Wetlands and Climate Change

Wetlands at Blue Crane Restaurant, Nieuw Muckleneuk

World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on the 2nd of February to raise global awareness on the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet. Theme of this year’s edition is Wetlands and Climate Change. It has been chosen to initiate action against the drainage of wetlands.”

Patterson Park River

Patterson Park River

Exciting things are on the way in my local community. My invitation to join me for a Wetlands Walkabout today was posted on my chalkboard wall, on the NORA (Norwood Orchards Residents Association Committee) Facebook page as well as on the Orange Grove Ward 73 WhatsApp Group. The response has taken me by surprise and because the WhatsApp Group is for matters that require immediate attention I was asked to move my issue to another WhatsApp Group: Orange General. This I gladly did.

The challenge I face on my property is mild in comparison to the challenges that others face.

Orange Grove wetlands challenge 1

Orange Grove wetlands challenge 1

Orange Grove wetlands challenge 2

Orange Grove wetlands challenge 2

These emergency measures require back up from council to ensure that a holistic and environmentally friendly solution is enacted. To this end one resident has already gained permission to organise a tour with the Regional Director, JRA and Joburg Water for the whole area. He has undertaken to make a spreadsheet of residents’ details presumably so that each property manifesting wetland challenges can be included in the tour.

Orange Grove wetlands challenge 3

Orange Grove wetlands challenge 3

To discover that the skills I lack are present in my community and that people are eager to resolve this challenge that faces us has been an enormous relief for me. It also means I can concentrate on my own home project using the Ethics and Principles of Permaculture so that by the time the tour gets to me I will have a small solution to show rather than just a problem to describe.

Gallant Soldier Bioremediation Experiment in Orange Grove Wetlands

Gallant Soldier Bioremediation Experiment in Orange Grove Wetlands

On a different note it dawned on me that what I was taught at school was limited. At least what I remember from Geography lessons in primary school – the Highveld is a grassland. It is, or rather it was, and certainly whatever bits of natural grassland remains should be protected. I think there is one in Kensington. Yet what I have seen with my own eyes in the last week is that within this original biome are numerous wetlands. These are resources that we can utilise to mitigate climate change, and in our area, to manage floods and to save water for times of scarcity.

It would be great if the person working on the spreadsheet could start another WhatsApp group to focus on Patterson Park Wetlands so that our individual efforts are coordinated in all the affected wards.

I am grateful for this wonderful natural resource which according to the website I viewed states that, “Wetlands are a natural safe guard against disasters and help us cope with extreme weather events. Well managed wetlands ensure communities are resilient and can bounce back from disasters. Take actions that help conserve and promote sustainable use of wetlands.”

I will host a Permaculture Retreat on Sunday, 3 March 2019. The first session (09H00-11H00) will be free of charge. It will be an introduction to the First Principle of Permaculture: Observe and Interact. I will use the bit of the Patterson Park Wetland ecosystem I own as a practical example of how I have applied this principle. For more information or to book visit http://www.blueblueearth.co.za/contact-us/.

Sources:
Orange Groove Ward 73 WhatsApp Group
Orange General WhatsApp Group
https://www.lovenorwood.com/
https://www.dutchwatersector.com/news-events/events/228-world-wetlands-day-2019.html

Resource:
If you wish to consider a permaculture solution for your property you may want to contact Nici Richter of Sustainable Permaculture Solutions. Email: nici.richter@gmail.com.