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International workshop on Wetlands and Poverty Reduction in South Africa


An international delegation of field-level practitioners, policy and decision-makers, university and private agencies will gather in the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Press is invited to join a field trip on the first of February.

South Africa was selected as the host country for this workshop due to their considerable experience in linking the needs of people with a policy on wetland protection and restoration. 
South Africa is a very interesting country to look at, says Trevor Wickham, the Project Manager of the Dutch-funded project. ”With water shortage in many areas and numerous communities dependent on fresh water ecosystems, South Africa has needed to be innovative in finding solutions that work for nature and people.  Their working for wetlands program, where the poor can earn a living and develop new skills through restoring wetlands is one such example”.

The meeting, organised by Wetlands International and supported by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), is part of a project funded by the government of the Netherlands designed to demonstrate how people’s wellbeing and livelihoods are linked to the maintenance of functional wetlands. This will be done through a variety of activities over the next 3 years including: policy improvements, partnership development, demonstration projects, training and awareness raising. The project will focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. 

The goal of the workshop is to bring the nature conservation and development aid sectors together to develop a common agenda for how wetlands protection and poverty reduction can complement one another. Delegates of both these sectors from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe will attend and contribute to this meeting. 

Press is invited to join a field trip at the end of the meeting on February 1st. We will provide return transport to and from Durban and St. Lucia. Apply for this as soon as possible!

A communiqué detailing an action plan will be released on the February 2nd, coinciding with World Wetlands Day. 

Press can contact us prior to or during the workshop.

Trevor Wickham
Wetlands International
Project Manager
Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project

John Dini
Programme Manager
Working for Wetlands

Place:   Seasands Lodge and Conference Centre
St. Lucia, KwaZulu Natal.
Date:    30 January – 2 February 2006

South Africa: Cobus Meiring  +27 (0)836 267 619

 For more information on the project, click here.

Press contact

Communications and Advocacy Department