Growing Transboundary Cooperation for the Sixaola River Basin

20 February 2014 | News story

Where there is a shared vision among participants, dialogue has positive results, as occurred in the January 27th General Assembly of the Binational Commission of the Sixaola River Basin (CBCRS), attended by 36 representatives of government institutions, local governments, native peoples, and civil society. The agenda included a presentation by Dr. Alejandro Iza, Director of the Environmental Law Centre of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), on the general principles of international water law.

The Costa Rica National Groundwater, Irrigation and Drainage Service (SENARA) talked about its interest in jointly formulating a master plan on intervention with binational scope in the Sixaola river basin, while on the private sector side, representatives of Corporación Bananera Nacional de Costa Rica (CORBANA) and Chiquita Brands International described the corporate responsibility programs impacting on the basin area, and expressed their willingness to work with the Commission in the short or medium term.

Eight special working groups arose from this meeting to follow up in the areas of agriculture, environmental protection, tourism, trade exchange, irrigation management, health, infrastructure and strengthening of the Commission. The objectives and planning proposed by each of these groups will be assessed and approved at the next General Assembly.

Given the importance of the Sixaola river basin, which extends 2,890 km2 over Costa Rica and Panama, in 2009 the CBCRS was created for “coordination and development of actions necessary for integrated management of the binational Sixaola river basin, conservation of natural resources and biodiversity, promotion of sustainable production and strengthening of the binational institutional framework under the Border Convention and national legislation on watershed management in both countries.”

IUCN supports the process thanks to project BRIDGE: Building River Dialogue and Governance (funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation–SDC).

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