Through the BRIDGE approach, which promotes dialogues for good water governance, the Binational Committee of the Sumpul river sub-basin has been reactivated with the support of local stakeholders and a road map is being implemented to strengthen the work of the Committee.
San Ignacio, Chalatenango, El Salvador; May 2018. The Sumpul river sub-basin, located on the border between Honduras and El Salvador, corresponds to a sub-basin that, together with the Mocal river, make up the great basin of the Lempa river, one of the most extensive in Central America and the longest in El Salvador.
Considering the wealth present in the sub-basin in terms of water resources and the population that lives in the zone, highly dependent of it, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), through the BRIDGE project: Building Dialogues for Good Water Governance, and Plan Trifinio as implementing partner, it was proposed to improve governance in the sub-basin, using as an approach the building of capacities, the promotion of leadership, the establishment of consensus and the demonstration of results in the field.
After two years of intervention in the area, the following results stand out:
- Re-launch of the Binational Committee of the Sumpul river sub-basin, which incorporated representatives of the Community Water Boards, and encouraged the active participation of young people and women within the Committee, as well as the updating of its planning instruments.
- The articulation of key actors linked to the topic of governance and integrated management of water resources, the strengthening of the Water Boards that make up the sub-basin, and the strategic articulation with the AVE project: Adaptation, Vulnerability & Ecosystems, also implemented by IUCN.
- Participative construction of management instruments for the Sumpul river sub-basin, including mapping of key actors, location maps of the communities present in the area, identification of opportunities in the territory, as well as the construction of a risk model and potentialities of the sub-basin.
- Capacity building seminars for young people, men and women in the field of integrated management of water resources, governance of water in transboundary basins, water legislation (public policies), measures to adapt to climate change, negotiation concepts, political advocacy and communication.
- Exchanges of experiences at national and international level, highlighting the visit to the Goascorán river basin to know the actions and results of the Environmental Technical Boards of the North and South of La Unión (El Salvador), the Meeting of Natural Solutions and Governance for Adaptation to Climate Change, the Climate Change and Water Governance Forum, as well as the participation of key stakeholders in the Regional Water Forum 2017.
As part of the closing of the event, Adelmo Arriaga, representative of the Binational Committee, insisted on the importance of continuing with the actions that have been carried out regarding the restructuring and functioning of the Committee, highlighting the results achieved and the remaining challenges on the management of water resources in the area.
On the other hand, Julio Montes de Oca, Coordinator of the BRIDGE project in Mesoamerica, assured that "from the IUCN, efforts will be made to follow up on future challenges, emphasizing the importance of continuing the implementation of the Committee's planning instruments and taking advantage of the knowledge that IUCN provides through its other initiatives in the area, together with Plan Trifinio".
Finally, Sergio Bran, the National Executive Director of Plan Trifinio in El Salvador, assured that the accompaniment to the Binational Committee will continue, with the aim of increasing its scope to generate impacts that lead to the well-being of the communities and give continuity to the actions that derive from the Binational Committee in strategic alliance with other key actors in the area.
The BRIDGE project: Building Dialogues for Good Water Governance, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, was implemented thanks to the support of Plan Trifinio as implementing partner.