Conserving water across borders in Central America

06 November 2012 | Article

Organizations from Guatemala and Mexico met recently to exchange their experience in managing shared river basins such as those of the Tacana Volcano region.

With IUCN’s support, several local organizations including municipal authorities have joined efforts towards integrated management of water resources and the promotion of a transboundary approach at the local level.


Discussing how best to manaage shared river basins. IUCN-ORMA

Common problems such as contamination, how to reduce the risk of disasters, solid waste management and other socio-environmental problems were discussed.

Several agreements were reached on how to follow-up and form a pilot project that can be promoted in other regions and countries that have shared watersheds.

Among the findings that have emerged during project implementation is that strengthening skills and knowledge of local players in the border region between Mexico and Guatemala is crucial to ensure their effective participation in better water management.

Building local capacity helps give communities a voice in influencing decision makers and policies to help solve their water problems. The vulnerability of local communities to climate change impacts on water resources in an area where agriculture and a growing population are competing for the same resources was highlighted.