U.S. Water News Online
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Integrated water resource management for sustainable development in the Americas was the theme of the second Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management held recently in Buenos Aires.
The meeting attracted over 260 water experts from 26 countries, including official government representatives from 22 countries in the Inter-American Water Resources Network (IWRN).
The first Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management, held in October 1993 in Miami, Florida, called for the establishment of the IWRN to facilitate communication, cooperation, and collaboration among groups with a shared commitment to the sound management of water resources in the Americas. The Organization of American States (OAS), a sponsor of the first Dialogue, subsequently was asked to serve as the Technical Secretariat of the IWRN.
The second Dialogue featured the presentation of more than 80 issue statements on integrated water resources and river basin management, legal and economic water policies to support sustainable development, strategies for sharing and exchanging experiences and expertise with water technologies, and strategies for funding and investing in water resources.
The process allowed experts who were unable to attend the meeting to submit ideas to the Dialogue and helped to stimulate a substantial set of conclusions and recommendations for consideration at the meeting. These issues papers and reports from the working groups will be incorporated into the proceedings of the Dialogue.
The second Dialogue was also an opportunity for water experts from the Americas to review and comment on a technical report prepared for the Hemispheric Summit on Sustainable Development to be held this month in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
The working groups met over a period of three days and their recommendations form the basis for the Declaration of Buenos Aires, which stresses the need to act on the many pressing water issues challenging the governments of the Western Hemisphere. In many cases, the solutions are already known, according to the working groups who made the recommendations.
During the past five years, at least eight major international meetings have discussed water issues and have called for various water initiatives. The Declaration calls for commitments by governments, international financial institutions, and the public and private sectors to develop and implement coordinated action plans that address water issues.
The Declaration states that without a greater degree of cooperation and the formation of political partnerships between the public and private sectors, it is difficult to see how much progress can be made toward achieving environmentally sound management of water resources within the context of sustainable development in the Americas.
The Declaration of Buenos Aires also calls for the full implementation of IWRN as soon as possible, and encourages the OAS to support the IWRN and to facilitate partnerships to promote and implement sustainable development in the Americas.
To find out more about how to actively participate in the work of the IWRN, contact: Inter-American Water Resources Network (IWRN), Technical Secretariat, Organization of American States, 1889 F Street, N.W., Rm. 340-A, Washington, D.C. 20006 USA, tel. (202) 458-3556.
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