Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru have attended workshops based on flood management case studies. “Most countries do not have a national flood program,” says Carlos Tucci, Chair of GWP South America. “But the workshops have already prompted the Government of Chile to adopt one. Attendance at such events has also spurred the mayors of several prominent cities to adopt urban master plans.” As a follow-up activity, GWP South America is now discussing how it can address the need for short courses on integrated flood management. “The courses will be targeted at water professionals, urban planners and other key decisionmakers,”Tucci explains.“We also want them to be self-financing, and this is a reasonable goal, given the current escalating costs of rebuilding infrastructure following flood damage.” The Central American Network of Educational Institutions (REDICA) has been focusing on climate change. In spite of a lack of funds, the members are highly committed and they have been conducting short courses and community-based research on adaptation to climate change.The network manager, Liliana Arrieta, is a lawyer, but she is working mainly with engineers.The progress being made demonstrates the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach when dealing with water issues.
NEW SOUTHEAST ASIA REGIONAL NETWORK A new capacity-building network for Southeast Asia (SEA-CapNet) was launched in December 2002 during a regional forum.The first task of the members was to present a status review of capacity-building initiatives in IWRM in their respective countries.While some important information was presented, it was agreed that a more detailed national and regional needs assessment should be undertaken. Initial assessments indicate that different countries are at different stages in adopting the principles of IWRM into their respective national policies, and that awareness among decisionmakers and politicians still needs further development. In addition, the implementation of IWRM requires new knowledge and skills. Traditional water management training and education institutions therefore need to adjust their curricula. As a first step, the network is preparing a regional training of trainers course on IWRM and river basin management. In addition to the status review, the forum created an opportunity for the capacity networks
from Indonesia and Malaysia to share their experiences in developing InaCapNet and MyCapNet, and a review of WaterNet, one of the longest-established networks, yielded some interesting lessons. A meeting of network managers provided a great opportunity for representatives from 19 different networks to exchange experiences, materials, tools and skills and they benefited from sharing lessons on how to make networks more effective (see box).Their challenge now is to turn intentions and agreements into action. “The main purpose of the national level networks is to co-ordinate the delivery of capacity building services at country level,” says Dr Pak Helmi, SEA-CapNet Manager. “Each country needs to tailor its capacity building services to its needs, to take account of local variations in political and administrative systems, the level of
The Latin American Water Education and Training Network (LA–WETnet) now has 47 members from 18 countries and is still growing. It is building urgently needed capacity in IWRM for flood control.
Global Water Partnership Annual Report