Not designed as a formal congress or workshop, the "Encuentro de Cuencas" meeting gathered those working on water at the community level, to share lessons and stories on local water management experiences.
“The Encuentro de Cuencas allowed small-scale community water managers, especially from Costa Rica, who usually cannot afford to go to big water conferences, to attend and share their lessons and solutions with other regional water managers”, said Rocio Cordoba, IUCN Mesoamerica Water Programme coordinator. “The reunion was a great opportunity for water managers and water committee members to find solutions to current water challenges at community level”.
The IUCN Mesoamerica Water Programme, together with the University of Costa Rica and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), organized the meeting in San José, Costa Rica.
Around 80 participants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica attended the 'Encuentro de Experiencias Locales en Gestión de Cuencas Hidrográficas: integrando Agua, Territorios y Comunidades en Cuencas Hidrográficas Centroamericanas'. First feedback from the reunion’s participants revealed positive reactions to the open forum style and information gained. Further follow-up work by the IUCN Mesoamerica Water Programme, the University of Costa Rica and CATIE, will take place over the coming months.
Initial ideas and outputs from the “Encuentro de Cuencas”, could lead to a Mesoamerican network of watershed experiences. Watershed management successes and lessons will be captured in stories and may be collated in a community watershed lessons' handbook format. Other ideas included the publication of best practice guidelines and online web forums.
For more information, please contact Rocio Cordoba, IUCN Mesoamerica Water Programme coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org