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International Experts to Discuss Cooperation Over Shared Waters

10 June 2013|News

 Watch video message by the ECLAC Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena (in Spanish).

A hundred participants from Latin American and Caribbean countries sharing transboundary waters will come together at a workshop in Buenos Aires on 11 and 12 June 2013 to discuss transboundary water cooperation within the Latin American and Caribbean region.

The Workshop on transboundary water cooperation: Latin American and Pan-European regions: sharing experiences and learning from each other is organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (IW:LEARN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the University of Bologna Campus in Buenos Aires.

Participants will also look into opportunities for benefiting from the wealth of guidance and experience accumulated over the past 20 under the umbrella of the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).

The Latin American region has almost 30 per cent of the world's freshwater resources and the drainage basins of some 60 rivers and lakes in the region are shared by two or more countries. South America alone holds three of the largest river basins in the world - the Amazon, the Orinoco and the La Plata - and one of the largest aquifers in the world - the Guarani aquifer, shared by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. In Central America, almost 40 per cent of the territory in is located within international basins.

In terms of pressures on these resources, climate change impacts figure prominently.

The UNECE region and the Latin American and Caribbean region are facing similar problems on their path towards cooperation on transboundary water resources. There is a significant potential for both regions to benefit from an exchange of experience on water issues.

The workshop will highlight the benefits of transboundary water cooperation in terms of economic and social development, growth and protection of the environment. It aims to increase awareness of the international legal instruments on water and to discuss how to jointly adapt water management to climate change and variability, as well as how to reconcile different interests and uses in transboundary basins.

Finally, the workshop will aim at identifying the next steps to foster transboundary water cooperation in the Latin American and Caribbean region and between the two regions.

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