What is the vision and mission of your organisation?
The vision of the Bioparques Civil Partnership is to become an organisation capable of contributing to Venezuela's sustainable development, 1) updated information on the characteristics, conditions and importance of our National Parks and other protected areas and 2) leaders’ training for these areas conservancy.
Our mission is to contribute to the conservation of national parks and other protected areas in Venezuela through citizen participation.
Why did you decide to become a GWP Partner?
I decided to become a GWP Partner because water is an important environmental service provided by the National Parks and other protected areas. Citizens perceive water as the main direct benefit from these areas. One of the most important reasons for the creation of protected areas in Venezuela has been the protection (care) of basins which provide water and electricity to the cities.
Which are the benefits of being a GWP Partner?
Being part of a global network that includes members from all sectors: public, private, academia, communities and NGOs.
Another benefit I found is the possibility to exchange updated water-related information with organisations from different countries, in order to broaden our perspectives.
What is one challenge facing the management of water resources in your region?
The concept of managing water in an integrated way (is one challenge that water resources management is facing in our region). To start with, there is little coordination between stakeholders involved in water resources management. On the other hand, most people live in urban areas, so they don’t perceive the relationship between the water coming to their homes and nature conservation.
Are there any special projects or initiatives that you would like more widely known?
I would like to learn more about the concept of “water footprint” to use it as a mechanism for public awareness.
Viviana Salas is a biologist graduated at the Simon Bolívar University (Venezuela), and has a doctorate in zoology at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom). Founder and Executive Director of BioParques Civil Association since 2002, she is currently completing a Master course in Environmental Management at Andes University (Colombia).