The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), in collaboration with its various partners, is hosting a three-day National Indaba on Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security from 29 to 31 May 2018 at the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Vulindlela Conference Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.
The National Indaba is held under the theme, ‘Investing in ecological infrastructure for water security’ in recognition of the importance of healthy catchments and ecosystems for water security. South Africa is endowed with a vast wealth of ecological infrastructure such as wetlands, rivers and mountain catchments that are delivering valuable services such as clean water to society. The country’s water needs and use rely on mountain catchments and quality and the quantity of water is in turn heavily dependent on the health of the catchment ecosystems, which are essential ecological infrastructure. Recognising and investing in ecological infrastructure is required as part of integrated responses to addressing water security challenges in South Africa.
The National Indaba is expected to attract up to 150 delegates from national, regional and local government, academia, research institutions and civil society. The event presents a moment to draw from collective knowledge and to strengthen relationships. The event will also showcase the alignment of the concept and practice of investing in ecological infrastructure for water security across sectors.
The National Indaba will also profile the launch of the Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security Project, funded through a five year grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and will be implemented as a joint partnership with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and SANBI. The project is aimed at transforming the way we as a country think about and value water and ecosystems. Furthermore, it aims to upscale investment in the management of ecological infrastructure, which will be implemented through a suite of partnerships involving government and civil society organisations.
Outcomes of the conference include:
- Launching the Ecological Infrastructure & Water Security Project.
- Showcasing alignment of naturally functioning ecosystems that generate and deliver valuable services to people water, biodiversity, industry and research sectors.
- Learning around the concept of ecological infrastructure and cross-sectoral collaboration for socio-economic impact.
- Sharing lessons between practitioners and researchers by using community-led approaches that engages people and groups from across society to help improve our precious water environments which safeguard ecological infrastructure.
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