Páramo is a type of ecosystem prevalent mainly in southern Central America and the northern Andes Mountains in South America. It is an alpine tundra located above the continuous timberline, yet below the permanent snowline.

These ecosystems are critical to the water supply of their surrounding communities. As climate change and urban development pose risks to the sustainability of the water supply, SEI Senior Scientist Laura Forni and her colleagues worked with Quito water utility EPMAPS and the water protection fund FONAG to research how to support the reliability of the Quito area’s water availability.

Using Robust Decision Support and SEI’s Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) software, the researchers found that local communities can stave off water vulnerability by conserving páramo land.

Laura will present this work in a short video within a larger in-person World Water Week session on 31 August called, “Tools for valuing ecosystems and nature-based solutions.”

Frailejones shrubs dot the foreground in a muted green grassland, while a large body of water spreads at the feet of some mountains in the background at El Angel Ecological Reserve in northern Ecuador

Photo: Kevin Schafer / Getty Images


Moderator – Merlin Mariam Varghese, Vision 360, YSPC

Welcome Remarks – Sergio Campos, Inter-American Development Bank

Keynote Speaker – Peter Penning, ALO Advisors

Panel Discussion:

  • Ana Laura Elizondo, FEMSA Foundation
  • Perry Oddo, NASA
  • Dr. Priyanka Jamwal, ATREE

Case studies:

  • Burnice Karimi, “Restoration of Water Ecosystem Services in Kapingazi Catchment, Embu, Kenya”
  • Jigisha Jaiswal, “Nature-based Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants at scale in Maharashtra, India”
  • Laura Forni, “Highlighting the Value of Paramo Land Conservation in Vulnerability Reduction”
  • Danita Hohne, “Enhancing the Sustainability of Water Supply (Western Karoo, South Africa)”
  • L. Venkatachalam, “Economic Values of Ecosystem Services of Selected Wetlands: Tamil Nadu, India”

Panel Discussion (all speakers)

Closing Remarks – Veena Srinivasan, ATREE

Learn More

This on-site event will take place in Room 453 at Norra Latin , Stockholm. See the full program on the World Water Week website below.

Event page on the World Water Week website