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Working for Wetlands


South African National Biodiversity Institute
Private Bag X101
South Africa

Tel: 012 843 5200
Fax: 086 555 9844 / 012 804 3211
Contact: John Dini

Working for Wetlands is a government programme dedicated to the rehabilitation, protection and sustainable use of South Africa’s wetlands. It plays a vital role as a national focal point for wetlands, undertaking research that enables strategic management and rehabilitation of wetland ecosystems.

The programme, which is acclaimed internationally for its success and innovativeness, weaves together principles of wise use, poverty alleviation and natural resource protection, in the process offering skills training, employment and enterprise development opportunities to unemployed people, with specific emphasis on vulnerable and marginalised groups. Teams are made up of a minimum of 60% women, 20% youth and 1% people with disabilities.

It has been estimated that up to 50% of South Africa's wetlands are degraded because of bad land management practices. Rehabilitation actions range from stabilising river banks, revegetation, trapping sediment, plugging drains in wetlands and rewetting drained areas.

Working for Wetlands is managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute on behalf of the departments of Environmental Affairs, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Water Affairs. It is part of government’s Expanded Public Works Programme.