South Sudan plans policy to manage wetlands

By Tapeng Michael Ohure

South Sudan is working on plans to begin managing its vast wetlands.

According to the country’s Ministry of Environment, an environmental policy will be launched in a fortnight.

The country is home to Africa’s largest wetland, the SUDD, covering an estimated 57,000 square kilometers, representing one of the world’s largest fresh ecosystems, and home to one million people.

It’s inhabited by the Shilluk, Anyuak, Nuer and Dinka.

According to the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Environment, Joseph Africano Bartel, there is no protection and management policies currently to protect the SUDD wetland and other wetlands in South Sudan.

“All of you should know that the ministry of environment has developed a national determined contribution for combating climate change and that document will be launched in two weeks,” Bartel told reporters in Juba during the commemoration of World Wetlands Day on Wednesday.

Also speaking to journalists on the day, South Sudan’s Minister of Environment, Josephine Napwon Cosmos said it’s a matter of urgency on threats to wetlands globally.

“It is urgent that we raise national and global awareness about wetlands in order to reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to conserve and restore them,” Cosmos said.

“World Wetlands Day is the ideal time to increase people’s understanding of these critically important ecosystems.”

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