Two women in front of a water plant

Integrated Watershed Management in Nicaragua


hectares with sustainable land management practices


tons of CO2 emissions avoided


The project supports SDG 15: Life on Land.

The Lake Apanás and Asturias Watershed in Nicaragua forms part of one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. However, this rich ecosystem is under threat by intensive use of its natural resources and high deforestation, which are depleting carbon stocks and water availability. A 2008 study estimated that the watershed’s remaining forests would disappear by 2017 if action was not taken.

The Integrated Watershed Management project (NI-X1005) was a non-reimbursable investment grant aimed at addressing these critical climate and environmental issues. With support from the Global Environment Facility, the project supported sustainable land and forestry management practices, forest and biodiversity conservation, and local capacity building for land-use planning, soil conservation, and integrated watershed management. It also designed the first Public Payment Mechanism for Environmental Services for farmers and private owners of forested reserves to assure long-term sustainability in water use and micro-watershed management.

From 2012 to 2018, the project implemented sustainable land and forestry management practices in 7,126 hectares of Environmental Restoration Systems and avoided or sequestered over 893,250 tons of CO2 emissions. The project also established 1,375 hectares of wooded areas within the National Network of Protected Natural Reserves (a 900 percent increase) through the creation of 42 Private Wild Reserves. For more information, visit the Project Completion Report.