Swiss Re announced that it has presented its second ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management, in the amount of $75,000, to a project in Vietnam.
In her speech during the award ceremony at the Centre of Global Dialogue, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey praised Swiss Re’s collaboration with environmental organizations and governments.
The award is designed to recognize projects that preserve the ecological, social and economic value of water resources. Swiss Re supports water projects across the world and is committed to “creating feasible and binding conditions to protect this vital resource.” The sustainability award totals $100,000 and is conferred annually. Alongside the winning project from Vietnam the jury of international experts selected a runner-up project from China.
“The winning project was submitted by the Vietnamese provincial government of Quang Nam in association with WWF Indochina,” said the bulletin. “Working together, the two parties want to curtail the overexploitation of forests and rivers in this central Vietnamese province. The allocation of land rights by the state to the local population is at the centre of the project, which was launched in February 2004. This allocation of land thus delegates responsibility for the conservation of this vital natural resource to those directly affected. The land reform is accompanied by training, awareness-building and performance-related incentives to ensure that the local communities actually acquire the skills they need to manage their forests, land and water resources with due care.”
Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey praised the project’s integral approach stating: “The land reform supported by Swiss Re encourages people to make their own contribution to improving their livelihood, while delegating more responsibility for the environment to those directly affected. This serves the interests both of the people concerned and the environment.”
The inclusion of a broad section of the population in the management of their water resources increases the acceptance of the measures and indeed considerably improves the likelihood that the project will succeed.
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