Freshwater Ecosystem Management Programme
The purpose of the freshwater ecosystem programme is to ensure the functionality of key wetlands and rivers in the Protected Environment. Although the freshwater ecosystems programme deals primarily with key wetland habitats, it cannot be seen in isolation of groundwater resources. Groundwater feeds many wetlands as well as rivers and is particularly important in arid systems and for seasonal or ephemeral rivers. In the Protected Environment, groundwater is also the main source of drinking water and as such it relates to the objective of effective agricultural management (where agriculture constitutes the major land use type in the Protected Environment). The Protected Environment largely contains modified freshwater ecosystems, for example a dammed rivers, modified wetlands and manmade dams.