Establishing reciprocal agreements for water and biodiversity conservation through a social marketing campaign in Quanda Watershed, Peru

  • Published source details Martinez R., Green K.M. & DeWan A. (2013) Establishing reciprocal agreements for water and biodiversity conservation through a social marketing campaign in Quanda Watershed, Peru. Conservation Evidence, 10, 42-47.


In the high Andean landscapes of northern Peru’s Cajamarca San Ignacio province, Rare and Cáritas-Peru together launched a social marketing ‘Pride’ campaign, targeted at upstream farmers and downstream water users, to re-align upstream and downstream incentives and create a locally-governed water institution with directives to protect upstream forests. These institutions, locally called Reciprocal Water Agreements, are based heavily on local norms of reciprocity, whereby downstream users compensate upstream farmers for setting aside riparian forests for conservation and thereby protecting local species and environmental quality. Upstream farmers are compensated in the form of in-kind payments—a combination of economic alternatives such as provision of beekeeping equipment or fencing to keep cattle from encroaching riverbanks.  The purpose of the Pride campaign, based on Rare’s methods, was to generate local buy-in and accelerate the process of institution-building and adoption of Reciprocal Water Agreements. Cáritas-Peru and Rare staff collaborated to construct a theory of change and a series of methods have been employed to measure progress and impact. This campaign has led to the signing of 25 Reciprocal Water Agreement contracts, securing the protection of more than 360 hectares of forest.

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