Costa Rica and Panama Continue Committed to Transboundary Governance and Cooperation

20 September 2012 | News story

The Binational Technical Sectoral Commissions of the Costa Rica-Panama Convention for Border Development exemplify the importance of binationality and cooperation between States, institutions and social actors as fundamental pillars of development.

Costa Rica, July 2012 (IUCN). On July 16 and 17, 2012, the workshop on Transboundary Cooperation and Development was held in San José, Costa Rica. It was organized by the regional Office for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean and the Centre for Environmental Law of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as well as the Executive Secretariats of the Costa Rica-Panama Convention for Border Development.

The objective of the training was to provide the Convention’s Binational Technical Sectoral Comissions* with inputs for cooperation processes around shared natural resources, and how to develop synergies between them. Sharing of knowledge was promoted as well, underscoring the importance of principles of international law as the basis for cooperation in the frame of the border development agreement.
Participants were also familiarized with the BRIDGE project (Building River Dialogue and Governance). The theme of water governance was introduced, along with the Sixaola binational river basin (shared by the two countries). The Executive Secretariat for Costa Rica told the Technical Sectoral Commissions that “a series of elements linked with border development converge around this theme.”

Participants engaged in an exercise on challenges and opportunities facing them as transboundary cooperation entities, and indicated steps to improve interinstitutional and binational communication, both horizontal and vertical; better publicize the Convention, its mechanisms and operationalization; establish a short-, medium and long-term binational agenda, and other areas.

The workshop was held in the frame of the BRIDGE project funded by Swiss Development Cooperation (COSUDE). Thirty people participated, including IUCN experts, a doctoral candidate in Development Geography at the University of Paris, the Executive Secretariats of the Costa Rica-Panama Convention for Border Development and representatives of the different binational technical sectoral commissions.

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*The Binational Technical Sectoral Commissions are an organ of the Costa Rica-Panama Convention for Border Development responsible for planning, supervision and follow-up on programs, projects and activities under their jurisdiction. They include the following sectors: Agriculture, Threat and Risk, Natural Resources, Tourism, Infrastructure, Health, Education, Social development, Security and Migration, Inter-municipal Issues and Energy.