Key messages

  • By 2025, 1.8 billion people could be living in regions with absolute water scarcity, with the possibility of two-thirds of the world’s population experiencing water-stress conditions.
  • The availability and quality of water in many regions of the world is increasingly threatened by overuse, misuse, pollution and projected negative impacts of climate change.
  • Forests play a crucial role in the hydrological cycle, they influence the amount of water available and regulate surface and groundwater flows while maintaining high water quality.
  • Forests and trees contribute to the reduction of water-related risks such as landslides, local floods and droughts and help prevent desertification and salinization.
  • Forests protect watersheds which supply a high proportion of the world’s accessible fresh water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs in both upstream and downstream areas.
  • One-third (33 of 105) of the world’s biggest cities, including New York, Mumbai and Bogotá, obtain a significant portion of their drinking water directly from forested watersheds.
  • Deforestation triggers soil erosion and sedimentation in streams resulting in reduced access to clean water and could affect rainfall patterns globally.




Field projects

The AECID-funded “Inter Regional Project for Poverty Alleviation and Combating Desertification through collaborative Watershed Management” is active in Ecuador, Mauritania and Morocco. It aims to increase the capacity of key stakeholders to design and implement collaborative and integrated watershed management programs in arid and semi-arid lands with a view to fight poverty, improve food security, combat desertification and promote environmental good governance. 

The GEF-funded project “Integrated Natural Resources Management of the Fouta Djallon Highlands” involves 8 countries in West Africa: Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The Fouta Djallon Highlands are considered the water tower of the entire sub-region, therefore the projects aims to reverse the root causes of environmental degradation impacting on hydrology, by ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and by diversifying rural livelihoods and income-generating activities.

In Ecuador, the GEF-funded project “Management of Chimborazo`s Natural Resources” is supporting the conservation and sustainable management of Chimborazo’s páramos, by promoting improved natural resources management practices, strengthening relevant legal and policy frameworks, and building local capacity in the sustainable use of natural resources.


last updated:  Friday, September 19, 2014