The IUCN Water & Nature Initiative is a strategic program of action with four components:
- Ecosystem services & water security: to promote water security through demonstrating best practices in water and ecosystem management;
- Good governance & stakeholder participation: to enable participation in water decision making in support of the establishment of good water governance at regional, (sub-) national and river basin level;
- Economic development & sustainable financing: to support sustainable economic growth through financing of water infrastructure, institutions and management;
- Leadership & learning: to catalyse change through building leadership and learning amongst water managers, users and decision makers.
Actions under each component are implemented by regionally-based teams of coordinators and project staff, working in close partnership with networks of NGOs, governments and communities. There is a portfolio of actions in each region that is structured using the demonstration logic of the Initiative to deliver results to each component of the program. The priority issues addressed in each regional portfolio are determined by national policies on water, environment and poverty reduction, and through consultation with stakeholders. All build empowerment of stakeholders at all levels through learning, dialogue and water governance reform; support development of the business case for new investments and incentives for sustainable water management; provide training and professional updating to complement support for a network of change leaders; and implement action on the ground to raise water security by integrating ecosystem management and restoration, building climate change resilience and creating new economic opportunities. Each action begins with a six month inception period and is then implemented over a time frame of two to five years. Actions are coordinated within and among regions to ensure delivery of the overall strategy and to enable monitoring under a common framework.
At the half way point of the Water & Nature Initiative, with million invested and .5 million secured for Phase 2, IUCN commits to doubling this investment. By 2016, with a total of million in funding, IUCN will have built water security for millions of people in at least 25 countries and 75 river basins worldwide, in 5 regions, through application of proven ecosystem-based approaches. Through a wide network of partnerships bridging local communities, governments and regional and global policy processes, IUCN will use demonstration of sustainable water management in practice as a basis for putting in place the learning, national water reforms, and integration with national economic and investment strategies needed to reach national-scale impacts. As a result, 25 million people will gain a place on the platform created by water security for escaping poverty and for sustainable economic growth.
Billions of people worldwide must live without water security. Severe and pervasive hardship results because of poor health, lack of food security, conflict, disaster and the burden on women and children who must search for and carry water to the household. Constraints on economic growth cause poverty reduction to stall where water scarcity or extremes of flood and drought overwhelm investment capacity. Climate change, river basin degradation and population growth mean billions more will confront water insecurity in the coming decades.
To raise water security, water resources development must be sustainable. The basis for water security is the services provided by well-functioning watersheds, including reliable water sources, agriculture and fisheries production, flood control and coastal defences. In 2001-2008, the IUCN Water & Nature Initiative demonstrated how to integrate watershed services into sustainable water management in practice, resulting in improved water security in 12 river basins worldwide, through safe water supplies, improved health and nutrition, increased opportunities for small business, equitable water governance and mobilization of major new investments in sustainable water resources development.
SEEKING: financial resources, implementing partners, media and marketing assistance.
OFFERING: financial resources, implementing partners, best practices information.