The AN3 project worked to develop ‘hydro-literacy’ among communities in basins throughout the Andean region, enabling local communities to use collective action to design and implement benefit-sharing mechanisms for water. CPWF has aimed to improve links between agriculture and water and increase access to water for all water users, with a special emphasis on improving the hydro-literacy of the basin’s poorest people.
CPWF has promoted the use of ‘conversatorios’: a facilitation framework through which stakeholders can come together to define the key issues causing water-related conflicts in the basin and identify any politically and socially acceptable benefit- sharing mechanisms that could prevent conflicts. Stakeholders assess potential mechanisms using two tools: the AguaAndes Negotiation Support System and the Water Evaluation Planning System, which provide valuable information related to regional water resources and water allocation baselines and can assess the impacts of potential scenarios. By highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of potential benefit-sharing mechanism schemes, the tools can help local stakeholders develop hydro-literacy.
If, after reviewing information and scenarios, stakeholders agree on a way forward, then they can partner to secure funding and implement the benefit-sharing mechanism. In this way, science- based tools are applied to develop benefit-sharing strategies that are equitably negotiated using a common platform, where everyone has access to the same information.
Outcomes: Change in Knowledge and Policy
- CPWF researchers helped voiceless communities in the Coello-Combeima Rivers basin in Colombia to become informed participants in political decision-making. Local stakeholders negotiated with more than 15 local, regional, and national institutions and contributed to 28 binding agreements on investments and management for the conservation and protection of strategic areas, reconversion of productive systems, and basic sanitation and potable water
- CPWF prompted a group of decision makers, established by the Bolivian Ministry of Environment and Water, to shift their discussions from focusing solely on how to increase water supply for the main cities in the La Paz/El Alto watershed to understanding the need for establishing an integrated water resources management strategy that boosts benefits for all water users.
- CPWF researchers partnered with students and professors at universities in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru to increase their knowledge about benefit-sharing mechanisms. As a result, tools to promote benefit-sharing mechanisms are now better integrated into academic institutions and policy.
King’s College London, SEI, CIAT, UNAL
Mark Mulligan, email@example.com