In the framework of the facility "Climate Protection, Forest and Biodiversity Conservation" issued by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), funding is provided for development projects of German municipalities and NGOs. Measures that are promoted must be from the areas of either "Forest or Biodiversity Conservation", "Reducing Emission" or "Climate Change Adaptation".
In the year 2012, Bremen was awarded a grant for a project with its partner city of Durban in the area of "Climate Change Adaptation", project duration from 2013 to 2016: "Wetland Rehabilitation in the uMhlnagane River Catchment to adapt to climate change."
Here the link to our BMZ funded project on the website of Engagement Global (available only in German): https://skew.engagement-global.de/bremen-durban-suedafrika.html
Due to climate change, Durban will experience higher temperatures, irregular rainfalls, floods and drought as well as a rising sea level. Therefore, climate change adaptation has a high priority for the city of Durban.
The water catchment area of the river uMhlangane provides a microcosm of the developmental challenges that the city is confronted with. At the same time, it is characterized by a poorly/badly functioning river system, a high degree of environmental pollution and high levels of poverty and unemployment. So far, municipal activities in the area are poorly coordinated, which leads to inefficient use of urban resources.
The project aims to bring together a range of municipal departments for cooperation in one cross-departmental project: the restoration of an important wetland and the surrounding open spaces in the River Horse Valley in the uMhlangane River Catchment. Apart from the benefits for climate change adaptation, the project will contribute to the restoration of wetlands and open spaces as well as to restore the biodiversity on site. The indirect benefits of the project include the reduction of flooding and improvement of water quality for downstream users as well as the creation of jobs through the necessary excavator and planting work.
The River Horse Valley area within the uMhlangane River Catchment was selected as a pilot project, since it is one of the few still functioning wetlands in the area. Secondly, eThekwini Municipality (Durban) has established a partnership with the River Horse Valley Business Management Association (RVBMA) that manages the area. The Municipality has pledged to restore the wetland, and the RVBMA will carry out the ongoing management.
This restoration project is one of the first in Durban, and it is hoped that the experience of this project can be useful in the restoration of other still existing wetlands downriver. It is also expected that the successful implementation will serve as a lighthouse project for cross-departmental projects and induce further cross-sectorial measures for climate change adaptation.
Expertise from Bremen is drawn upon, for example in technical workshops or short expert visits on topics like water quality management and restoration of ecosystems, project management consulting and planning of participatory processes.