The Latin America Water Funds Partnership creates and strengthen Water Funds (WFs) across the region. A WF is a financial and institutional mechanism that promotes public and private sector participation for the conservation of watersheds to improve urban water security through nature-based solutions.
WHAT ARE WATER FUNDS?
A WF is a financial and institutional mechanism that promotes public and private sector participation for the conservation of watersheds to improve urban water security through nature-based solutions.
WFs channel long-term investment for conservation projects that maximize seepage and reduce sediments and other pollutants in order to help improve the quality and regularity of water flows that supply cities. They strengthen watershed governance by bringing together relevant stakeholders –users, water utilities, corporations, authorities and civil society– and providing solid scientific knowhow to facilitate the decision-making process.
HOW DID THE WATER FUNDS START?
At global level, about half the cities with more than 100,000 people are located in water stress areas. World water consumption doubles every 20 years, and it has been estimated that by 2025 at least two-thirds of the population will live in water stress areas. Nature plays a key role in guaranteeing water security to urban areas, since forests, grasslands and wetlands capture water, minimize erosion, reduce the amount of pollutants and check the number of watercourses sediment.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC), FEMSA Foundation, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), launched in 2011 the Latin America Water Funds Partnership to create and strengthen Water Funds (WFs) across the region.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE WATER FUNDS?
WFs are an innovative way to implement sustainable conservation actions. Partnership achievements over its first five years include:
- 19 Funds operating in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru.
- More than 1.6 M hectares of ecosystems positively impacted
- More than 70 million people who have begun to receive benefits
- Leveraged more than US$120 million for green infrastructure investments
The second phase of the Partnership, which will be implemented over the next five years, was launched in June 2016. Its main goal will be to develop new funds and promote sustainability of already existing funds through four main pillars:
- Science and innovation: Maximizing watershed conservation’s efficiency and impact
- Public policies and corporate practices: Influencing public policies and corporate practices towards a sustainable management of the water cycle
- Knowledge management and capacity development: Systematizing experiences to transform them into knowledge that is later disseminated
- Communication: Promoting dialogue and interaction among main stakeholders and fostering a water conservation and integral management culture.
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