Friends of Rietvlei
Member of the Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa Western Cape Region
Newsletter January 2011
We wish all our Members a Happy and Peaceful 2011. Thank you for your support the past year, we trust that you will continue to support us to enable us to continue with the important task of protecting our environment.
World Wetlands Day
Thursday, 3 February 2011 @ 7.30 for 8.00pm
World Wetlands Day is on Wednesday 2nd February 2011 – this is the 40th anniversary of the international convention protecting wetlands of international importance.
To commemorate World Wetlands Day, Friends of Rietvlei will host an evening talk on Thursday 3rd February on the Ramsar Convention.
“Conserving our Wetlands – the Ramsar Convention”
The speaker is Niel van Wyk who served on the South African Ramsar Committee for nearly 10 years and represented South Africa at three international meetings of the Ramsar Convention.
Thursday, 3 February 2011 at 19h30 for 20h00.
Rietvlei Education Centre, off Grey Ave, Table View.
Sunday Afternoon Walk at Intaka Island
Sunday, 6 March 2011 @ 3.00pm
Intaka Island is a wetland rich in bird life that was created during the development of Century City. It is a prime example of how the environment can be enhanced to provide suitable habitat for many species.
We have planned a walk there for Sunday, 6 March 2011, and will be meeting at the carpark at Intaka Island at 15h00. The normal entry fee of R8.00 per adult will be charged for the walk.
PLEASE CONTACT Pauline on 083 255 2537 if you require further info on the above events.
Environmental Calendar 2011
World Wetlands Day is the first date on the 2011 Environmental Calendar, the full calendar is:
World Wetlands Day Wednesday 2 February
World Forestry Day Monday 21 March
World Water Day Tuesday 22 March
World Meteorological Day Wednesday 23 March
Earth Hour Saturday 26 March
World Health Day Thursday 7 April
Earth Day Friday 22 April
International Migratory Bird Day Saturday 14 May
World Biodiversity Day Sunday 22 May
World Environment Day Sunday 5 June
World Oceans Day Wednesday 8 June
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought Friday 17 June
World Population Day Monday 11 July
National Arbor Month   September
World Ozone Day Friday 16 September
World Tourism Day  Tuesday 27 September
World Habitat Day Thursday 3 October
National Marine Month   November
World Aids Day Thursday 1 December
And did you know that 2011 is International year of Forests? Forests 2011 will focus on the central role of people in the management, conservation and sustainable development of the world’s forests.
Our 2011 expectations
What are our expectations for 2011? There are a number of issues that have been carried over from 2010 where we sincerely hope to see progress in the year ahead.
The Diep River Estuary Management Plan
Friends of Rietvlei expect to see that several of the most important recommendations in the management plan be implemented during the coming months. The only obstacle is funding, and we have been working hard to resolve the funding problems.
Most important is that the study into the hydrology and geohydrology commence as soon as possible; without results from this study effective management decisions cannot be taken. We have already obtained R100,000 from the Table Mountain Fund towards this study, and we are now hoping that the City can provide the remaining R205,000. Friends of Rietvlei is also contributing R6,700 towards buying some of the equipment required for the project.
Expansion and Upgrading of Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure in the Blaauwberg Area.
The Minister of Local Government, Environment Affairs and Development Planning must still rule on our appeal against the Record of Decision to expand Potsdam WWTW. Our grounds for the appeal was that the EIR on which the decision was based did not consider alternative options for discharging effluent from Potsdam; the EIR merely stated that the Diep River has sufficient capacity to absorb additional discharge – this is contrary to the recommendations of the Estuary Management Plan.
It is our opinion that, if the EIR is expanded to include all possible alternatives, an acceptable solution to the problem of increasing waste water treatment requirements in the Blaauwberg area will be found.
Rietvlei Wetland Reserve office building.
Planning for the long-awaited office building for the Rietvlei management staff next to the MAC clubhouse is nearly complete, we understand that construction will start during February or early March. The staff presently has to make do with temporary structures, and the reserve manager has his office in Milpark in Koeberg Road – not the ideal way to manage a reserve effectively.
Although Koos Retief and his staff have been doing an excellent job under difficult circumstances, we are grateful that the City is providing the management staff with the proper facilities from which to manage this important nature reserve.
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