The conservation of ecosystems as providers of goods and services is a priority. Water is a fundamental resource to maintain the quality of life, promote development, and production. Water management, in recent years has evolved by incorporating green infrastructure actions that promote the protection of water sources; in some cases with the creation of innovative mechanisms that show the relationship between ecosystems and the services they provide.
For many years, the traditional solutions to address deterioration or decrease of water resources, whatever their root causes, were investments exclusively in traditional or grey infrastructure. Currently, there is a growing tendency to invest in the conservation and protection of natural ecosystems, as complementary actions to grey infrastructure. Financial mechanisms, such as Water Funds, are one of the solutions to channel required green infrastructure actions and ensure quantity and quality of water resources.
Water Funds emerge as an alternative to guarantee the existence of increasing financial resources—in the long term—contributing for the protection and maintenance of water resources and its ecosystems. The particularities of this mechanism—such as the possibility of bringing together different actors with a common goal in a long-term commitment—have made it a successful model that has been replicated in several places.
Water Funds have generated experiences and lessons learned that can guide the creation of new similar schemes, guarantee the sustainability of existing Funds and demonstrate the effectiveness of this mechanism to achieve its objectives.
This online instructor-led course aims to provide tools and critical elements to generate technical skills in key personnel of institutions that are interested or involved in creating or being part of a Water Fund.
The course is targeted to staff from various institutions and water users, whether public or private, who are involved in water resources management and the promotion of financial mechanisms for the protection of ecosystem services or green infrastructure.
The main objective of the course is to strengthen skills and technical abilities of the participants in the design and implementation of a Water Fund, considering key elements to ensure its sustainability.
The contents of the course seek to provide recommendations to professionals so that they can support the consolidation and operation of water funds as a sustainable financial mechanism for water management.
Once the course is finished, participants will be able to:
- Understand the importance of protecting ecosystem services to guarantee the provision of water and the various existing conservation mechanisms to do so.
- Understand the structure, elements and characteristics of a Water Fund.
- Identify the key elements to be considered in each of the phases to create a Water Fund.
- Critically analyse and incorporate the elements that guarantee the sustainability of a Water Fund into the design.
The course presents a hands-on approach, oriented for participants to learn how to apply available tools and understand the basic concepts of a Water Fund. Contents include an introduction to ecosystem services and illustrative examples of Water Funds.
The course combines theory and practice. Reading materials and other learning resources will be provided. Facilitators, course coordination, and technical support will be available throughout the learning process.