Journey towards Water Security Results to Date, Natural Infrastructure for Water Security Project


The droughts, floods, fires, and landslides of recent years are tangible evidence of Peru’s vulnerability to water and climate risks. Natural infrastructure—such as forests, wetlands, grasslands, and shrublands—along with traditional practices to conserve water and soils, help reduce these risks. It also provides important co-benefits, like climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation.

Over the last decade, Peru has garnered international attention for leading a paradigm shift to incorporate natural infrastructure as a central solution to address water risks. “Natural infrastructure” was recognized in the legal framework that governs Peruvian public investments, and the drinking water sector made significant policy and financial commitments to contribute to natural infrastructure conservation—complementing conventional funding sources for environmental conservation. Between 2008 and 2021, investments in natural infrastructure for water security in Peru grew from less than US $2 million to about US $21 million per year.

In addition to these investments that are already reaching the ground, more are in the wings. In the last 15 years, Peru’s drinking water sector has increased commitments for nature-based solutions investment from zero to over US $50 million through innovative financing mechanisms for restoring and conserving ecosystem services called MERESE.

Despite these extraordinary advances, the path to effective conservation of the natural infrastructure critical to Peru’s water security has not yet been guaranteed. There have been numerous challenges to scaling up this new approach, including: the lack of a robust portfolio of quality projects; a lack of capacity, tools, and information; and critical gender and social gaps. Since 2017, the Natural Infrastructure for Water Security in Peru (NIWS) activity has been working to chart this path by addressing obstacles and gaps along the way with Peruvian stakeholders, towards a more water secure future.

This report was originally published on Forest Trends.

Related Resources

Program Report
Publication Date
Produced By
USAID/Natural Infrastructure for Water Security in Peru (NIWS)
54 pages
Related Countries