The Declaration of San Marcos is signed by Champions in Transboundary Basins

26 April 2013 | News story

Under the third meeting of champions (as) the participants decide to reaffirm its commitment to sustainable integrated management of water resources and transboundary cooperation in shared watersheds

February 2013. Project BRIDGE: Building River Dialogue and Governance, is funded by the Hydro-diplomacy program of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It includes a process of developing and strengthening champions on integrated water resources management in transboundary watersheds.

Work with champions has included three face-to-face meetings and constant virtual exchange. Third Meeting of Champions in Transboundary Watersheds was held in San Marcos, Guatemala, February 22-25, 2013; those present decided to sign a declaration about champions in transboundary watersheds, where they reaffirm: 

The champion is a person motivated by the commitment to human wellbeing, who applies his or her knowledge and criteria so that other people change their practices on behalf of integrated water resource management and transboundary cooperation in shared watersheds.

• The champion is a person who works with personal conviction, motivation and dedication around a common objective.
• That the common objective of all champions is to promote cooperation among people of different countries to improve the quality and quantity of water, and quality of life for people and their relation in shared watersheds.
• That the priority aspects on which our efforts will focus in the short and medium term are:

  1. Inclusion of local governments and institutions in processes of transboundary cooperation in shared watersheds.
  2. Involvement and participation of civil society in the governance of shared watersheds
  3. Environmental education of the population about the importance and management of shared watersheds.
  4. Awareness of the benefits of working in coordination at all levels for governance of the shared watersheds.

Champions also analyzed their work plans in each basin, were trained in integrated water resource management, negotiation and governance of shared waters, met local organizational experiences from micro watersheds in San Marcos, Guatemala, and discussed possible cooperation ways of cooperation from the grassroots.

Twenty-one people participated in the meeting, including the champions of Coatán, Goascorán, Sixaola, Chiquibul-Mopán and Coco. Representatives from the municipalities of Coatán and Sixaola also participated, along with the technical staff of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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