Resilience Dispatch #25: Return to Moyobamba

Jun 1, 2022

In this edition


Dear friends,

We celebrated World Environment Day this year with a beautiful ceremony in Moyobamba, Peru, planting native trees as part of a reforestation initiative to protect local water supplies. We were joined by the US Ambassador to Peru, Lisa Kenna, and Ysabel Blanco, the Head of Cooperation of Canada in Peru, as well as many other important leaders from the Peruvian and US governments.

Moyobamba is in some ways where it all started in Peru – the “cradle” of a model for financing watershed protection through a fraction of water user fees – and it was moving to celebrate with local leaders a program that has inspired similar initiatives in 43 other watersheds in Peru (at last count!).

For the last two years, the global pandemic disrupted both restoration projects in the field and the collection of water tariffs that help to pay for it. So we were celebrating a return to “normal” work, as well.

We are feeling a lot of urgency of Forest Trends these days to move faster, work harder, as the fallout from climate change piles up around us.

But Moyobamba was a welcome reminder that the climate conversation shouldn’t only be about averting disaster. It is about building something good together.

If you are a regular reader, you already know about the remarkable things happening in Peru. If not, I’d like to share with you below some recent work from our team and partners, including a pair of webinars on how in just a few short years Peru transformed public institutions for a 21st-century conception of infrastructure, and what the next decade of investment will look like, and a short video on reimagining public investments in disaster risk mitigation to include “natural infrastructure” alongside built infrastructure like dams, seawalls, and roads.

I hope your World Environment Day was also a beautiful one – although you don’t need to wait for a holiday to plant a tree, join with your community on a cleanup project, or however you choose to build something for the future.

– Michael Jenkins

Planting native tree seedlings as part of a ceremony for World Environment Day 2022.
Meeting with members of the Rumialba Beekeeping Association; benefits for honey production are one more positive impact from forest restoration in the watershed.


How can countries move from small natural infrastructure projects to national implementation? How can leaders create an enabling environment for investment? How can how can public infrastructure investments successfully integrate nature-based strategies?

Peru offers perhaps the best model in the world for answering these questions – although until recently it has gotten little attention on the world stage for its leadership on NBS. In this webinar, we share the story of how Peru transformed its infrastructure sector in just a few short years, and the specific steps taken by the diverse actors that made it possible.


  • Gena Gammie, Deputy Director, Natural Infrastructure for Water Security project, Forest Trends
  • Gabriel Quijandria, Regional Director for South America, IUCN; Former Minister of Environment of Peru
  • Helen Laubenstein, Environmental Economist, OECD
  • Bettina von Hagen, CEO and Managing Director, EFM Investments & Advisory; Forest Trends Board of Directors
Opening Remarks
  • Gillian Caldwell, Chief Climate Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Ysabel Blanco, Head of Cooperation of Canada in Peru


Once the groundwork for natural infrastructure investments has been laid, how do you scale to the second order of magnitude?

In this webinar, we discuss what the next decade will look like for natural infrastructure for Peru and for other countries that seek to harness nature-based solutions for water and climate security. We discuss new roles for national and local government, international cooperation agencies, philanthropic foundations, and communities. We explore how Peru’s models can be adapted to other places, and look at how growing priorities, such as climate adaptation and green recovery plans, can be incorporated into infrastructure planning and water governance.


  • Gena Gammie, Deputy Director, Natural Infrastructure for Water Security project, Forest Trends
  • Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Global Leader of Climate & Energy, WWF; Former Minister of the Environment of Peru; President of the Twentieth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC; Forest Trends Board of Directors
  • Gonzalo Delacámara, IMDEA, International Advisor to OECD, UN, European Commission and World Bank Group (including 2030 Water Resources Group)
  • Sally Collins, Former Associate Chief, United States Forest Service; Forest Trends Board of Directors
Opening Remarks
  • Kerry Reeves, Deputy Director, Office of Environment and Sustainable Growth, USAID Peru
  • Marie-Eve Millar, First Secretary, Global Affairs Canada, Peru Program