MONDAY; SESSION 2: Workshop Session                                                                                                                                                                              

SESSION 2: Workshop Session15:30

Dr Piet-Louis Grundling, Johan Smuts

Workshop 1 (Free State):

NEMA, NWA and their regulations: Conserving wetlands or feeding a wetland community of practice?

WEDNESDAY: SESSION 8: Workshop Session


Lulu van Rooyen,

Kate Snaddon,

Alanna Rebelo

Workshop 3 (Free State):

Provincial Forum Workshop


Renée Grundling

Workshop 4 (Eland):

Anthropogenic wetlands in the South African landscape


National Wetlands Indaba 2022

Monday 24 – Thursday 27 October 
Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Free State Province, South Africa

SWS Africa Region Workshop

Alanna Rebelo
Agricultural Research Council – NRE, Water Science Unit
Stellenbosch University, Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology
Willem Lubbe
Jacolette Adam
Exigent Environmental Business Unit

This interactive workshop aims for the newly forming SWS-Africa committee to interface with our South African members, share updates and hear ideas. This 1.5 hour session will be divided into three parts. The first part is an update on SWS Africa and the vision for the next term (3 years). In addition, Rob McInnes will give a 15 minute recorded presentation on the SWS Professional Certification Program (PCP) and aims to answer the following questions: (i) what are the benefits for Africans? (ii) Why would international certification be attractive (especially for South Africans who already have a compulsory national certification which is costly each year). (iii) Would the benefits lie in potential international work? (iv) What are the costs involved, (v) what training is needed annually, where can this be accessed and at what cost. The second part features short recorded talks on wetlands in other African countries from guest speakers who are involved in the SWS-Africa committee. These talks showcase the types of wetland systems in each country and the activities of their respective wetland communities. The final part of the workshop is an interactive world café-style session, where participants will have an opportunity to discuss the potential of SWS Africa in small groups, and share their ideas and inputs. Inputs will be used by the new committee to guide the vision for SWS-Africa going forward.
Part 1: SWS Intro & SWS-Africa Vision

  1. Alanna Rebelo – SWS-Africa Vision
  2. Rob McInnes – An introduction to the Professional Certification Program
  3. Q&A Session
Part 2: SWS Committee & African Wetlands
  1. Dingha Chrispo Babila: Wetlands in Cameroon –Africa in miniature: The need for a specific wetland community
  2. Excellence Akeredolu – Prospects and Challenges of wetlands in Nigeria
  3. Q&A Session
Part 3: SWS-Africa Workshop
Aim: to get inputs from our South African membership on the SWS-Africa vision and regional approach.
In small groups with facilitators, please answer the following questions:
  1. What is your opinion of the regional approach taken by SWS-Africa?
  2. Do you have any ideas for co-funding or sponsorship for the training opportunities?
  3. Do you have capacity to participate in the training in other African countries, or can you recommend an NGO/company who could assist with this training?
  4. Are there any other ideas you wish to put forward for consideration, and do you have capacity to implement them, or support the committee to implement them?

NEMA, NWA and their regulations:
Conserving wetlands or feeding a wetland community of practice?



Hosted by: Piet-Louis Grundling and Johan Smuts
Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Regulatory, Compliance and Sector Monitoring, Pretoria, South Africa. Centre for Environmental Management, University of the Free State.


The National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) creates the legal framework to give effect to the environmental right guaranteed in Section 24 of the Constitution. It confirms that State is the trustee of the environment on behalf of the inhabitants and sets out the fundamental principles that apply to environmental decision making – especially to avoid negative impacts on the environment, manage, minimise, mitigate to be within acceptable level.
NEMA introduced a general duty of care to prevent, control and rehabilitate the effect of significant pollution and environmental degradation. However, by 2018 in South Africa 67% of rivers and wetlands being degraded with 88% of wetland area threatened. Could it be that we as an environmental conservation community are failing to apply a risk-averse and cautious which is taking into account the limits of our knowledge about the consequences of our decisions and actions? What is our Duty of Care?
The NEMA Environmental management principles guide the interpretation, administration and implementation of this Act, and any other law concerned with the protection or management of the environment. Furthermore, negative impacts on the environment and on people’s environmental rights be must be anticipated and prevented, and where they cannot be altogether prevented, are minimised and remedied. This workshop aims to introduce and affirms these management principles, regulations and listing notices pertaining to watercourses. It will also cover wetland relevant sections of Specific Environmental Management Acts (such as Section 21 of the National Water Act) and principles of accountability.



Part 1: NEMA and its regulations

  1. Piet-Louis Grundling
  2. Q&A Session
Part 2: NWA and its regulations
  1. Johan Smuts
  2. Q&A Session
Part 3: The need for one Integrated Environmental Authority (IEA)
Aim: to get inputs from the SA Wetland Community of Practice on the need as well as a mandate to initiate an IEA.
In small groups with facilitators, please answer the following questions:
  1. What is your opinion of the current EA and WULA processes?
  2. Do you think there is an alternative for the Developer/Polluter appointment of EAP’s and specialists?
  3. What is your opinion of one Integrated Environmental Authority?
  4. Do you think professional bodies such as IPASA and SACNASP have a role to play in an Integrated Environmental Authority?

Provincial Forum Workshop

Are you a member of a South African provincial wetland forum? Do you know who is leading your local forum? Would you like to find out more and get involved? Join this fun, interactive workshop to find out more. Are you a committee member of a South African provincial wetland forum? Do you need more support, either from your membership, or from the South African Wetland Society? Do you need fun ideas, tools, or funding to host fun local activities? Join this fun, interactive workshop to find out more. The aim of this workshop will be to strengthen the local South African wetland fora, from the top-down (funding, support, tools) and the bottom-up (members, reaching more stakeholders). The format will be a world cafe style workshop with stimulating questions, allowing learning and knowledge-sharing across different provinces and fora. We hope to see you there!


Workshop Outline


Time: 1.5 hours
Facilitators: Alanna Rebelo, Kate Snaddon, Lulu Pretorius
Introduction: Lulu 

Part 1: Group work (mixed forums) 

  • Intro: Alanna
  • What types of events have you run in last 3 years? 
  • Do’s & don’ts for event organising 
  • How to source sponsorship 
  • Feedback 
  • Aim: to showcase/feedback what forums have been doing
  • Format: World café

Part 2: Group work (forum based; stronger forums assisting) 

  • Intro: Kate
  • Aim: Work on planning an event: e.g. goal to put together a proposal to submit to SAWS for funding.
  • Format: Word doc template (also printed) for the aspects of the event to consider in planning and the proposal.
  • Closing: Lulu

National Wetlands Indaba 2022: Workshop abstract

Hosted by:

Renée Grundling1
Jackie Jay2
The influence of humans on the environment is becoming more pronounced as populations, particularly the urban population, increase. The imprint humans leave behind is so pronounced that a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, has been created to accommodate human (i.e., anthropogenic) changes in the Holocene or recent geological timeline. Anthropogeomorphology is the study of how humans modify and create landform and landform processes.
Wetlands are generally seen as natural geomorphological features, but wetlands can be formed and modified due to human activities and may therefore be attributed to anthropogeomorphology. Furthermore, wetlands are also specifically designed and constructed for purposes ranging from stormwater control, wastewater treatment, aquaculture to aesthetics and recreation. Wetlands resulting from indirect or direct anthropogenic interventions serve as ecological infrastructure and could even contribute to biodiversity in a transformed landscape. The question therefore arises: what are their legal status? Are they expendable or do they deserve the same protection in terms of the NWA, NEMA and NEWA than natural systems?
The aim of this workshop is to raise an awareness of these types of wetlands; to form an idea of how many people are working with them; to take the first step towards policy on how to assess and manage these systems and to mainstream them into the broader wetland classification, legislation, and management.
This workshop will be presented in two sessions:
Session one will take the form of a presentation focusing on the definition of anthropogeomorphological wetlands, their distribution and standing in South Africa, including current terminology/definitions/classifications and proposed terminology/definitions/classifications. The presentation will further highlight current thinking around potential policy positions regarding anthropogeomorphological wetlands and their management.
Session two will be an interactive session and participants will be encouraged to present questions and comments for discussion.
Keywords: Wetlands, anthropogenic, anthropogeomorphology, policy

Facilitator Names: Jackie Jay and Renée Grundling

Aims: The aim of this workshop is to raise an awareness of these types of wetlands; to form an idea of how many people are working with them; to take the first step towards policy on how to assess and manage these systems and to mainstream them into the broader wetland classification, legislation, and management.

Wednesday 26 October 2022
Session 1
16:30 – 16:45: Introduction and welcome – Jackie Jay
16:45 – 17:00: Anthropo-geomorphological Wetlands – Renée Grundling
Artificial wetlands? Accidental wetlands? Constructed wetlands? Where do these systems fit into South African wetland classification and how can we improve terminology and definitions.
17:00 – 17:15: Potential Policy and Management Implications – Jackie Jay
Session 2
17:15 – 17:50: World Café Discussion
  1. What are your thoughts on the definitions and classification proposed?
    • Current terms vs proposed terms
  2. What challenges have you experienced/ what lessons were learnt when developing management plans, advising clients etc) regarding anthropogenic wetlands?
    • No clear definitions mean delays in licensing
    • Water act: S21(g) – > S21 (c and i)
  3. What should our policy be on anthropogenic wetlands? Should we protect them?
    • What rules have you been applying and what should be applied
    • How can we improve management?

17:50 – 18:00: Concluding remarks