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Wetland rehabilitation in mining landscapes: An introductory guide
Expanded Title:Wetlands ecosystems are vital ecological infrastructure that provide valuable services to people and are important biodiversity assets. Wetlands help to buffer flood waters, soak up water to release more gradually over time, filter sediments, purify water, and provide forage for livestock and refuge for numerous species. While remarkably resilient in many ways, they are vulnerable to a range of direct, indirect and cumulative impacts. In mining landscapes changes in landscape hydrology and water quality often impact upon downstream water resources and associated users with various consequences for people and biodiversity. The current state of wetland ecosystems in South Africa is such that impacts on remaining wetlands have cumulative, and sometimes significant consequences. There are indications that the cumulative loss or deterioration of services derived from wetlands is undermining the ability of the affected landscapes to deliver these functions, which in turn has social, economic and ecological implications. This is of direct relevance to the mining sector. Impacts on wetlands should be avoided and minimised whenever possible. Where wetland impacts or degradation do take place, wetland rehabilitation should form part of the mitigation of these impacts. Wetland rehabilitation can be successful if it is well planned and implemented. The Wetland rehabilitation in a mining landscape: introductory guide provides practical, user-friendly guidance to specialists, mining houses and regulators on appropriate wetland rehabilitation strategies, planning, methods and implementation. The guide builds on existing guidelines and experience in wetland rehabilitation to consolidate guidance that is specific to wetland rehabilitation in mining landscapes. This was necessary as the available information on mine planning, impact mitigation and rehabilitation of mining landscapes did not specifically or adequately address wetland rehabilitation in this context. Mining frequently impacts on water quality and hydrology in ways that differ from other land uses, and can create challenging water quality and hydrological conditions. Such conditions will frequently necessitate customising wetland rehabilitation approaches that ensure wetland rehabilitation structures can cope with associated water quantity and quality issues, making mining-specific wetland rehabilitation guidance necessary. The introductory guide is structured to provide users with the core principles that should inform planning and decision-making at different phases of wetland rehabilitation, namely planning, implementation, and monitoring and long-term management phases. Key elements integral to wetland rehabilitation in each phase are summarised in easy-reference checklists that help users ensure that the guidelines provided in this document are adhered to. An overview of legal considerations for wetland rehabilitation in the mining landscape is also provided. By consolidating existing guidance on wetland rehabilitation in mining landscapes, this introductory guide aims to promote the standardised application of tools in wetland rehabilitation and improve clarity with respect to wetland rehabilitation planning, design and implementation in mining landscapes. In particular the guidance is intended to provide appropriate practical and strategic approaches to wetland rehabilitation, and to support the development of wetland rehabilitation and management commitments and license conditions that are realistic, achievable and can be monitored. Well planned and implemented wetland rehabilitation can help to avoid a range of risks for proponents, government and affected communities and ensure compliance with environmental legislative provisions and authorisation macfrequirements.
Date Published:01/04/2016
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Ecosystem - Biodiversity protection, Mine water - Closure and rehabilitation
Document Keywords:Environment
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Technical
WRC Report No:TT 658/14
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0773-2
Authors:Macfarlane D; Dlamini B; Marneweck G; Kassier D; Campbell J; Young A; Dini JA; Holness SD; De Klerk AR; Oberholster PJ; Ginsburg A
Project No:K5/2230
Originator:WRC
Organizations:Eco-Pulse Environmental Consulting Services CC; Wetland Consulting Services (Pty) Ltd; IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd; South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI); Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University; CSIR; Benefits SE
Document Size:2 014 KB
Related Documents:Wetland offsets: A best practice guideline for South Africa
High Risk Wetlands Atlas: Reference Guide to the Mpumalanga Mining Decision Support Tool
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