International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

2nd Targeted Workshop for GEF IW Projects in LAC

14th June 2013 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
The 2nd Latin America & Caribbean Targeted Workshop for Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters (IW) Projects will be jointly organized by the International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (IW:LEARN), a GEF project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) & United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), together with the UNEP Caribbean Environment Program (UNEP-CEP). The workshop will take place at the University of Buenos Aires, directly following Workshop on Transboundary Cooperation, led by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and partners. The workshop will be centered on one theme: Catalyzing Sustained Governance of GEF IW project interventions.

Background & Activity Objectives

The IW:LEARN3 project, which became active in 2011 and will be active until mid 2014, has as one of its primary activities, the organization of regional workshops for GEF IW projects in three GEF regions: Latin America & the Caribbean, Asia & the Pacific and Latin America & the Caribbean. In each region, the project is partnered with an anchor institution to deliver these workshops. For GEF IW Projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, IW:LEARN has partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP). Through this partnership we seek to promote the building of individual capabilities as well as  institutional capacity in aspects of transboundary and integrated water resource management. The building of capacities will be done through improved knowledge-management including the strengthening of networks and communities-of-practice. In this context, CEP and IW:LEARN have agreed to cooperate in the support of 3 initial workshops and a variety of twinning exchanges over the next 2 years.

IW:LEARN works with UNESCO and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in support of global communities of practice for groundwater and surface freshwater projects. The activity’s overall objective is to increase communication between project managers of marine, surface freshwater, and groundwater resources and promote a more integrated and holistic approach to water resources management. The workshops are also about transferring management approaches, tools and best practices amongst GEF projects and partners to build capacity based on topics deemed the most appropriate by workshop participants. Finally, the workshops are also about supporting participation in the GEF IW Global Communities of Practice for surface freshwater, groundwater and soon also large marine ecosystems. The IW:LEARN activity also involves project-project twinning exchanges, and is also being mirrored into other GEF regions Africa, as well as Asia and the Pacific.

The first targeted workshop in the Latin America & Caribbean region (St. Kitts & Nevis, May 2012) identified priority topics around which to structure future regional workshops. Governance received a high ranking from GEF IW project managers during this prioritization session.

Workshop Objectives

The overall aim of the workshop will be to raise capacity among the GEF IW projects on aspects of governance, specifically concerning how project outcomes and results can be sustained through the right mix of governance structures, policies and legislation. In other words, how can GEF projects have greater and more sustained impact at national, sub-regional and regional levels and also become more effective catalysts for the improved governance of the water bodies they address? It is anticipated that an outcome will be the implementation  of  selected  approaches and methods discussed during the workshop  in the course of GEF IW project implementation.

Thus, the workshop has the following objectives:

  • Presentation of approaches and methodologies to establish governance structures and policies that facilitate the sustainability of GEF project outcomes, results and impacts.
  • Determination of key management actions GEF projects can deploy to become effective catalysts for improving governance at national, sub-regional and regional levels,

Workshop Outputs

  • Collection of learning resource guides, presentations and other materials added as guidance on, particularly through the IW project manager’s manual
  • Brief synopsis of applied governance methodologies by projects, the results and good practices from doing so in the context of sustaining project outcomes, enhancing positive impacts at national, sub-regional and regional levels and catalyzing improved governance
  • Generate list of management actions for making GEF IW project interventions more sustainable after project closure