Water, ecosystems and human development SDC at World Water Week 2018

The solution to the water problem is in nature itself. That was one of the premises that drove the discussion at WWW2018, where over 3,600 participants from 133 countries gathered together to attend around 300 sessions that addressed the issue of water, ecosystems and human development. The event focused on the idea that the potential solutions to the water problem are found in nature itself, for nature has the capacity to face by itself, and with the help of technology as well, several of the challenges with which this vital resource is presented.

Among the themes discussed, emphasis was place on how crucial it is to achieve ecological harmony between green spaces or natural infrastructure and grey infrastructure or urbanized areas. Albeit complicated and difficult, this fusion can secure sustainable development for future generations. On the other hand, there was a call for working towards restoring the balance of the water cycle, by planting new forests and restoring wetlands, as this would improve the human health and livelihood.

The Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC), through its Global Program Water, took active part in the event, with representatives of its Global Program in the Andes participating in two work sessions:

Challenges to facilitate financing of nature-based solutions for water. Participants in this session presented case studies and alternatives that could facilitate the financing of actions aimed at promoting the conservation of ecosystems in order to secure water supply in the future.

The session was devoted to the analysis of the challenges hindering or impeding the financing and implementation of nature-based solutions for water, namely: i) the regulatory framework and incentives to public and private investments; ii) the capacity gap between financial design and general implementation, as well as capacities to structure investments; iii) the engagement of the private sector in the implementation of Market Mechanisms for a Nature-based Solution for Water (NbSW) in order to find bottlenecks and encourage its participation, and, finally, iv) the valuation of social and environmental co-benefits of these investments.

In addition, the Sembrando Agua Program was presented during this session. This program focuses on the conservation and restoration of water ecosystem services, with priority given to the middle and upper basins of the Chillón, Rímac, and Lurín Rivers, and the upper basin of the Mantaro River, basins which supply water to the city of Lima. The Program is being developed by the Water and Sanitation Service of Lima (SEDAPAL, by its Spanish acronym) in Peru. SEDAPAL has recently signed a collaboration agreement with SDC, agreement which is framed within the Andean Forests Program (PBA, for its Spanish acronym), in order to implement the reserve fund for compensation for ecosystem services. This fund is financed with 1% of the water bills paid by users in the cities of Lima and Callao, where more than 30% of the Peruvian population lives.

For the Andean Forest Program, this alliance is key to push forward the agenda concerning the design and implementation of compensation mechanisms for water services, the valuation of ecosystems that are key to water supply and water services, as well as the fostering of good practices and instruments that would promote these schemes.

To know more about this initiative, watch the video below:

Sembrando Agua

This work session was organized by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, in partnership with Swiss Association for Water Management, South Pole Group, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, International Union for Conservation of Nature, and Wide World Fund for Nature.

Promoting the good use of financing for water and sanitation. In this session, participants examined the contributions international financial institutions make to support progress in the compliance with SDG 6, concerned with water and sanitation, and how multi-actor platforms facilitate this effort to optimize the use of funds and financing.

This session was attended by representatives of the African Development Bank, VEOLIA (international company specialized in sanitation and waste management services), the Inter American Development Bank, the World Bank, the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation, the Morgan Stanley Bank, and the Vice-Minister of Sanitation from the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation of Peru.

During his participation, the Vice-Minister of Sanitation, Juan Tarazona, mentioned the gaps that still exist in terms of coverage and sanitarion in Peru, and the need to leverage financing to close them. This could be achieved by joining efforts from public financing, multilateral management banks, and innovative solutions. He also highlighted the experiences currently taking place in the country, in particular the support provided by the SABA+ project in the generation of applied technologies for the coverage of water and sanitation services in rural areas, and the building of capacities for the sustainability of the interventions.


For more information, visit:
Web World Water Week 2018

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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.