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Investments in Watershed Services for the Jequetepeque Watershed in Northwestern Peru, Departments of Cajamarca and La Libertad

Peru Investments in Watershed Services Series

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Recognizing the need to provide national leadership, capacity-building, and coordination to the many local and regional mechanisms facilitating investments in ecosystem services throughout Peru, the Ministry of Environment of Peru (MINAM) partnered with Forest Trends to establish the Peru Ecosystem Services Incubator in 2012. The Incubator aims to enhance investments in nature by society through providing technical, financial, and economic expertise; building capacity; and contributing to the development of national policy. To do this, the Incubator works with a range of non-governmental organizations, development agencies, national authorities, and local and regional governments throughout the country who have worked for years to advance investments in ecosystems. Guided by the national prioritization of improving integrated water management, investment mechanisms linked to watershed services are the first focus of the Incubator.
The Jequetepeque watershed in northern Peru provides water for agriculture and grazing, domestic needs, mining, and the production of hydroelectricity. The Gallito Ciego reservoir stores water from the Andean headwaters to supply it for extensive agricultural use in the valleys and large urban centers on the coast. Extreme rainfall events, particularly during El Niño years, have produced increased erosion and silt loads in the reservoir, with extensive deforestation of the upper watershed for agriculture and mining contributing to these increases. The objective of this Investments in Watershed Services (IWS) project is to ensure natural resource management and better farming practices on the upper watershed through an incentive paid to farmers implementing those practices. The incentive is paid by downstream water users who benefit from the improved services of water flow regulation and reduced sedimentation.