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From the Editors


The profound connection between forests and water can now be explored and visualized in detail with the simplest of requirements: an internet connection. This month, the World Resources Institute (WRI) introduced its new mapping tool, Global Forest Watch Water, which provides critical information on the world's watersheds.

The online tool and database does more than just spout facts about deforestation and the worsening conditions of water quality. Its focus is on natural infrastructure: The forests, wetlands and other natural systems that help supply clean and reliable water. Decision-makers from all sectors of society – finance, government, research – can use the site as a screening tool for cost-effective and sustainable natural infrastructure solutions.

Perhaps businesses will utilize Global Forest Watch Water as well. Companies of all sizes are setting water targets and some are making real progress. Coca-Cola announced earlier this month that it had not only reached its water replenishment target five years early, but even surpassed that goal by putting 15% more water back into watersheds then it took out.

NGOs are encouraging companies to make more ambitious targets, ones that align more with the fundamentals of water stewardship, but it's complicated and something of a black art at the moment.

“There’s a lot of interest in water replenishment – or ‘water neutrality’ – but companies are still figuring out how to do it in practice,” says Genevieve Bennett, a Senior Associate at Ecosystem Marketplace and lead author of a forthcoming report on watershed investments.

FYI for any readers interested in ecosystem markets: Ecosystem Marketplace and our partners, the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Environmental Markets and the Environmental Protection Agency EnviroAtlas initiative, are hosting a webinar on October 12th to launch our new ecosystem markets mapping tool and an accompanying report, the Atlas of Ecosystem Markets. The Atlas is a booklet of maps highlighting status and trends of ecosystem markets in the United States. Space is limited, so please register soon.

Read on!

- The Ecosystem Marketplace Team


Latest News

Corporates Pledge To Reduce Impacts At World Water Week, But How?

More and more companies are acknowledging that they depend on reliable supplies of clean water just as much as the rest of us do, and a few dozen have promised to make sure they’re replenishing the aquifers and waterways that sustain them. Unfortunately, only a handful have taken meaningful steps towards doing so. Here’s a look at some of the winners, and what we can learn from them.

Read more at Ecosystem Marketplace.

Applying The Water-Energy-Food Nexus In The Amazon

Deforestation in the Amazon is having a ripple effect throughout the region disrupting ecosystem services and undermining food, water and energy security. The Global Canopy Programme says coherency among policy-making can help, and in a new policy brief outlines how some Amazon countries would benefit from following the integrated approaches of the water-energy-food nexus.

Keep reading at Ecosystem Marketplace.

How Food Production And Climate Change Are Intertwined

When it comes to global warming, major media tend to focus on industrial emissions. But agriculture is still the world’s leading driver of climate change, which in turn can decimate the world’s forests, farms, and fields – putting our entire food supply at risk. Here’s a primer on the tumultuous relationship between food and climate, and how we can make that relationship a happy one.

Ecosystem Marketplace has the story.


Can D.C. Close the Deal on its Green Water Bond?

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority is aiming to close out its first-of-a-kind water bond, which will finance green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff, this month. Returns are contingent upon the effectiveness of green solutions such as porous pavements and rain gardens as well as budgetary savings and social benefits.

The Bond Buyer explains in more detail.

Where Have All the Trees Gone?

Water quality conditions in Sumatra have steadily been declining, and mapping data from a new platform called Global Forest Watch Water points to deforestation as the main culprit. Sumatra is far from alone: New data reveal that forest clearing across the globe is fast degrading watersheds and natural infrastructure.  

The Jakarta Globe has the story.

Embracing the Nexus in an Increasingly Interconnected World

Debora Rodrigues of the University of Houston's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering says the world is moving out of its siloed M.O. as government and researchers continue to embrace such concepts as the water-energy-food nexus. Rodrigues says interlinked approaches are the only way to sustainably manage global resources.

Rodrigues explains on Forbes.  


US Water Bill Pushes Nature. But Will it Stick?

A version of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 that recently passed the US Senate emphasizes the use of nature based solutions as water infrastructure over traditional grey structures. However the House of Representatives version of the bill does not the language on natural infrastructure.

Get details on the new bill from The Norman Transcript.


Soda Companies Taste Victory on Water Targets

Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi recently announced they've hit their water targets. Pepsi reduced its operational water use while also making progress on objectives to protect global water supplies. Coke, meanwhile, became the first Fortune 500 Company to replenish all the water it uses, even surpassing its goal by 15%.

JustMeans has more.   

Partners in Restoration

This month, Coca-Cola and the US Forest Service doubled down on their public private partnership that restores and protects damaged watersheds in 13 national forests. So far, the partnership has achieved a milestone of 13 billion liters of water restored.

Get the details from a USDA press release.

Hotel Industry Checks In Water Stewardship

Hotels interested in water conservation now have a metric to gauge the impacts of their efforts. The International Tourism Partnership together with member hotels launched Hotel Water Measurement Initiative which sets voluntary standards around water usage while also promoting awareness and action.

Read Hotel Business to find out more.  


Raising the Bar for Corporate Water Stewardship

Recent research from Oxfam reveals the water scarcity footprint of 17 major food commodities. But companies have made little progress on addressing water in their supply chains, which is why Suzanne Zweben of Oxfam says companies need the next generation of water stewardship targets.

Suzanne Zweben explains on the CEO Water Mandate Blog.

WRI Maps Water World; No Signs of Kevin Costner

Between 2000 and 2014, the world's watersheds lost 6% of their natural infrastructure, which puts water supplies for people and wildlife at risk. To help visualize this challenge and increase solutions, the World Resources Institute launched a new global mapping tool, Global Forest Watch Water, which explores connections between forests and water.

Read a WRI blog introducing its new tool.


An Exchange of Water and Wine

A water exchange pilot program operating in Arizona's lush but vulnerable Verde River watershed is showing promise. Local wineries are participating, purchasing water credits that a farming family generated by not watering its pastureland.

Cronkite News has more.   



Ecosystem Marketplace is a project of Forest Trends, a tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)3. This newsletter and other dimensions of our voluntary carbon markets program are funded by a series of international development agencies, philanthropic foundations, and private sector organizations. For more information on donating to Ecosystem Marketplace, please contact info@ecosystemmarketplace.com. 


Ecosystem Marketplace is a project of Forest Trends, a tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)3. This newsletter and other dimensions of our voluntary carbon markets program are funded by a series of international development agencies, philanthropic foundations, and private sector organizations. For more information on donating to Ecosystem Marketplace, please contact info@ecosystemmarketplace.com. 

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