Featured Policy

Brazil’s Cisterns Programme Protect Biodiversity and Reverse Soil Erosion

The Cisterns Programme stems from a social movement in the Semiarid region of Brazil, where people were suffering acute water shortages due to successive droughts. The original concept was to install 1 million cisterns to provide drinking water in the dry season for millions of the poorest people in the region and allow them to co-exist with drought; this developed into the Cisterns Programme. Later the programme was expanded to include building cisterns to collect water for productive use, primarily for growing food, and for municipal schools. As an excellent model of large-scale mainstreaming of rainwater harvesting that has transformed the lives of millions of people, particularly women, Brazil’s policy was recognized with the Future Policy Silver Award 2017, awarded by the World Future Council in partnership with the UNCCD.

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