Youth Water Network Born in South America

Posted: 2016-11-18

85 Latin American youngsters from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela participated in the first South American Water Youth Meeting “Together for Water Security”, held in Lima 14-16 October. Two representatives from the Central American Youth for Water Network also participated. The main outcome was the establishment of the South American Youth Water Network.

The meeting was organized by GWP South America, La Ruta del Clima and MOJA in partnership with the National Water Authority (ANA), the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) and GWP Central America, who provided invaluable advice.

Participants defined the overall objective of the network, which is “to promote and strengthen knowledge, participation and inclusion of youngsters in IWRM processes in South America”. They also made progress on the network statutes and elected a group of delegates from each country, to continue the development of the statutes based on the information collected around the following topics:

  1. Rationale and nature of the network;
  2. Objectives (general and specific);
  3. Thematic areas;
  4. Governance;
  5. Funding and
  6. Communications.

It was agreed that the delegates will exchange drafts on a weekly basis to adjust the document and ensure consistency. The timeframe for a final version of the statutes was set to a month.

The White Paper on Water, available in Spanish, was presented as a source of inspiration and information was shared on the global youth contest launched by GWP.

In the evaluation of the meeting, participants highlighted the productive and dynamic exchange amongst all participants and made important commitments:  

  • "Spreading all shared (knowledge and experiences) in the meeting."
  • "Recuperate and implement ancestral knowledge on the use and management of water".
  • "Working for better public policies."
  • "Strengthening the generational exchange."
  • "Working for the indigenous peoples of my country to improve water security in their community"
  • "Support youth empowerment related activities in water management."
  • "To strengthen and build the sustainability of the South American Youth Water Network"

The event closed with a lively 5 km Walk for Water along one of the main avenues of Lima. This ended with a show of dance and music, with instruments made with recyclable materials.

Both the working days and the walk were broadcasted live via the websites of PUCP and ANA. #EncuentroJovenesYAgua and national media carried extensive coverage of the Walk.

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