Earth Today | Caribbean development players benefit from 4th International Waters meeting
Representatives from academia, the public and NGO sectors, together with United Nations (UN) agencies from Latin America and the Caribbean, gathered in Uruguay this week to discuss private-sector partnership building and gender mainstreaming within the water sector.
The occasion was the fourth targeted workshop for the Global Environment Facility's (GEF) International Waters (IW) projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Participants - who numbered more than 50 - had positive feedback for the meeting that also had on the agenda the combined use of surface and groundwater to optimise management of the vital resource, also referred to as conjunctive water management.
"I thought that it would be different, more technical practice about water. But I like it because it is different," said Rosa Francisca Zavala Correa, director general of environmental issues and aquaculture at the Ministry of Production in Peru.
"I am happy that I can learn more things about IW and about gender, also," she added.
Adams Toussaint, chief forestry officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources, and Co-operatives in Saint Lucia, said the workshop was good for him.
"I have found the workshop to be very useful in providing tools for new and emerging issues that will help in the more effective management of my work programme at my GEF IWEco (Integrating Water, Land and Ecosystem Management in Caribbean Small-Island Developing State) project," he said.
IWEco is a regional, multi-focal area project financed under the GEF focal areas: IW, land degradation, biodiversity, sustainable forest management and the GEF Small Grants Programme.
Its anticipated results include enhanced capacity among participating islands to deal with issues of climatic variability and change, and surface and groundwater management.
"Two noteworthy tools that (emerged from the workshop) dealt with water governance and sex-disaggregated data for decision-making based on gender issues," Toussaint told The Gleaner.
The workshop was hosted by the GEF's IW Learning Exchange and Resource Network, a project implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment, and executed by the Intergovernmental Oceanograhic Commission of the UN Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation and partners Cap-Net UNDP.
IW LEARN promotes experience sharing, learning, information management and partnership building among projects in the GEF IW focal area, targeting transboundary water systems, including shared river basins, lakes, groundwater and large marine ecosystems.
Included in its offerings to stakeholders is support to participate in global and regional dialogue and policy meetings, such as the World Water Forum, where they get a chance to share the results of their projects while helping to foster collaboration.