GWP Caribbean Partners: “The Only Way Forward is to Work Collaboratively”

Posted: 2014-08-12

Every year, the GWP network gathers for two big meetings: the Regional Days and the Consulting Partners meeting. This year’s gathering took place in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on 23-28 June 2014, with GWP Caribbean as host. The partners of GWP Caribbean agreed on the need for collaborative work.

GWP currently has more than 3000 partners worldwide. Over 80 of them are members of GWP Caribbean. The annual meeting is an opportunity for the partners to get their voice heard, and to have an input in the strategic work of the GWP network.

Speaking during the gathering in Trinidad, the GWP Caribbean partners said that the partnership had brought them a number of benefits throughout the years.

“I think it is important for stakeholders to be part of the network. Integrated water resources management isn’t the responsibility of any particular institution. It is just what it says; an integration of the various issues dealing with water management. The only way you can move forward is to work together collaboratively to make this happen”, said Maureen Manchouck, President of GWP Caribbean’s host institution, the National Institute of Higher Education Research, Science & Technology (NIHERST).

Additional Support

Trevor Thompson, Land Use Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture of Grenada, said that being in partnership with GWP Caribbean has provided him with additional support in advocating for integrated water resources management.

“When working within a ministry it can often be challenging to convince your colleagues that this is a worthwhile activity. If you have external support, it helps you to get the message across more timely and you also have some support at the political level”, said Mr. Thompson.

Dr. Lester Forde, Chief Operating Officer of Water for the People, has been involved in the GWP network for a long time and he was one of the founding members of GWP in 1996. He summarizes the benefits that the partners receive:

“They get support. Some get funding. In my case I got mainly an intellectual community that I could discuss things with, run things by and contribute to solutions”, says Dr. Forde.

Younger Generation Getting Involved

Rianna Gonzales was one of the younger representatives at the meeting in Trinidad. She is the National Coordinator for the Trinidad & Tobago Chapter of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network. She says that it is good for young people become active partners of GWP.

“I think it’s definitely beneficial for young people to become part of such a strategic group of people, in terms of getting access to resources, experts, and for information for our projects. The inter-generational dialogue also helps us to communicate better on water-related issues, not only across the the Caribbean but also globally”, said Ms. Gonzales.

To find out more about GWP Caribbean and the current projects and programmes in the region, visit the homepage of GWP Caribbean.

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