Transboundary waters governance in Central America

Strenghtening knowledge and capacities for shared waters  governance was the aim of a high-level workshop in El Salvador facilitated by IUCN.

Fishermen, El Salvador Photo: IUCN Water Programme

In coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) and the Vice-ministry of Foreign Affairs, Integration and Economic Promotion, the workshop was conducted in response to a request by the Salvadorian government to IUCN to strengthen local governance capacities of shared waters (rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers), as well as promoting the exchange of knowledge and establishing cooperative principles to responsible water management.

The event opened with words from the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Herman Rosa Chavez, who attributed a crucial importance to the issue of shared waters for El Salvador. The main contents of the course were conducted by experts Dr. Alejandro Iza, Director of the IUCN Environmental Law Centre in Bonn (Germany) and MSc. Rocio Cordoba, Coordinator of the Water Management Unit of IUCN Mesoamerica. The workshop was attended by officials of various ministries, as well as diplomats and technical advisers in the management of water resources.

The current situation, in which climate change represents a serious challenge, Minister Rosa emphasized Central America’s vulnerable position as a region prone to climate disasters. What is needed is a more effective policy framework in which sensitive topics such as transboundary river basins are addressed.

Through presentations and lectures by IUCN and local experts, as well as plenary sessions and roundtable discussions, the complexity of the development and establishment of structures for water governance and negotiation processes were analyzed. The meeting saw participants work in interactive groups, capturing the diversity of actors and interests and seeking consensus for better management of shared water resources.

Participants also expressed satisfaction and acknowledgement with the methodology and technical inputs provided by IUCN, which further stimulated the interests of the organizations to continue promoting these initiatives and strengthen the multi-sectoral participatory learning.

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Work area: 
Disaster Risk Reduction
Environmental Law
Climate Change
Environmental Law
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