Pioneering IWM Reforms and Rival National IWM Networks

Ecuador provides a useful lens for studying IWM reform because it is the site of two of the world’s first voluntary, decentralized mechanisms for protecting watershed ecosystem services (Alban and Wunder 2005). In 2000, Pimampiro municipality launched the world’s first voluntary, decentralized, payment for ecosystem services program, designed to protect the watershed where its water originates (Echavarria et al. 2004). That same year, the city of Quito established the Water Protection Fund (Fondo para la Proteccion del Agua—FONAG) to sustainably finance the management of surrounding watersheds (Troya and Curtis 1998; Krchnak 2007). FONAG was innovative in that it pioneered the use of trust funds in a voluntary, decentralized mechanism for financing watershed conservation.

In this section, I show how these innovative models of local IWM reform emerged from the national network activation described in the previous sections. These pioneering experiments with local IWM reform are important because they catalyzed the emergence of two rival national-level IWM networks, each dedicated to replicating one of these models of local IWM. The six local IWM reform campaigns analyzed in subsequent chapters constitute their initial efforts.

 
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