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Preliminary guideline for the determination of buffer zones for rivers, wetlands and estuaries
Expanded Title:South Africa’s water ecosystems are under increasing pressure, with impacts such as regulation of flow by impoundments, pollution, over-extraction of water, and the breakdown of natural bio-geographical barriers. All affect the ecological condition of these resources. Wetlands have been subject to widespread degradation with an estimated 50% of South Africa’s wetlands having been destroyed or converted (Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, 2005). While Reserve determination, resource classification and resource quality objectives are legislative tools developed to reverse or prevent these impacts, the implementation of these tools is still in the early stages, with costly implications for reversing existing impacts or rehabilitation. The need for preventative measures to prevent further degradation of these resources has therefore been highlighted. It is in this context that the establishment of buffer zones to rivers, estuaries and wetlands can play a meaningful role in reducing impacts to aquatic resources and in so doing, protect the range of services that these resources provide to society. This study, through a highly consultative process has developed guidelines to determine appropriate buffer zones for different types of water resources. These zones were tested on a number of case studies and will continue to be refined as implementation proceeds in a learn-by-doing, or adaptive management approach. An eight-step assessment procedure provides the user with a step-by-step approach to determine appropriate buffer zones. The assessment procedure, as well as the management practices that need to be taken into consideration, provide the guidelines for determining and managing appropriate buffer zones. Developed in conjunction with this report, Buffer Zone Tools on spreadsheets provide the user with the primary tools for determining appropriate buffer zones in connection with rivers, wetlands and estuaries. It is anticipated that practical testing of the buffer zone methodology will provide useful information critical for further refinement of the tools.
Date Published:01/09/2014
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Water Resource Management/IWRM - Catchment Management, Ecosystem - Biodiversity protection
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Technical
WRC Report No:TT 610/14
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0590-5
Authors:Macfarlane DM; Bredin IP; Adams JB; Zungu MM; Bate GC; Dickens CWS
Project No:K5/2200
Originator:WRC
Document Size:3 605 KB
Attachments:Annexure 10 - Initial desktop threat ratings based on expert workshops.pdf
Annexure 18 - Examples of biodiversity information sheets.pdf
Annexure 19 - Guidelines for corridor design.pdf
Annexure 4 - National and_or sub-national (CAPE) priority estuaries.pdf
Annexure 5 - Estuary importance scores for all South African estuaries.pdf
Annexure 7 - Specific limits set for evaluating different threat types assessed.pdf
Annexure 8 - Summary of Average Event Mean Concentrations.pdf
Deliverable 1 - Final Literature Review.pdf
Estuary Buffer Model_Version 1_19-Sep-2014.xlsx
Mitigation Measures Tool.xlsx
Practical_Field Testing Report.pdf
Rivers Buffer Model_Version 1_19-Sep-2014.xlsx
Wetland Buffer Model_Version 1_19-Sep-2014.xlsx
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