The Ingula Nature Reserve which hosts Eskom’s Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme has been recognised by the International Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (the international treaty governing the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands) as a wetland site of international importance. This international recognition results from many years of hard work by Eskom and its partners, BirdLife South Africa and Middelpunt Wetland Trust, on the preservation of the wetland area.
The Ingula Reserve is located high in the Drakensberg and straddles the KwaZulu Natal and Free State borders. The partnership was established in 2003 and has been acclaimed as a pioneering example of how industry and non-government organisations can cooperate to achieve environmental conservation sustainably.
The Ingula Nature Reserve, home to Eskom’s Pumped Storage Scheme, has been recognised as a wetland site of international importance.
A Ramsar designation elevates Eskom to an acknowledged international power utility, contributing directly towards environmental sustainability and to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
While the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) required Eskom to conserve the unique wetland and high altitude grassland area, Eskom went further to ensure the formal protection of the 8 084 hectares, attaining its formal declaration as a Nature Reserve in May 2018.
“This honour confirms Eskom’s and its partners’ commitment to environmental sustainability and shows that industry can co-exist sustainably with the environment,” said Deidre Herbst, Eskom Generation Environmental Manager. “The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has been very supportive in the process. This is an exemplary and beneficial partnership between DEFF, Eskom and the Ingula Partnership (Eskom, BirdLife South Africa and Middelpunt Wetland Trust).”
The nature reserve is located within severely threatened ecosystems of grasslands, wetlands and escarpment forests and is host to several hundred species of flora, birds, reptiles and mammals.
The inclusion of the Ingula Nature Reserve in the International Ramsar Convention demonstrates Eskom’s commitment to South African environmental sustainability, and contributes towards South Africa’s conservation targets by protecting biodiversity, in particular threatened, rare and endemic species indigenous to the area.
Ingula is one of the largest industry-owned nature reserves in the country. It is the 27th official Ramsar site in South Africa and the only one in Eskom.
For more information visit: www.eskom.co.za