A new report has revealed that Asia is the leading entity when it comes to investing in and protecting drinking water and other natural resources. The report states that all the region’s countries invested over $8 billion to enhance water security back in 2011.
Conducted by US non-government organization Forest Trends, the “State of Watershed Payments of 2012” study was released last Thursday. It reveals that $7.46 billion were invested in 83 watershed projects in Asia alone.
This approach, known as investments in watershed services, or IWS, considers the natural landscape and the social and economic conditions. These factors often impact the health of the natural environment.
The projects go by other names as well, including payments for watershed services, reciprocal agreements for water, water funds, eco-compensation, benefit-sharing arrangements, source water protection, green infrastructure investments, etc.
Michael Bennett, senior researcher at Forest Trends, explained:
“Growing pressure on limited freshwater resources is one of the factors why there is an increasing trend in watershed investment in Asia and the rest of the world.”
He added that water is especially critical in China, and has a significant impact on their future economic growth.