CI, a globally recognized NGO experienced in biodiversity conservation, watershed management, forest restoration, and with experience working with local, regional and federal governments, commits to promote and facilitate a partnership among the cities of Bogota, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, to address the issues of ecosystem degradation, resulting from urban growth and land use change, and the potentially negative effects that could arise as a result of climate change. This initiative will grow partnerships among the three cities in the field of experience exchange, development of common projects, capacity building and policy. Through additional collaboration, the goal of this commitment is for each city to be better able to invest in protecting and restoring their natural capital, and be able to secure water regulation, supply and storage for the future, while being better-adapted and more resilient to extreme climatic events.
Currently, each city is working on these issues independently and there is no coordination among them to address common issues. CI will facilitate a working relationship between the three city governments that will lead to information exchange and to promoting solutions to common problems. This partnership will feature one yearly workshop with city government representatives, technical experts and CI to review initiative activities and progress and to discuss common challenges and lessons learned. There will be two virtual meetings per year for monitoring and information sharing purposes.
CI will help each city to create a local alliance between local, state and/or national level governments, academia, the private sector, development agencies and civil society organizations and support the coordination, funding and management of local programs to protect ecosystems. Each city will undertake activities that address their priority water conservation challenges, such as forest restoration for water provision, protected areas management, and policy development and CI will facilitate the creation of an online database that each city will utilize to monitor these activities. The initiative will strengthen the protection of forests surrounding the three cities through reforestation activities and protected area management strengthening. CI will also facilitate the creation of online capacity building in such areas as climate change adaptation, forest restoration, and protected areas planning and management, which will reach at least 500 people. CI will also fundraise for the initiative, specifically to test best practices and amplify initiative results in other geographic areas.
This initiative seeks to scale up the work that CI is successfully developing in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Solutions and tools tested in one city will be exchanged and tested by the others. Existing gaps of knowledge in the three cities will be addressed through a unified effort to understand the issues and find solutions.
1. (November 20-21, 2013) Workshop with state government representatives and CI staff to develop a detailed action plan for collaboration between the cities of Bogota, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro.
2. (December 2013) A declaration signed by the mayors of Bogota, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, along with CI, during CGI Latin America, agreeing to work together to promote healthy ecosystems and sustainable water resource management.
3. (November 2014) A regional alliance created in each of the 3 cities between local, state and/or national level governments, academia, the private sector, development agencies and civil society organizations and would support the coordination, funding and management of programs to protect ecosystems.
4. (November 2014 - 2016) Improved capacity for forest and water resources management, as well as sustainable production, for government agency staff, local communities and civil society in each city.
5. (November 2013, November 2014, November 2015) At least one exchange per year between government representatives from the Bogota, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro state government to learn about each other's work, share lessons learned and discuss joint efforts across the three cities.
In three of Latin America's largest cities, Bogota (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), degradation of ecosystems and natural capital, combined with expansion of the urban area, is threatening the quantity and quality of the water supply for the 40 million inhabitants living in these metropolitan areas.
Each city is implementing efforts for conservation, restoration, and sustainable production to recover ecosystem services and is developing policies to address biodiversity loss. Conservation International (CI) is supporting these efforts through specific projects - in Bogota's 'Chingaza-Sumapaz-Guerrero-Guacheneque Conservation Corridor' project, the Bogota water supply company and local, regional and environmental authorities work together on studies related to biodiversity, ecosystem services and environmental conflicts and formulate and implement conservation, restoration and sustainable use projects to recover ecosystem services. In Mexico, the 'Water Forest' initiative seeks to sustainably manage the watersheds that supply water to Mexico City and the state of Morelos. In Rio de Janeiro, government agencies and local communities in the Guandu Basin work together to create and implement public and private protected areas, forest restoration and identify priority areas for hydroproduction as part of the 'Forests and Water Producers' project.
These three cities, together with CI, now propose to form an alliance so that they can learn from each other, bring economies of scale to research and project implementation, and address existing gaps in the effort to provide sufficient and quality water to large metropolitan areas, including the need for additional funding, new market-driven approaches to payment for ecosystem services and for monitoring and evaluation systems.
CI is looking for partners that can provide the initiative with financial resources that can support joint workshops/exchanges between the three cities' governments, capacity building activities, exchanges for technical assistance and communications.
Local partners who work on projects in the three cities related to its goals are also welcome to join this initiative.
CI will work with initiative partners to raise financial resources, provide implementation support, capacity building, technical assistance, and coordination of multi-sectoral stakeholders at various scales (national, state, municipal, community).