Guatemala City
Urban views of central Guatema from the surrounding hillsides. © Jason Houston

The Nature Conservancy in Guatemala

First Water Fund Legally Established in Guatemala

TNC is working collectively to generate significant investments in ecosystems that produce freshwater and to create a legal framework that will bring about water security for the region.

The Guatemalan capital has grown tremendously in recent years and  has become highly dependent on the forests and jungles that surround it. However, these ecosystems  face a degradation process that threatens to leave the city without water. Ensuring water security for Guatemala City is a high priority for society, the economy, and environmental sustainability. Understanding the importance of this work led The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to contribute to the creation of FUNCAGUA, the water fund for Guatemala City.                     

The initiative is part of a continental effort to ensure the protection of surface and groundwater resources of many other large Latin American cities. The project will help the citizens, companies and governments of major cities conserve the forests we depend on. The Latin American Water Funds Partnership - FEMSA Foundation, Inter-American Development Bank, Global Environment Facility and The Nature Conservancy - joined forces with public, private, civil society and academic organizations to start the process of establishing the Water Fund for the Guatemala City metropolitan region.

Due to its national relevance, and because it is one of the most vulnerable sites, FUNCAGUA concentrates its efforts in the department of Guatemala, more specifically in the twelve municipalities where most of the population lives. The metropolitan area has more than three million residents who coexist with biodiversity on a daily basis and therefore can contribute greatly to preserving and restoring it.

FUNCAGUA’s efforts focus on five areas. First, building alliances within the private and public sector to promote policies and practices that strengthen the connection between people and nature. The fund drives infrastructure renovation and increasingly seeks adoption of nature-based solutions and smart infrastructure in the city and its surroundings, building a strong water security culture that leads to better use and reduced consumption. TNC conducts studies and monitors the sites to ensure that appropriate actions  occur in a timely manner. Lastly, TNC adopts the best technologies and innovation to maximize impacts and reduce costs.

By working with communities that use ecosystem services, we help ensure water security in Guatemala and address the effects of climate change.