What is the appropriate policy and legal framework to regulate environmental flows within river basins? What are the ways in which competing water uses can be reflected in law and policy?
These and other questions were analysed during a two-day workshop facilitated by the IUCN Environmental Law Centre (ELC) and the Water Management Unit of IUCN Mesoamérica, within a Regional Workshop on Application of Environmental Flows in River Basin Management organised by GEF-IW:LEARN and the IUCN Water Programme in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, Brasil. Participants to this event came from all the Americas, including Mesoamerica, South America and the Caribbean, and included a wide range of professionals dealing with water management issues in Ministries, River Basin Organisations and related platforms, as well as NGOs. The workshop, which had the objective of promoting an understanding of the political, legal and governance issues relating to the provision of e-flows (within one country, and in a transboundary context), was organised as a role-play exercise in order for the participants to understand the power games within a river basin, and how they affect the achievement of sustainable solutions; the challenges for creating an enabling policy for the provision of environmental flows with a basin-wide context; the necessity to establish multi-stakeholder platforms, and the incentives for building political engagement and seeking agreeable solutions.
Photo: Participants Edgar Ayabaca (Ecuador), centre, and Jeanette de Noack (Guatemala), right, negotiate environmental flows during the workshop in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.