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Project // Strengthening Climate Resilient Development in the Cumbaza Watershed: Towards Water, Energy and Food Security in Urban-rural Landscapes

Strengthening climate-resilient development in urban-rural landscapes using a Water-Energy-Food Nexus approach focuses on the Amazonian city of Tarapoto and the surrounding Cumbaza River sub-basin in the department of San Martin, Peru. This project is generating evidence on the interdependencies and trade-offs between natural resource availability and demands on water, energy and food in the sub-basin across different users – by farmers, industrialists and domestic consumers – and sectors in urban-rural areas.

Rapid urbanization in the Peruvian Amazon, largely driven by migration and economic development, has increased pressure on forest resources whose ecosystem services underpin water, energy and food security, essential for human wellbeing and the economic prosperity of the region.

Tarapoto, the main commercial and financial urban centre in the department of San Martín, and the third largest in the Peruvian Amazon, is a prime example of these dynamics. The availability and quality of water resources for urban and agricultural consumption is already being affected by severe environmental degradation in the surrounding Cumbaza watershed, linked to unsustainable agricultural practices, infrastructure development and urbanization. Climate change and climate extremes will further multiply the risks for urban and rural populations and economic development in the watershed.

In this context, the need to support and improve climate resilient development pathways that integrate multi-sector needs and guarantee environmental services to maintain water, energy and food security is increasingly evident.  

There are a number of existing conservation and resource management efforts underway in the watershed, including a voluntary and public water PES mechanism with rice producers and urban water users, that seeks to support upstream community forest management initiatives.

This project will support these ongoing initiatives by applying a Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus approach to:

  1. Evaluate the interdependencies, trade-offs and risks in the use, availability and management of natural resource across sectors and actors in Tarapoto and Cumbaza watershed under different land use and climate change scenarios;

  2. Inform the elaboration and adoption of integrated resource management and climate-risk mitigation strategies, actions and measures at multiple scales (city, districts, province and watershed) to improve water, energy and food security;

  3. Support the extension of the water PES mechanism to finance climate resilient development activities in the watershed;

  4. Build capacity and promote understanding about the WEF Nexus concept for integrated resource management and climate resilient development.

Project partners

The project is being implemented in partnership with Centro de Desarrollo e Investigaciones de la Selva, Centro de Competencias del Agua, and the  Comité de Gestión de la Microcuenca del Cumbaza.

This project is part of a programme called Climate Resilient Cities in Latin America supported by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano, and the International Development Research Centre of Canada.

More Information

Further reading

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Modelling and Assessment

Holistic Water-Energy-Food Nexus for Guiding Water Resources Planning // Matagorda County, Texas Case

By Muhammed I. Kulat, Rabi H. Mohtar and Francisco Olivera. The authors developed a holistic framework to provide sustainable scenarios that include feasible infrastructure interventions. The framework focuses on water and associated links with other resources, includes a unique analytic tool for quantifying scenarios, and ultimately produces a sustainability analysis of each scenario. Optimal scenarios are offered that consider site-specific dynamic resource interlinkages. The WEF nexus model...

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

Pompage Solaire // Investigation de l’impact des installations de pompage solaire sur la consommation d’eau et la situation socio-économique d’un agriculteur dans 3 zones pilotes au Maroc

Cette étude vise à mieux comprendre comment la conversion au pompage solaire peut influencer la consommation d'eau et les conditions socio-économiques d'un agriculteur marocain par rapport aux autres systèmes de pompage d'eau. L'étude s'est appuyée sur une enquête menée auprès de 150 agriculteurs répartis sur les territoires suivants 3 zones distinctes : la zone de Marrakech, la zone de Midelt et la zone de Tata. L'étude a été réalisée par le projet GIZ Sustainable Energy for Food - Powering...

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WEF Nexus Research // Engaging Stakeholders in Research to address Water–Energy–Food (WEF) Nexus Challenges

By A. Larkin, C. McLachlan, R. Falconer, I. Soutar, J. Suckling, L. Varga, I. Haltas, A. Druckman, D. Lumbroso, M. Scott, D. Gilmour, R. Ledbetter, S. McGrane, C. Mitchell, D. Yu. This paper reflects on recent progress in stakeholder engagement in nexus-related research. The authors outline four emerging themes within nexus research and consider the value of, and potential challenges for, transdisciplinary research in each. Specifically, the authors examine how transdisciplinary approaches are...

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