources in South Africa remain critically stressed, posing a major risk for any land use. There is an urgent need for wise stewardship of wetlands and freshwater ecosystems to reduce the risks. As one of South Africa’s longest running privately funded conservation programmes, WWF-Mondi Wetlands Programme (WWFMWP) is making a significant contribution to help address the UN SDGs and international Aichi Biodiversity Targets in South Africa.
The partnership’s wide ranging positive outcomes include:
greater national wetland awareness which has helped catalyse the South African government-led wetland rehabilitation programme – Working for Wetlands;
a deeper understanding of the socio-ecological issues and technical skills critical to wetland and freshwater stewardship – now converted into applied tools to support learning, application and best practice;
changes to the way wetlands are identified, delineated, restored and protected across sectors in South Africa, and beyond;
improvements to how plantation forestry stakeholders protect and restore wetlands and riparian areas, supported by the global NGP platform for sharing lessons and experience;
catalysing a new, landscape-scale approach to water stewardship;
supporting young wetland and environmental professionals and building capacity at local authority level; and building an internal culture of wetland and freshwater conservation at Mondi that has resulted in our global partnership with WWF.