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UNECE Workshop Discusses Transboundary Water Cooperation in LAC

UNECE14 June 2013: A workshop organized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) brought together some 100 experts from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to discuss how the region might benefit from the experience and lessons learned in transboundary water cooperation from the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).

The 'Workshop on transboundary water cooperation: Latin American and Pan-European regions: sharing experiences and learning from each other' convened from 11-12 June 2013, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The workshop featured an exchange of experience between the regions on water-related topics, including adaptation to climate change, reconciling different uses in transboundary basins, and how to promote cooperation and avoid disputes involving transboundary ground and surface waters. Participants also discussed current efforts within LAC to address transboundary water cooperation, such as the Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee for the La Plata River Basin and the Guarani Aquifer Agreement.

Workshop participants also discussed the possible benefits of becoming parties to the Water Convention. Mexico and the Central American countries expressed particular interest in understanding further how Water Convention ratification might provide a framework for their subregional cooperation.

The workshop was co-sponsored by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), with cooperation from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (IW:LEARN), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Most attendees were from Central and South America, although representatives from Haiti and the Dominican Republic attended to gain understanding of how Convention membership might help them in managing water resources along their common border. [UNECE Press Release] [ECLAC Press Release] [Workshop Background Documents and Presentations]