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Katoomba XVIII: Forests, Water, and People

Beijing, China



Continuing the tradition of 17 previous international Katoomba meetings, Katoomba XVIII: Forests, Water, and People will gather leading experts, practitioners, policymakers, and investors from China and abroad to advance nature-based solutions to the water crisis for an urbanizing world.

Water resources are increasingly jeopardized by climate change, pollution, watershed degradation, and misuse, with 80 percent of the world now facing significant threats to water security. The challenge is particularly severe in China, where one in seven people lacks access to drinking water that meets national standards. The scale of this challenge requires creative solutions that go beyond conventional approaches. Recognizing the critical role of healthy watersheds, governments, businesses, and civil society organizations around the world have begun to engage the communities of these watersheds in compensation- and incentive-based programs to support watershed stewardship. In addition to protecting and restoring the natural water infrastructure upon which society depends, these investments in watershed services (IWS) programs can achieve returns on social capital, rural development, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity.

Forest Trends has tracked steady growth in IWS over recent years, with nature-based solutions to urban water insecurity, like the source water protection programs demonstrated in New York City and Beijing, an important part of this trend. China has been a leader in the field, accounting for over $7.4 billion in watershed investments in 2011. The potential for scale in investments in watershed services is great, but can only be achieved through innovation in policy, business, and program design. Katoomba XVIII will bring together actors from all sectors to galvanize learning, share experiences, and catalyze innovation for forests, water, and people.

Expert Workshop Agenda

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Strengthening Investments in Natural Infrastructure to Safeguard Beijing’s Water Supply

Friday, May 17th

7:30 †8:30 AM Breakfast and check-out of Grand Skylight Hotel
8:30 †10:00 AM Travel to field meeting site (water monitoring station)
10:00 †10:20 AM Welcome

Introduction of meeting participants and objectives

  • Moderator: Wang Xiaoping, Secretary General, Beijing Forestry Society
  • Gan Jing, Executive Vice President, Beijing Forestry Society
  • Deputy County Mayor, Miyun County
  • Michael Jenkins, President, Forest Trends
10:20 – 11:00 AM Introduction to Research Station for Forestry Management

Introduction to research station work on:

  • Vegetative cover & water quantity
  • Data collection and monitoring goals
  • Forest management practices for water quality

Site guide: Ren Yiqun, Senior Engineer, Desertification Control Office, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Parks and Forestry

11:00 – 12:00 PM Walking Tour of Research Station for Forestry Management
12:00 †1:00 PM Lunch at water monitoring station
1:00 †1:45 PM Biophysical Aspects of Water Insecurity in the Miyun Watershed

Presentation of biophysical aspects of the watershed †including water quality, flow, soil erosion risk, vegetative cover, and water quality threats – from the perspective of the water authorities and analysis of project team.

  • Moderator: Andrew Fang, Project Engineer, Kieser & Associates


1:45 †2:30 PM Socioeconomic Aspects of Water Insecurity in the Miyun Watershed

Presentation of socio-economic information from the region, in discussion with county-level representatives from Beijing and Hebei.

  • Moderator: Jiang Xuemei, Assistant Professor, Beijing Forestry University


  • Michael Bennett, Senior Advisor, Forest Trends
  • Liu Xiaodong, Deputy Director, Miyun County Bureau of Parks and Forestry
  • Sun Mingchen, Director General, Fengning County Forestry Bureau
2:30 †2:45 PM Tea Break
2:45 †3:30 PM Institutional Aspects of Integrated Watershed Management

Panel discussion with local and international water managers, exploring cross-cutting challenges and opportunities for integrating investments in watershed services into current institutional frameworks for water resources management.

  • Moderator: Marta Echavarria, Founder, EcoDecision


3:30 †4:15 PM Pilot Objectives and Approach

Description and discussion of pilot-sub-basins and project opportunities


4:15 †5:00 PM Innovative Communication Tools for Engaging the Public and Decision-Makers

  • Moderator: Michael Jenkins, President, Forest Trends


5:00 †5:45 PM Travel to Yunhu Hotel
5:45 †6:30 PM Check-In
6:30 †7:30 PM Chinese performance
7:00 †8:30 PM Buffet Dinner at Yunhu Hotel

Saturday, May 18th

7:30 †8:30 AM Breakfast; recap of day 1 & overview of the day’s activities
8:30 †9:30 AM Travel to field site
9:30 †11:30 AM Field Visit: Maoshigou Village

Field visit to explore:

  • Community engagement & livelihood benefits
  • Community perceptions of program and watershed service values
  • Impact of land conversion programs on communities and watershed services

Site guide: Dr. Qin Rongsheng, Director, Technical Consulting, Beijing Forestry Society

11:30 †1:30 PM

Return to Yunhu Hotel for lunch

Afternoon sessions will take place at Yunhu Meeting Room

1:30 †2:15 PM Multiple Benefits: Conceptual Framework and Discussion of Opportunities for the Miyun Watershed

  • Moderator: Sun Xiufang, Analyst, Forest Trade and Finance, Forest Trends


Question & Answer

2:15 †3:30 PM Building Resilient Livelihoods through Payments for Ecosystem Services

  • Moderator: Zhang Yan, Programme Coordinator, IUCN China


Question & Answer

3:30 †4:00 PM Tea break
4:00 †5:00 PM Assessing and Improving the Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions: Options and Opportunities

  • Moderator: Zhi Xin, Deputy Director, Department of International Cooperation Beijing Forestry Society


Question & answer

5:00 †6:30 PM Small group breakout session

  • Break out by language, into ~5 groups, recorder in each
  • Going through each theme, each group will draw on their own experience and understanding of Miyun watershed to propose recommendations
  • Each group should submit a list of initial recommendations
6:30 †7:30 PM Buffet Dinner at Yunhu Hotel

Sunday, May 19th

7:30 †9:00 AM Breakfast; recap and overview of last day of activities
9:00 AM †10:15 AM Presentation and Discussion of Workshop Recommendations

Presentation of draft recommendations (30 minutes):

  • For local policymakers: Recommendations for improving investments in watershed services in the Miyun watershed, considering biophysical and socioeconomic aspects
  • For project team and stakeholders: Recommendations for designing pilot activities to test and demonstrate improved investments in watershed services in the Miyun watershed
  • For water and forest managers and IWS proponents in other major cities: Recommendations for adapting the Beijing-Hebei experience to other Chinese mega-cities and for initial areas of focus in partnership facilitation

Small group discussion on each set of recommendation; identification within groups of questions or suggested revisions (45 minutes)

10:15 †10:45 AM Tea break
10:45 †11:30 AM Revisions and Finalization of Recommendations

Discussion of proposed revisions based on group feedback; Moderated group discussion

Final recommendations revised as necessary and verified by all workshop participants (1 hour)

11:30 †12:00 PM Conclusion of private meeting and next steps

Final presentation and approval of draft recommendations

Identification of next steps

Led by Wang Xiaoping and Jan Cassin

12:00 †1:30 PM Lunch and Checkout
1:30 †5:00 PM Travel back to Beijing

Partners and Sponsors

Katoomba XVIII will be hosted by Forest Trends, the Katoomba Group, and the Capital Greening Commission of Beijing. Co-hosts of the event are the Beijing Parks and Forestry Department of International Cooperation, the Beijing Forestry Society, and CIFOR. Additional event partners include IUCN China, the China Soil and Water Conservation Association, Beijing Forest Carbon Association, China Institute of Green Carbon, and the China Green Carbon Foundation.

The event is made possible by the support of our sponsors, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and New Forests, LLC. The China Environment Forum is a media sponsor of the event.

Public Meeting Agenda

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8:00 AM †9:00 AM


9:00 AM †9:30 AM

Moderator: Wang Xiaoping, Secretary General, Beijing Forestry Society

  • Zhao Gen Wu, Deputy Secretary General, Beijing Municipal Government
  • Jacques de Watteville, Ambassador of Switzerland
  • Michael Jenkins, President, Forest Trends
  • Mark Smith, Director, Global Water Programme, IUCN
  • Yin Weilun, President, Beijing Forestry Society

9:30 AM †10:15 AM

Keynote address
Moderator: Wang Xiaoping, Secretary General, Beijing Forestry Society

10:15  AM †10:35 AM

Coffee and tea break

10:35 AM†12:00 PM

Panel #1: Catalyzing natural infrastructure innovation to address water risks: Government and business approaches
Moderator: Michael Jenkins, President, Forest Trends

12:00 PM †1:15 PM


1:15 PM †2:30 PM

Panel #2: Financing Initiatives for Forests and Water Security
Moderator: Jin Leshan, Executive Director, China Eco-Compensation Policy Research Center, China Agriculture University

2:30 PM †3:45 PM

Panel #3: Putting Natural Infrastructure in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Beyond Silos
Moderator:  Mark Smith, Director, Water Programme, IUCN

3:45 †4:00  PM

Coffee and tea break

4:00 †5:15 PM

Panel #4: Partnering with Communities for Watershed Protection
Moderator:  Wu Bin, Party Secretary, Beijing Forestry University

5:15 †6:00 PM

Special Session: A Model of Local Innovation  – Compensation for Watershed Services in Beijing and Hebei
Moderator:  Wang Xiaoping, Secretary General, Beijing Forestry Society

6:00 †6:15 PM

Declaration of Launch of Partnership Megacities & Watershed Protection
Concluding Remarks

6:15 †7:30 PM

Banquet dinner


18 June 2013 | Washington, D.C. | Policymakers, natural resource managers, researchers, and expert practitioners from 13 Chinese provinces and 15 countries recently convened at Katoomba XVIII: Forests, Water, and People in Beijing to advance investments in natural infrastructure for water security in an urbanizing world. The setting reflected China’s global leadership in eco-compensation as well as regional opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of investments in watershed services.

Over the four-day meeting, participants presented and discussed innovative approaches from China and around the world for addressing water risk through investments in natural infrastructure. Sessions focused on innovative financing for natural infrastructure, new approaches by governments and business, managing the water-energy-food-nexus, and urban partnerships for watershed protection. Participants also delved into ongoing investments in Beijing’s watershed, focusing on efforts led by the neighboring Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province. Drawing on insights and observations during the meeting as well as experience from around the world, meeting participants developed recommendations, presented in these documents.



Region and Project

Schedule of Events

May 15, 2013: Conversion of Cropland to Forests Program Workshop

  • Location: Grand Skylight Catic Hotel, Olympic Village, Beijing
  • This workshop will explore one of the largest payments for ecosystem services programs in the world. The event is closed to the public.
  • For information on this event, please contact Nick Hogarth at CIFOR at n.hogarth (at)

May 16, 2013: Katoomba XVIII: Water, Forests and People †Public Meeting

  • Location: Grand Skylight Catic Hotel, Olympic Village, Beijing
  • Registration is required for this event and space is very limited. For information on attending, please contact Gena Gammie at ggammie (at)

May 17-19, 2013: Katoomba XVIII:  Improving Investments in Natural Infrastructure for Beijing’s Water Supply

  • Location: Miyun County
  • This expert workshop will examine the how the cross-provincial, compensation-based watershed restoration program for Beijing’s water supply has functioned in recent years, as well as exchange between domestic and international experts around how the program could be improved to more efficiently address water supply issues. This event is closed to the public.
  • For more information, please contact Gena Gammie at ggammie (at)