Groundwater Governance Project: Montevideo is ready to host the first Regional Consultation
The first Regional Consultation of the Groundwater Governance Project, which involves the Latin America and Caribbean region, will be held in Montevideo from 18 to 20 April 2012.
The "Groundwater Governance: A Global Framework for Country Action" project was initiated in January 2011 and is the result of fruitful cooperation between the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and the World Bank. The overall project objective is to increase awareness on the paramount importance of a sound management of groundwater resources to prevent and reverse the global water crisis.
The event ...
The Opening Ceremony of the Consultation will be attended by high-level representatives of government and regional institutions and will be followed by a press conference.
Plenary sessions will allow presenting the project and sharing regional views, thematic considerations and case studies that illustrate possible improvements and projects at local, regional or sub-regional levels. The event will also include technical workshops where five working groups will discuss thematic aspects of groundwater governance.
The event is organized by the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP), in collaboration with the UNESCO Office in Montevideo and the Government of Uruguay, through the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment.
The questions ...
Almost 100 participants from different areas (authorities, universities, management agencies, civil society, etc..) will attend the consultation. Through discussions to identify regional characteristics, challenges and priorities, they will try to answer questions related to the groundwater governance in the region.
Some of them might be: What are the sectors that use more groundwater and how to improve the consumption patterns? What are the gaps in the region? What are the good practices? What can be improved? What are the obstacles? Are legal settings in place? Are institutions in place? Is the scientific and technical knowledge sufficient for the good governance management? Is the political endorsement in place? What is groundwater governance for the region? How to reach tailored regional groundwater governance?
The regional contribution to the project ...
The Regional Consultation will provide an opportunity to compile best practices and contribute to the preparation of a "Global Groundwater Governance Diagnostic" and recommendations. This will play an essential role in achieving a shared vision based on real needs and expectations, at regional and national level. The results of this and other four foreseen regional consultations will contribute to the preparation of a “Global Framework for Action”, consisting in a set of best practices for sustainable management of groundwater resources designed to "inspire" interested parties and stakeholders.
Next steps ...
The following regional consultations will be held in Africa, Arab States, Asia and Europe and will take place in Kenya from 29 to 31 May, in Jordan from 8 to 10 October and in China in December (to be confirmed). The Netherlands will receive the fifth Regional Consultation dedicated to the European region, which will also include private sector institutions, in the first quarter of 2013.
The work of the 5 regional consultations will have a significant impact on how water resources are managed in the near future, contributing to more realistic and appropriate definition of 3G, "good groundwater governance" It is expected that policy makers will capitalize project recommendations in the future to take more informed and responsible decisions for the management and protection of groundwater resources in the world.