The Binational Commission of the Sixaola River Basin brings together government actors, civil society and indigenous people to support interinstitutional coordination and promote a comprehensive management of the basin.
The Binational Commission of the Sixaola River Basin is a binational, transboundary body of governance for comprehensive management of the basin shared by Costa Rica and Panama.
The commission brings government stakeholders, civil society and indigenous peoples together to strengthen interinstitutional coordination, serve as channel between the concerns of government and civil society and drive integrated basin management.
In the frame of the entity’s official assemblies, members of the Binational Commission expressed concern that the lack of clarity about the exact location of the border between the two countries has triggered local conflicts, mainly between producers. The Geographic Institutes and Foreign Relations Ministries of Costa Rica and Panama were asked to give informational talks about the findings of the technical studies conducted in the frame of the Mixed Permanent Commission between Costa Rica and Panama.
As the only four authorities with jurisdiction to clarify border delimitation, the participation of the institutes and ministries is of great importance. Despite advances in the respective technical studies, their results are not yet official and have not been made public. During the informational talks given in August 2015, local stakeholders transmitted their concerns and problems directly to the foreign relations ministries and geographical institutes of the two nations. Given the urgency of the matter, the Mixed Permanent Commission met October 15th and 16th, 2015 in Changuinola, Panama, and approved the report on the international limit in Sixaola Yorkín sector 1. The report contains a historical reconstruction of the thalweg line, and therefore the official border.
During 2016, the Binational Commission of the Sixaola River Basin will act as facilitator of training for key officials in the zone on the use of the geographical information generated and its dissemination among the local population.
This will put an end to the general idea that the course of the river constitutes the borderline and that when the river’s course changes, so does the frontier. The goal is to diminish local tensions about this issue, mainly between producers whose parcels are affected.