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China dominates rising investment in protecting water supply

Published on Jan 17, 2013 9:40 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The annual global investment in forests, wetlands and other ecosystems that help keep human water supplies clean jumped by a third over four years to more than US$8 billion (S$9.8 billion), with China accounting for about 90 per cent of that, according to a report released on Wednesday.

China accounted for more than US$7.46 billion of spending in 2011 on natural water protection, known as watershed payments, according to Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental advocacy group. US investment that year was US$360.5 million.

Other projects were mounted by beverage companies in Uganda and France, focusing on environmental protection of the water sources that fuel their businesses, the report said.

These projects are considered separate from conventional investments in dams, pumps, treatment plants or pipelines to move water from one place to another, according to report author Genevieve Bennett, a researcher for Forest Trends, which focuses on forest and water conservation.

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