“A lot is going on but we are not aware of it. We live in a small region but we don’t know what each other is doing in terms of teaching water resources management in universities,” was the key message of Professor Adrian Cashman from the University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus at the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Knowledge Sharing workshop in Barbados on June 5-6, 2013.
The purposes of the workshop were to expand the use of IWRM Toolbox in university education and research institutions, to illustrate the application of the IWRM tools in training and capacity building programs, and to discuss the establishment of an IWRM Knowledge Centre to harmonise IWRM knowledge in the Caribbean.
GWP Senior Knowledge Management Officer Danka Thalmeinerova presented an overview of IWRM Toolbox and examples of using case studies in training programs from Central Asia, China, Armenia, and Ghana.
There are not many case studies from the Caribbean region. Participants identified several organizations that might be helpful for compiling case studies in the region. GWP Caribbean will also focus on the collection of case studies that document GWP activities.
The participants recognised that the education system in the Caribbean is well-developed and diversified. Although there are not enough training courses directly on IWRM, many water-related courses offer a comprehensive education on it. There are also various levels of using IWRM ToolBox in education.
After an introductory workshop held in August 2012 in Stockholm, attended by Prof. Cashman, the Toolbox is actively used by students at the University of West Indies on the Mona and Cave Hill campuses.
With limited chances of collaboration among universities prior to the workshop, participants recognised the need for an information network to get familiar and understand various programs and research activities being undertaken in universities and research institutions in the region. Once set, the information network will gradually be upgraded to an IWRM Knowledge Centre. GWP Caribbean will initially support the information network by devoting a section on their website for the exchange of information related to the programs, knowledge sharing and research activities in the Caribbean. The network is expected to expand and involve other stakeholders in the long run.