An International Water Law workshop took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 16-20 November. The event promoted international cooperation and good transboundary water resources governance in the Amazon and Rio de la Plata basins.
The workshop – sponsored by the South-South Cooperation Project and entitled VI Taller de Capacitación sobre Derecho Internacional de Aguas-Cuenca Amazónica – helped strengthen the role of South American countries in international forums on water. The strategy behind it was planned in line with the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of the UN post-2015 Development Agenda.
Opening the workshop were Dr. Mauricio Pinto from the University of Chile, Dr. Nicole Bernex from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Pilar Garcia, who is Director of the Environment Law Department of the Externado University of Colombia and Dr. Maria do Socorro Castello Branco, President of GWP Brazil and advisor to the National Water Agency.
The participants were from all over South America, with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia; the Brazilian and Peruvian National Water Agencies (ANA), the Water Secretariat of Ecuador, the Ministry of Popular Eco-socialism and Water from Venezuela, and the University of Brasilia and Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
The workshop gave an overview of international water legislation in South American countries; it looked at the management of transboundary aquifers, methodological proposals for analysis of international treaties and analysis of case studies.
"The Brazilian government is aware of the challenge of overcoming the current water crisis and its relevance and urgency", said Brazilian Ambassador Clement de Lima Baena Soares. "This workshop is of extreme importance as it generates greater dialogue between countries with transboundary rivers and strengthens the creation of strategies for good governance of water resources in the Amazon region and the River Plate Basin."
According to the Chair of GWP Brazil, Maria do Socorro Castello Branco, transboundary rivers are the common wealth of South America: "The aim is to train diplomats and lawyers so we can preserve the rivers being used by all. What we are seeking is to bring solutions closer by facilitating dialogue between countries."
Photo: The participants