Binational Commission of the Sixaola River Establishes Road Map

Based on a self-appraisal of the current situation, the Binational Commission of the Sixaola Watershed defined a strengthening work plan with other entities

Comisión Binacional del Río Sixaola

Costa Rica, January 2012. The binational watershed of the Sixaola River shared by Costa Rica and Panama is a zone of great cultural and natural richness. The aim of the Binational Commission of the Sixaola River Watershed is thus to conserve biodiversity, promote sustainable production, and strengthen the binational institutional framework under the Costa Rica-Panama Convention for Border Development.

On January 30 and 31, the Binational Commission held a special session to analyze themes for its strengthening. The resolve and interest of the entities attending is of vital importance for comprehensive water resource management within the Sixaola watershed, and could become an example of transboundary cooperation.

The following general guidelines for the commission’s development resulted from the self-assessment carried out as one of the main activities:

  • Review, adjustment and amendment of the binational commission’s regulations on financing
  • Strengthening and restructuring of the commission’s organization, functioning and operativity with the incorporation of the legal framework of both countries
  • Induction and training of the Sixaola Binational Commission
  • Publicize the binational commission and its actions
  • Become familiar with the action plans of initiatives being carried out in the watershed of the Sixaola River
  • Identify points of encounter and complementarity between the different projects

Some of the themes also discussed were the scope of the agreement between the governments of Costa Rica and Panama on Cooperation for Border Development; the core elements of the Sixaola Binational Project and regarding the Binational Commission of the Sixaola River Watershed; conceptual and management aspects for comprehensive watershed management; the projects IUCN carries out in the Sixaola watershed; experience in binational management of La Amistad International Park; and several experiences in management and administration of watersheds shared by two or more countries in different parts of the world.

Convocation of this special session was possible thanks to support from the Sixaloa Binational project financed by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and IUCN through its projects BRIDGE, and Water Management for Adaptation, funded by COSUDE and the Ministry of Environment of Germany, respectively.

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