Erika Nortemann/TNC

Daule River Water Fund

Incorporating concessions into an Ecuadorian water fund

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is creating a pilot program to incorporate concessions (local management of mangroves) into an existing water fund on the Daule River. Created in 2015, the Daule River Water Fund enables flexible organizational and funding mechanisms that communities use to generate investments in activities that improve watershed conditions. With this innovative new program, the Ecuadorian government will be able to assign a mangrove area where the community has economic activities dependent on mangroves and create a management plan. In exchange, the communities contribute to mangrove conservation and surveillance. Connecting the water fund and the work of the concessions will benefit mangroves by facilitating and implementing on-the-ground practices to protect ecosystems, restore habitat, control erosion, and manage upstream agriculture and grazing. TNC is developing a sustainable, productive pilot project in three mangrove concessions in the Gulf of Guayaquil. We are also working with communities to develop new economic ventures such as tourism or honey production and to improve efficiencies, management and benefit distribution as well as a participative communication process to disseminate the importance of mangroves within local communities and stakeholder networks, potentially reaching a wider audience at the national level and in other countries.