El Salvador committed to strengthen capacities for consensus building and shared governance of water

17 August 2011 | News story

Officers and senior officials of the Salvadoran government reinforced their expertise in aspects of international law on shared watercourses and negotiation skills in the second training workshop facilitated by IUCN, in coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Integration and Economic Development.

This event is the continuation of the workshop held in September 2010 and is part of a series in these topics that MARN requested IUCN to provide for decision makers and people negotiating on issues of transboundary basins. The course was conducted by experts at the international level: Dr. Alejandro Iza, Director of the IUCN Environmental Law in Bonn (Germany) and MSc. Rocio Cordoba, Coordinator of the Water Management Unit at IUCN Mesoamerica. Also, the event featured the participation of officials from the Ministries of Environment, Economy and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Executive Hydroelectric Commission of the Lempa River (CEL) and the Trifinio Plan.

The course is the result of a specific request made by the Salvadoran government to IUCN, and it aims at strengthening water governance capacities (for shared rivers, lakes and aquifers) and to promote the exchange of knowledge and deepen on the principles for good negotiation and consensus building between parties.

Through keynote presentations by the IUCN and methodologies of group work to analyze the information as well as role-playing sessions, participants were able to analyze the complexity of the negotiation process in a situation involving sustainable use of water resources between two countries. Role-play scenarios on hypothetical cases in different countries allowed participants to engage fully in situations far from their work contexts, to understand from another angle the approach at preventing and managing conflicts over natural resources.

To illustrate negotiations on shared resources that have led to international agreements, Mr. Oscar Mendez (from MIDEPLAN), Secretary of the Convention for Cooperation in Border Development between Costa Rica and Panama, who described the experience that these countries have on border cooperation. This border, as it was highlighted, has one of the most iconic watersheds of the Central American region, both for its economic potential, and for its cultural wealth and in terms of biodiversity.

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

For more information contact:

Rocío Córdoba M.Sc.
Unidad de Gestión del Agua UICN

This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.