Cross-border bodies work closely with IUCN Mesoamerica and Caribbean Initiative: Secretariat of Border Agreement between Costa Rica and Panama and IUCN follow up on institutional collaboration

17 August 2011 | News story

The executive secretaries of the Convention on Border Development Cooperation between Costa Rica and Panama, Mr. Israel Barrera (Ministry of Economy and Finance of Panama-MEF-) and Mr. Oscar Mendez (Ministry of Planning of Costa Rica MIDEPLAN-) along with his team, and staff of the Center for Environmental Law and Water Management Unit of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) met in San Jose to follow up on agreements reached in April in Panama. On that occasion, the secretariat requested support to develop a draft charter for the operation of the Permanent Binational Commission (PBC) and to develop outreach materials and information in order to highlight the main achievements after two decades of the Convention


The PBC is the highest organ of the Convention for decision-making and has expressed the need for a tool to develop the planned institutional framework. For the PBC the charter is a prerequisite to ensure the smooth operation and fulfillment of its objectives. Thus, the work session was a comprehensive review of the proposal drafted by the technical team of IUCN. Initially the broad outlines of the document and its effects were discussed, and later a thorough analysis of the articles, clarifying any questions the secretaries had. The goal set as follow-up this the meeting is to present the charter at the next ordinary session of the PBC for approval.


As a second point in the agenda there was a discussion of proposals for audiovisual material broadcasting. Whereas the Convention was ratified by both governments in 1994 and has since developed various development and transboundary conservation initiatives, the importance of highlighting and better communicate their achievements. In this sense, it is expected by the end of 2011, to count with a product to convey to audiences the main challenges and goals achieved through bilateral cooperation, issues that remain highly relevant in the Mesoamerican region.

"This meeting was held in the premises of the IUCN in San Jose, and we were able to attend thanks to the support given by this organization. The topics covered about the Charter and communications were very good (...) ", said Mr. Barrera after the meeting.

Through this type of targeted technical assistance, IUCN with the support of projects on good governance of shared river basins (BRIDGE-SDC) and Water Governance and Climate Change Adaptation (ICI-BMU), continues to strengthen the capacities of governance in the region for sustainable management of natural resources, through specific inputs that allow the recovery of ecosystems and the quality of life of people.

More information:

Rocío Córdoba M.Sc.
Unidad de Gestión del Agua UICN- Mesoamérica y la Iniciativa Caribe