Marseille, 13 March 2012. On the occasion of the 6th World Water Forum, the IUCN Environmental Law Centre and the Global Water Programme launched the Water Law and Governance Support Platform (WLGSP). The event was hosted by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and held in the Swiss Pavilion (Marseille, Parc Chanot - Hall 3).
The Water Law and Governance Support Platform aims at providing legal expertise and technical support on water governance issues in a transboundary context. It has been developed within the framework of the BRIDGE (Building River Dialogue and Governance) Project which fosters cooperation and joint water management in 9 transboundary basins located in 3 different regions. The WLGSP is meant to be used not only by the authorities and people involved in the BRIDGE project, but by all interested actors whenever specific questions and needs on water governance issues arise.
The event brought together distinguished speakers who presented different but complementary perspectives. Mr. Gély, from SDC, explained the importance of improving joint water management in transboundary hot spots and presented the SDC dedicated programme. Dr. Owen McIntyre, Chair of the CEL Specialist Group on Water and Wetlands, made the case of how providing continuous legal support is pivotal to reinforcing transboundary cooperation. Mr. Israel Barrera, Executive Secretary of the Permanent Binational Commission Costa Rica and Panama, emphasised the support received by the IUCN Environmental Law Centre in delineating operational mechanisms for the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement for cross-border development between Costa Rica and Panama.
The IUCN Environmental Law Centre, headed by Dr. Alejandro Iza, gave a brief demonstration of the WLGSP and how to use it. The WLGSP is accessible at http://waterlawandgovernance.org/