Access to clean water for human consumption, agriculture and other economic activities has, due to poor management, contamination and now climate change, become an important issue worldwide. A consistent supply of water and good water quality require effective implementation of integrated water management plans and cooperation among stakeholders whether upstream or downstream, rural or urban users.
Asia has the lowest per capita availability of freshwater in the world today. The region’s growing population is expected to increase the demand on a natural resource that is already quickly depleting. Agricultural crops require a consistent and reliable supply of clean water, but inefficient and polluting agricultural practices have led to water scarcity in many parts of Asia.
Within the next 5 years, we will work on water security and management issues so that local communities will have access to sufficient clean water for their consumption. Ways to do this can include testing approaches to payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes, restoring degraded forest and mangrove areas, conducting environmental awareness campaigns, and working with farmers and agroforesters to adopt more sustainable practices.
Working with other members of the International Model Forest Network who have already undertaken this type of work will help us advance our goals more quickly than we could by working in isolation.