Southern Ecuador Water Fund Adds Municipalities and Protects More Forests
|Protecting water resources while conserving threatened and biodiverse ecosystems
FORAGUA, the Southern Ecuador Regional Water Trust Fund spearheaded by NCI, continues to gain momentum as an increasing number of municipalities are seeing the benefits of protecting water resources while simultaneously conserving highly threatened and biodiverse ecosystems. This January, two additional municipalities – Zamora and Chinchipe – joined the water fund, increasing the total number of current members to seven municipalities. These new members will soon begin to charge an environmental tax to all water users, which will be invested in protecting the region’s water resources and in compensating landowners for environmental services.
Prompted by water shortages and declining water quality due to deforestation and overgrazing, the municipalities of Zamora and Chinchipe joined FORAGUA after seeing firsthand the benefits that other municipalities have experienced as a result of the program. Funded activities include land purchases, land protection and management, compensation for environmental services, educational campaigns, fire control, fencing, reforestation, and natural regeneration. The fund currently has a value of well over $500,000, and its long-term 80-year lifespan will guarantee the fund’s stability in the face of a sometimes volatile political climate.
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