At the peak of last year’s dry season in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, the only water pump in the village of Leliefontein broke down for nearly a month. Had this happened one month earlier, community members in the arid region would have been forced to travel long distances in search of fresh water, purchase water for prices they couldn’t afford, or simply go without it.
Enter any home in Cambodia during mealtime, and chances are high you’d find fish from Tonle Sap Lake on everyone’s plates. The lake and the adjoining Mekong River make up one of the most productive freshwater fisheries in the world, providing a regular source of food for more than 65 million people. Yet the region’s resources are increasingly under threat from a combination of factors, including climate change.
With families to support and little money with which to do it, millions of the world’s rural poor are forced to destroy their own backyards in exchange for a small income. Now, in China’s Sichuan province, CI is helping communities work together to protect the valuable services that intact ecosystems supply, making it easier for farmers to provide for their families today without sacrificing the resources they will still need tomorrow.
An innovative project in Madagascar pioneered a new model for managing the country’s wetlands while also supporting the communities that depend upon these ecosystems for their livelihood.