Kyrgyz project wins 2011 International ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management

24 March 2011, Zurich

A project to establish the sustainable management of the Chon-Aksuu River watershed in Central Asia has won the 9th Swiss Re International ReSource Award 2011. The project, submitted by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) will receive prize money of USD 100 000. The award was handed over at Swiss Re's headquarters in Zurich today.

Kyrgyz project integrates two economic schemes

The winning project aims to implement a sustainable mechanism for the entire watershed situated to the north of Lake Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan. Unsustainable grazing practices have aggravated soil erosion in upstream areas of the watershed, causing river sedimentation and water shortage, and seriously affecting drinking water quality further downstream.

The project integrates two separate schemes. The scheme “Payment for ecosystem services” will link upstream and downstream populations on the basis of long-term contracts. These agreements will require upstream farmers to adjust their agricultural activities and ensure better conditions for water resources. The downstream population will benefit from the new upstream farming practices and in turn will provide the incentive for the upstream population by paying for the ecosystem services they receive.

A coordination committee including buyers, sellers and local authorities has been established to ensure transparent management of the fund. The signed contracts will facilitate the sustainable management of water resources in the watershed and provide new sources of income for upstream farmers. The integration of the second scheme to “Reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation” will ensure the long-term sustainability of the mechanism.

Honduran projects wins runner-up prize

A project which aims to conserve 7 000 hectares of forested micro-watersheds in northern Honduras and provides drinking water to some 2 100 families in 27 rural communities has won the runner-up prize.

EcoLogic, the organisation responsible for the project, aims to conserve the micro-watersheds by establishing and strengthening the regional association of municipal water boards in the southern buffer zone of Pico Bonito National Park. The association develops and implements water management plans for 14 shared micro-watersheds in the Aguan river valley, just south of Pico Bonito National Park.

About the ReSource Award

Launched in 2002, the ReSource Award is an internationally recognised prize for leadership in implementing the principles of sustainability in watershed management. With these awards, Swiss Re demonstrates its support for watershed management efforts by governmental and non-governmental parties. The programme focuses on sustainability and humanitarian projects and on supporting the communities in which the Group operates.

Read more about the award on

More detailed information on this year's winner projects can be found on


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