Quiroz-Chira Water Fund

We are working with municipalities and agricultural cooperatives to create a large-scale financial mechanism to protect critical water sources by preserving 250,000 acres of cloud forest and páramos in the Andes Mountains of northwestern Peru.

Safeguarding water supplies by preserving watersheds

Mountain Tapir & cub - Paramo AyabacaThe Piura region comprises 70% of the páramos ecosystem in Peru, and is home to numerous rare species including the endangered mountain tapir and spectacled bear. The páramos ecosystem regulates the climate and water cycle and purifies water sources, which the agricultural sector depends on for irrigation. This area is highly threatened by deforestation from unsustainable agricultural practices and cattle ranching, as well as nearby mining concessions.

The conservation of cloud forest and páramos ecosystems is a high priority for the region of Piura, which is home to 1.6 million people, as it is home to the headwater basins of three major rivers including the Quiroz, the main irrigation source for over 100,000 acres of agricultural land. Roughly 200,000 people will directly benefit from the Quiroz-Chira Water Fund, which is particularly significant for farmers whose livelihoods are sustained by this water supply.

Our office in Piura is responsible for this initiative, having worked extensively in the paramos and cloud forest ecosystems of Peru for over a decade. They initiated this project in 2011 in collaboration with the San Lorenzo and Chira Agricultural Association, and the municipal governments of Ayabaca and Pancaipampa. The water association supports the project with $40,000 annually, which in the case of San Lorenzo represents two percent of the annual dues paid by its members. Once fully expanded, the fund will generate over $200,000 per year for conservation activities, and we are now using these funds to work with the five communities in the upper watersheds to create protected areas and implement sustainable agriculture and conservation practices. This initiative is supported by technical assistance from our offices in Ecuador, which have already developed two successful water fund models.

After securing initial funds from the Instituto Interamericano de Cooperacion para la Agricultura (IICA) to work towards the creation of the Quiroz Water Fund, we are seeking $200,000 in seed funds in order to work with communities on strengthening conservation of the watersheds and developing sustainable agricultural practices.