Experts propose nature-based solutions for water security

Stockholm (Sweden), Aug 30 (EFE).- Water specialists highlighted the role of investments in nature-based solutions to ensure water security in Latin America, as they have proven to be “competitive” and “effective” in promoting the conservation of the resource.

Speaking at the World Water Week, a meeting held every year that brings together the private sector and the international community in Stockholm (Sweden) to discuss global water challenges, numerous water security exports from Latina America discussed the benefits of these approaches.

“Nature-based solutions have proven effective in mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Sergio Campos, head of Water and Sanitation at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), who referred, for example, to the drought in Monterrey, the Mexican city where one of the IDB’s water funds operates.

However, Campos regretted that the magnitude of this “unprecedented” drought in Mexico’s second largest city has meant that “many of these efforts have not been sufficient” and warned that “climate change is setting the bar higher and higher.”

The Latin American Water Funds Partnership – launched in 2011 by the IDB, the environmental NGO The Nature Conservancy, the FEMSA Foundation, the International Climate Protection Initiative and the Global Environment Facility – supports investments in nature-based solutions (NBS).

The initiative is currently working with around 300 partners in nine Latin American countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

In these countries, the funds are platforms that channel investment resources for the preservation of ecosystem services for the supply of water.

“The returns on investment in NBSs are competitive, if not better, than many of the traditional investments,” said Hugo Contreras, Director of Water Security in Latin America for The Nature Conservancy, adding that this type of investment is “not as common” as one would like.

For Contreras, one of the alliance’s contributions is standardizing these investments in projects focused on the conservation of drainage basin ecosystems, which still face challenges such as “bringing together the stakeholders, who are those who are living in the middle of a watershed.”

“We have learned to listen to each other, to identify the capacities of each one of us,” said FEMSA Foundation Director Lorena Guillé-Laris.

In the last eleven years, Guillé-Laris considered that the alliance “is on the right track,” as those involved are “validating the data” while creating mechanisms “to be able to address disagreements.”

The FEMSA Foundation director called on the private sector to admit that “companies are part of the problem and part of the solution,” and to “play an active part” in the transformation we want to achieve in water issues.

For example, through innovation, testing blended finance, helping corporations to reduce their risks, raising consumer awareness and creating a culture to reduce water consumption in places with greater water stress. EFE


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