As part of the activities promoted by BRIDGE Andes, on 17 and 18 November 2015, a Training Course on Water Governance in a Transboundary Context took place in Quito, Ecuador.
This event was attended by several representatives of the Ecuadorian Government including the National Water Secretary (SENAGUA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment and other non-governmental institutions involved in the management of transboundary waters in the region.
During the course, essential aspects of International Water Law, Hydrodiplomacy and the Ecuadorian Environmental Legislation were discussed. In fact, the course provided a platform to discuss mechanisms to improve and strengthen the cooperative management of shared waters.
Additionally, participants had the opportunity to work on practical exercises related to potential conflict scenarios in transboundary basins. Through these exercises, participants were able to identify and discuss key negotiating mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of disputes in a transboundary context.
The training course also served to promote the use of tools and cooperation mechanisms designed to accomplish real water governance aimed at achieving fair and equitable distribution of benefits and services derived from freshwater ecosystems.
Dr. Alejandro Iza, Director of the IUCN Environmental Law Programme and main speaker during the training course, highlighted the important progress in the implementation of institutional frameworks for cooperation in recent years by saying: "The progress in implementing institutional frameworks shows the engagement and interest of some States in being part of global instruments which lay the legal and institutional foundations of transboundary water management".
While there are legal and institutional frameworks for transboundary waters in the region, there is still no clear commitment to adopt the UN Watercourses Convention of 1997, which is an essential step to reformulate and even update the existing legal and institutional frameworks in the region. In this context, BRIDGE Andes is committed to continue disseminating the benefits and opportunities that can be achieved from the adoption of the Convention.