In Latin America there still exist problems over the sustainable access to water in both quality and quantity, particularly affecting the poorest people in the region. Water for human consumption is a scarce resource as a consequence of the problems that arise from its distribution, access and the way in which humans manage the resource. The unequal access to water, its privatization and the deterioration of ecosystems are the principal causes of multiple crisis and socio-environmental conflicts in the region. In this context, since 2007 Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA), through its Water Governance Strategic Initiative, works to design and strengthen inter-scale governance systems for the integrated management of watersheds in the region, recognizing water as a principal factor in improving living conditions, looking after the environment and obtaining a sustainable development.
To support participative decision-making for Integrated Water Resources Management and thus contribute to the conservation of this vital resource that considers the environmental, social, political, economic and cultural aspects.
How do we work?
Considering that the construction of a good governance water system is based on the active participation of all stakeholders in decision-making, the Initiative works through the promotion of dialogue, capacity building and conflict transformation; thus contributing to the search for long-term answers to structural problems linked to water resource management.
The Initiative started its work in the upper basin of the Guayllabamba river in Ecuador, identifying a marked lack of coordination and institutional integration, the lack of a clear legal framework with defined responsibilities for all territorial levels, the lack of policies and common objectives for resource management, the lack of representation of local stakeholders in decision-making alongside the lack of access to and existence of information that is difficult to understand. In response to these problems, FFLA started a process in phases, on different scales, strengthening successful local initiatives, teaching new forms of local governance and attending to the changing context, characterized by a new water institutionalism. The lessons and knowledge acquired in this process are now being repeated in other regional watersheds such as the Lima basins.
As such, the Initiative promotes inter-institutional coordination and the exchange of updated information between stakeholders and decision-makers.
• The Initiative highlighted the local problem and has made more that 500 stakeholders more aware of water resource management, both in the upper basin of Guayllabamba in Ecuador as well as in the Chillon, Rimac and Lurin-Chilca basins of Lima, Peru.
• A product of the work carried out in the upper basin of Guayllabamba was the elaboration and socialization of a Water Resources Management Plan, giving structure to a Basin Council and establishing a management model.
• Institutions and organizations related to water management, both governmental and civil society, have participated in the construction of shared objectives with a future vision for the basin and action plans.
• 9 training courses on Integrated Water Resources Management, water governance and the transformation of socio-environmental conflicts were carried out, directed at national authorities, social organizations and local communities. Over 300 stakeholders from the diverse territorial levels were trained in themes of participation, organization and representation for water management.
• In Lima´s basins the Initiative has strengthened and supported institutionalism regarding the participative inter-scale and multi-sector work, through the conformation of basin councils as detailed in the framework established by Peru´s Water Resource Law.
• The Initiative has contributed to more than 20 meetings and spaces for analysis and reflection, regarding the outline for the creation of participative platforms for water management, visualizing existing experiences, generating synergies and offering advice to authorities. This has been complemented by technical assistance to the responsible authority.
Where do we work?
Governance.- The mechanisms, processes and "institutions" through which the State and civil society articulate their interests, exercise their powers, fulfill their obligations, offer explanations and mediate their differences.