A multi-criteria analysis approach to strategic planning for wetland rehabilitation in South Africa – progress and pitfalls

Kate Snaddon

Publication Date:

The South African Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries is home to the Working for Wetlands Programme, a national wetland restoration initiative. The recently identified strategic framework for the WfWet programme has underlined the need for a more refined planning process with catchment-scale planning. Catchment-scale planning seeks to promote ecosystem-scale outcomes, long-term custodianship, and embedding of rehabilitation in broader local institutions and frameworks. The WfWet strategic planning framework aims to provide a platform for development and strengthening of partnerships with landowners, other institutions, organisations and individuals. The main vehicle for the strategic planning process is the Provincial Strategic Plan, which is developed on a 5-year cycle. The Strategic Plans are data-driven, with stakeholder involvement, and followed a multi-criteria analysis approach. In order to provide the Provinces with sufficient data to present priority catchments for wetland restoration to their stakeholders, the authors were tasked with developing prioritisation criteria, and sourcing the datasets required to score these criteria. The planning unit used for the prioritisation of catchments was the quinary or sub-quaternary catchment.  A number of datasets were consulted in order to attribute characteristics to each quinary that relate to three categories of prioritisation criteria: Rehabilitation potential: soil erodibility and wetland condition; Wetland importance: biodiversity, wetland ecosystem services, and socio- economic vulnerability; Partnerships These characteristics were scored, weighted, and summed for each catchment, and the catchments ranked.  The author will present the method used, and results for two very different Provinces in South Africa, the Western Cape, and the Northern Cape.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Society for Ecological Restoration