Water is perhaps the world's most precious resource and is the element that links terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Forest Trends’ Water Initiative takes a holistic, integrated approach to conservation – from ‘ridges to reefs’ or ‘snowcaps to whitecaps’ – that builds on Forest Trends’ experience and successes in facilitating the development of forests, carbon, and biodiversity markets. Our two program areas under the water initiative approach conservation from two different perspectives that are nevertheless linked by an integrated vision of watersheds and the land-ocean connection.
The Marine Ecosystem Services (MARES) program aims to protect crucial marine ecosystem services by harnessing markets and private sector investment to complement conventional coastal and marine management and safeguard human well-being.
Our Investing in Watershed Services work aims to help to address the global water crisis through protecting crucial ecosystem services by harnessing markets and incentives to complement conventional management and safeguard human well-being.
Water resources around the globe are increasingly jeopardized by the effects of climate change, watershed degradation, pollution, and misuse. At the same time, our demand for water is steadily increasing due to economic development and population growth – creating potentially unsustainable demands for water for domestic use, energy, and food production. The water, energy, food nexus has received media attention recently, but a critical element in the water crisis is usually overlooked – adequate water to sustain the natural systems that provide many valuable benefits – ecosystem services – to people. Surface and groundwater supplies are increasingly threatened with pollution, and the frequency and severity of droughts and floods may be increasing – attributable in part to watershed degradation and the loss of services that purify water and regulate flows. As water scarcity intensifies, we are compelled to find more cost-effective and equitable means of managing this precious resource and ensuring adequate, clean, and safe water for people and nature.