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Sunday, 18 February 2018 05:21

Lake Titicaca Basin: Peru and Bolivia : Enhancing transboundary cooperation through technical coordination and institutional reforms

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Lake Titicaca exists within a fragile high altitude ecosystem shared between Boliva and Peru. Since 2011, BRIDGE has been working in Lake Titicaca basin taking a non-conventional approach to water diplomacy promoting better cooperation. The region has a long history of technical expertise and water resource management with a transboundary institution established in 1993 on Lake Titicaca. Over the last two decades increasing development has put pressure on politicians to address necessary reforms of national and bi-national water institutions governing the basin.

Responding to these challenges, BRIDGE has played an essential role in enabling and facilitating changes through a multi-level water diplomacy programme to build good water governance capacity. The programme uses a combination of knowledge and information tools, procedural advice and technical support, capacity building and training to strengthen relations between stakeholders across local, provincial, national, and regional levels.

Experiences in Lake Titicaca have illustrated that water diplomacy is a stepwise process that must incorporate a multiplicity of agreements. While under the authority of national governments, working across scales has the potential to encourage cooperation among multiple stakeholders, including at the level of municipalities and provinces. For cooperation to occur, space must be developed for dialogue and shared learning to create an environment where joint actions can be taken. A key learning from the Lake Titicaca case study is that water governance can be achieved through a variety of institutional arrangements ranging from formal regional authorities to informal leadership networks that transmit essential knowledge through non-conventional channels. BRIDGE has also learned that formal changes can come from a series of seemingly unpredictable steps by altering stakeholders thinking and actions through discourse – influenced by knowledge and training.

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