11 May 2023
As part of its Global Initiative, AEBR coordinated the initiative “Strengthening transboundary governance of water basins” financed by the European Commission’s Triangular Cooperation Window ‘ADELANTE’ (Adelante2). The objective was to improve the socio-economic and environmental development of the border territories, incorporating a gender perspective and the inclusion of young people. Together with AEBR, the partners conforming the Alliance were: the Binational Authority of Lake Titicaca (ALT | ALT (alt-perubolivia.org)) and the Uruguay Mayors Congress (Congreso de Intendentes – GUB.UY (www.gub.uy), both with whom AEBR had a long trajectory of cooperation and partnership.
This Initiative consisted mainly in three activities. Firstly, in November 2022 a study visit to European cross-border basins to the Rhine River and to the Minho River and Alqueva Lake on the Spanish-Portuguese border was organised, aiming to share information and experiences about governance models and cross-border structures. In March, a seminar on transboundary cooperation and environmental sustainability of water basins was held in La Paz (Bolivia). Lastly, the final event took place in May 2023.
Concretely, during the first week of May, a delegation of local and national authorities from Bolivia and Peru, together with representatives from AEBR and European cross-boder river basins (EGTC Rio Minho (https://aectriominho.eu/), International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine river (https://www.iksr.org/) and Central Commission for the Navigation on the Rhine (https://www.ccr-zkr.org/)) met with regional and national representatives from the Uruguay river basin. Through a series of seminars, institutional meetings and study visits, the delegation became familiar with cross-border cooperation structures along the Uruguay-Argentina border, both at national level (Commission for the Administration of the Uruguay River – CARU (https://www.caru.org.uy/web/)) and the Joint Technical Commission of Salto Grande (https://www.saltogrande.org/) and at the local level (Committee for the Integration of the Uruguay River). As closing event, on May 5th, AEBR joined for the creation of a Euro-Latin American network for the promotion of local transboundary governance in water basins. High-level representatives from the participant countries, including the Ambassador of Germany and the European Union Delegation in Uruguay, attended the event.
The so-called Declaration of Montevideo was signed by AEBR, the Committee for the Development of the Uruguay River Basin, the Binational Authority of Lake Titicaca and the Catamayo-Chira Basin (Ecuador-Perú).
Several European cross-border structures have participated in the implementation of this Initiative, such as EGTC Rio Minho, the Transboundary Association of Municipalities of Lake Alqueva (ATLA (at-lagoalqueva.eu)), EUROACE (Euroace (euro-ace.eu)) and the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine River. And, from Latin American side, the Agency for the Merin Lagoon (Uruguay-Brazil).
From AEBR, we are already establishing contact with other basins both in Europe and Latin America (as the Sixaola basin, or the Danube river) to increase the partnership of the network in the near future, as it is already raising promising expectations.