Instead of paying for expensive industrial filtration, by financing upstream landowners to use sustainable farming practices and conserve/restore natural areas, The Nature Conservancy protects water at its source, guaranteeing cleaner and less expensive water once it reaches users.
- Protecting and restoring critically important habitats that clean water at its source
- We safeguard ecologically sensitive places and guide development towards sites with the least impact on nature.
- We rejuvenate degraded landscapes, restore forests or plant new ones, to harness the many services nature provides (flood control, sediment and nutrients retention, water filtration, pollination, clean air, climate change resilience).
- Transforming how we use nature to sustain ourselves
- Through science and partnerships, we encourage innovative practices and policies like the Latin America Water Funds Partnership.
- We partner with governments, local communities, indigenous peoples and industries, providing them with scientific tools to be the best stewards of their own resources.
- Inspiring collective action
- We are galvanizing leaders (from policymakers and communities to lawmakers and business leaders), ensuring the adoption of a sustainable rural development model that can be broadly applied.
Protecting and restoring critically important habitats
The Nature Conservancy protects and restores upstream forests that clean and maintain steady flows of water for downstream users.
With local communities, governments and industries, in 2011 we launched Peru's first Water Fund in Lima, AQUAFONDO, a model watershed protection program that is funded by large water users' investments in upstream ecosystems.
- The Lima Water Fund protects the water supply of 9.8 million Peruvians.
Transforming how we use nature to sustain ourselves
Above, the Salinas-Aguada Blanca Natural Reserve is located in the northwest part of the Arequipa Region in Peru and centered around the Salinas salt lagoon. The lagoon is 4000m above sea level and has abundant wildlife. The land surrounding the lake is grazed by large numbers of alpacas and llamas.
In Peru, water fees never included the cost of conserving upstream watersheds that regulate water supply and water quantity- until June of 2015!
- In 2015, with the help of TNC, Peru adopted a breakthrough policy that allocates a portion of water tariffs to watershed protection. For Lima, this means investing 1% of revenue on green infrastructure, and 3.5% in climate change adaptation and risk abatement- around $25 million in the next five years.
- In 2016, Lima's water utility company (SEDAPAL) and Peru's first Water Fund (AQUAFONDO), launched by TNC, signed an agreement to design conservation projects for the Lima watershed. This historic agreement is a huge milestone for TNC's water protection strategy, and sets a precedent for how water tariffs can finance conservation throughout Latin America.
Inspiring collective action
Above, a young boy practices fishing on the Yarapa River, a tributary of the Amazon in northeastern Peru.
TNC is galvanizing actions among governments, policymakers, corporations, communities and the general public to ensure the adoption of sustainable development models that can be applied broadly.