World Water Week opened this week on August 23 which means sustainable water management is on a lot of minds and on Monday, several attendees attempted to pinpoint the true value of water. They found that valuation of water is on the rise as multiple sectors, including the financial, are seeking to understand its role and risks better.
By their very nature, fish are slippery and elusive – as are their habitats. That’s why payments for ecosystems services programs are so rare in fisheries management. But in Bangladesh, where fish and fishing are embedded in the national identity, the government has crafted a program that compensates fishers for conservation.
Six years ago, southern Ecuador’s Regional Water Fund (FORAGUA) began to pool the resources of several municipalities to ensure safe and steady water supplies through sustainable watershed management. In so doing, they created a template for other small cities across the Andes, but that doesn’t mean the work is easy – as Nature and Culture International found when it spearheaded the effort. Here’s what they learned.
Critics like to portray environmental regulation as a job killer, but the restoration economy now provides more jobs than mining, logging, or steel production – all while actually fixing the environment instead of destroying it – according to a new study.
Microfinance has helped millions of farmers emerge from poverty, while environmental finance has helped hundreds of thousands shift to more sustainable land-use practices. Now a Kenyan start-up has developed a credit system that delivers a bit of both worlds by embedding conservation into loan requirements for smallholder farmers.
This month, Ecosystem Marketplace publisher Forest Trends launched an interactive map and database tracking and categorizing over 2,000 payments for ecosystem services in Brazil called the Brazilian Matrix of Ecosystem Services. In other news, a diverse national water quality trading network released a program-building guide.
Parties with an interest in regulations falling under the Clean Water Act are still sorting out the implications of the recently finalized Clean Water Rule. Meanwhile, green infrastructure scored several victories this month as New York City, Detroit and Xiamen contemplate using the practice to manage stormwater overflows.
The US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers finalized their Clean Water Rule on Wednesday. First impressions of the rule meant to protect US waterways from various sources of pollution through clearer definitions of which wetlands and streams are covered under the Clean Water Act are mixed.
Nicolas Pascal, of the BlueFinance project, a data collection initiative aimed at developing finance mechanisms for marine conservation management, says market mechanisms have potential to fill a big part of a funding gap that exists in marine conservation. But its practical experience in coastal environments is limited and so more know-how is needed to spur private investment.
The city of Lima made headlines around the world when it announced it was funneling some of its water fees into a program to restore pre-Incan structures that capture excess rainwater in the rainy season and redirect into the mountain, so that it's available in the dry season. That program, however, is just a small part of a massive green infrastructure program that could serve as a model for cities around the world.
Water brings life, but torrential downpours bring sludge and sewage overflow – contributing pollution around the world. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency is under pressure to regulate more aggressively, but, increasingly, NGOs and local authorities are moving ahead with cost-effective stormwater management plans of their own.
The world is overwhelmed by water stress and scarcity and sustainable water management in many forms is an absolute necessity. The good news is water practitioners are developing innovative solutions to water challenges that will be shared this week during the multi-sector, high level and collaborative World Water Forum.
Watershed Connect is an information platform to help scale up practice and policy that maximizes the economic and ecological benefits of healthy watersheds - from ridges to reefs.