Water Diplomacy for Water Security: Strengthening the capacities of decision makers in Latin America

The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and the Ibero-American Water Directors Conference (CODIA) brought together high-level decision makers in Bolivia from 30 November to 1 December 2015 to participate in the “Water Diplomacy” Seminar at the Training Centre of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The Seminar was organized during the week of the XVI CODIA Annual Meeting.

The aim of the Seminar was to strengthen the capacities of decision makers and senior managers on Water Diplomacy and International Law as instruments for water security. The activity included the participation of 28 governmental representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Spain and Uruguay.

The seminar analyzed the role of water diplomacy in water security and presented principles and rules of international water law, highlighting its concrete application in practice. Participants discussed negotiation skills to develop agreements on shared or transboundary waters as well as the linkages between international and national water law. The seminar was developed around a series of case studies illustrating progress in cooperation on transboundary water resources in the region, including Trifinio in Central America, Lake Titicaca in South America and the Albufeira between Spain and Portugal. Presenters included Eduardo Orteu (Ministry of the Environment, Spain), Lilian Del Castillo (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina), Mayra Montero (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Plurinational State of Bolivia), Mario Marroquín (Tri-national Trifinio Plan Commission, Republic of El Salvador), Miguel Doria (UNESCO Montevideo Office, Uruguay), Roberto Martín Hurtado (UNECE and Alboran Consulting Ltd) and Stefano Burchi (International Association for Water Law).

The “Water Diplomacy” Seminar is the third capacity-building activity in the framework of the cooperation between IHP, AECID and CODIA for the strengthening of capacities for the sustainable management of freshwater in Latin America. The two previous courses were “Water Economics” at the AECID Training Centre in Montevideo, Uruguay, from 3 to 7 August 2015 and “Gender mainstreaming in decision-making on water governance” in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia from 11 to 13 November 2015.

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