The world’s 286 transboundary river basins support the socioeconomic well-being of more than 40 percent of its population, as well as the ecosystems on which they depend. The use of shared water resources by one country will, in most cases, impact other countries sharing the same system. Coordination among countries in the development of transboundary basins can reap greater mutual benefits than would otherwise be available to countries pursuing individual development.
Sustainable and Thriving Environments for West Africa Regional Development (STEWARD III) is a forest conservation and sustainable livelihoods project implemented by the U.S. Forest Service’s International Program (USFS-IP). It works in transboundary priority zones in the Upper Guinean Forest ecosystem, occurring in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire. It is the third iteration of the STEWARD program.
Climate change has negatively impacted water resources and ecosystems in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. In Peru and Colombia, rising temperatures and extreme hydrologic events such as prolonged drought and heavy flooding put livelihoods in downstream communities at risk.
In the future, urban areas in the Dominican Republic will face increased risk of severe flooding, sea level rise, higher temperatures, and changes in rainfall patterns. This flooding and uneven rainfall exacerbates wastewater disposal challenges for the 75 percent of the country’s residents who are not connected to regulated wastewater and sewage systems. Large-scale treatment facilities are not feasible given the lack of available land and localization of major settlements, so the Climate Risk Reduction Project “thought small.”
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and USAID partnered in 2012 and implemented the Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystems Resilience (B+WISER) program to support the Government of the Philippines in implementing environmental policies and conducting programs to prevent forest and watershed disturbances and biodiversity loss. Over a six-year implementation period (2013-2018), B+WISER focused on managing the natural resources as well as reducing environmental disaster risks in the country.
The goal of the Tanzania Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program (iWASH) was to support sustainable, market-driven water supply, sanitation, and hygiene services to improve health and increase economic resiliency of the poor within an integrated water resource management framework. Performance was reported measured against the following intermediate results:
The Water and Development Alliance (WADA) of USAID and The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) supported a program for the improved management of water and watershed resources, access to sustainable safe water and provision of sanitation services and hygiene education in the Wami-Ruvu and Pangani River basins of Tanzania in 2007 and 2008. Follow-on funding was provided by USAID Tanzania in 2008/09.
Kenya’s five major forest “water towers”—Mau Forest Complex, Mt. Kenya, Aberdares, Cherangany Hills, and Mt. Elgon—provide an estimated 75 percent of the country’s water resources and are central to Kenya’s economic and social well-being. Water towers are forested, high elevation landscapes from which most of the country’s major rivers (e.g., Tana, Mara, and Ewaso Ng’iro) originate.
In western Nepal, pollution, fishing with electric current, explosive devices, and other destructive practices threaten the biodiversity of the country's great rivers and the generations-old cultural traditions of fishing communities. But the tide is turning in some of these communities, where those who once contributed to the problem are increasingly becoming part of the solution.