The conference took place on 10 November 2022 at the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP14) for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Cape Town is the first city in South Africa to get an award for doing a great job of keeping its urban wetlands safe.
Cape Town becomes one of the 43 cities worldwide. Cities such as China’s Dongying, Nanchang and Yancheng, among many others, are part of the wetland cities listed in the past.
The City’s application went through a rigorous review process and was approved alongside 24 other cities. The City’s wetlands have been highlighted negatively due to sewage spills, heritage issues and even environmental degradation, but that has since been rectified.
“To combat this, the City has been ramping up its efforts to protect, rehabilitate and restore these wetlands through a multitude of interventions and policies, including the Mayoral Priority Programme, focused on the water quality improvement of rivers and wetlands – which received a big chunk of the City’s budget.”
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has put in place a R350 millon priority programme that should “ensure cleaner waterways and protect the environment” in the next three years.
More city officials will also integrate and work towards various plans to improve wetland conservation in the City.
“I’m proud to say that in Cape Town we are always looking for innovative plans to resolve challenges, and to maintain, restore, and preserve our wetlands. But, in so doing, we are also working with our surrounding communities to ensure that local job seekers benefit from the restoration and conservation programmes through skills development initiatives and temporary job opportunities,” said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.
Picture: City of Cape Town