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Transboundary governance

Bi-national forums

Historically, there has been no coordination of basin management between Mexico and Guatemala for the Coatán and Suchiate rivers. WANI and partners convened the first bi-national forum of mayors to jointly analyze and identify environmental problems in the two basins. This culminated in the signing in December 2006 of the ‘Tapachula Declaration of Intent’ by mayors on both sides of the border to cooperate in joint actions on watershed management. This provides a platform for information sharing by governmental agencies of Mexico and Guatemala. Actions are now being coordinated to protect forests through joint actions for the prevention and control of forest fires, as well as actions in protected areas.

Shared principles

WANI aimed to promote and facilitate national and transboundary governance approaches similar to those in the Volta River Basin in West Africa where WANI supported the development of a Code of Conduct for the management of water resources. In general, codes of conduct are typically used to establish a set of shared principles or guidelines that will guide the behavior of a set of actors. Two Draft Codes of Conducts were prepared in 2008 for the Tacaná watersheds. A draft technical action plan for shared watersheds management was produced by technical staff from universities and other institutions from both countries, as an initial step, with support from WANI. A technical group with the participation of scientists and technical staff from each country was formed and several coordination meetings took place.
Since 2008, WANI and partners have facilitated in high level training courses on transboundary watersheds in Guatemala and Mexico. Participants expressed the importance of sharing lessons learned between countries and how these training workshops facilitated this type of discussion. (IUCN 2012)