In the framework of the UN 2023 Water Conference, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, ACTO, and UNESCO executed the side event Transboundary Cooperation and Science for the Sustainable Management of Amazon Waters. In this event, they presented the works of cooperation and implementation of actions, along with those of science and investigation, that the countries are conducting the implementation of indicator 6.5.2 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Amazon basin.
This event was attended by the presence of the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Luis Arce Catacora, and representatives of international cooperation.
The opening of the event was held by the Secretary General of ACTO, Alexandra Moreira, highlighting the importance of the Amazon basin and the cooperation on transboundary waters as a key to guaranteeing the sustainable management of water resources and achieving the indicator 6.5.2 of SDG, which focuses on the transboundary cooperation for integrated management of water resources at all levels, national, regional and multilateral.
Moreover, Moreira cited the Strategic Action Plan of ACTO, the catalyst element to accomplishing integrated management of water resources, which leads to water safety, considering the adaptation to climate variability under a common and shared vision.
The President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Luis Arce Catacora, in his presentation, pointed out that transboundary cooperation at the interface between science and politics is vital. “We need to work together to share knowledge, resources, and the best practices for the sustainable management of Amazon Waters.”
Furthermore, the Bolivian leader reiterated that his country would remain engaged in preserving and protecting the Amazon, including its important aquifers, promoting cooperation with the member countries of ACTO and other regional organizations. Also, he called for everybody to collaborate technically and scientifically to improve the sustainable management of Amazon Waters and develop solutions benefitting everybody in the framework of different national circumstances and needs and sovereign policies.
The regional hydrologist of PHI of LAC-Unesco, Miguel Doria, explained that the reason for his participation was the cooperation of countries to achieve the indicators of SDG 6 in terms of waters, sanitation, sustainability, and collaboration.
Director President of the National Water and Sanitation Agency (ANA, Brazil), Verónica Sánchez, highlighted the importance of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty. “For Brazil, this Treaty represents a shared management between 7 countries of the region in a peaceful manner, where all the member countries have the opportunity to dialogue and to make decisions unanimously.”
“In the Amazon basin, in cooperation with ACTO, we have a shared hydrometeorology which lets us manage together and have a warning system on monitoring drought and floods, which allows us to notify the countries of extreme hydrological events in advance,” said Sánchez.
The Regional Chief of the Water and Sanitation Division Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Gustavo Méndez, presented the initiatives that are being developed in the Amazon basin in conjunction with ACTO and said that talking about the water resources of a region is talking about the fuel of the economy, the regional development.
Undersecretary of Environment and President of CeReGAS, Gerardo Amrailla, argued that the underground water is an invaluable wealth that we should all know, understand, and take advantage of to achieve sustainable development.
The representative of the Scientific Panel for the Amazon, Sebastián Heilpern, explained that ACTO is an example of transboundary collaboration not only in terms of planning but also in the exchange of information among the actors.
In this opportunity, the first report on the Status of Water Quality in the Amazon Basin was launched, a result of joint work among the National Water and Sanitation Agency (ANA, Brazil), ACTO, and institutions of the 8 Amazonian countries responsible for the environmental public policies and management of water resources, sharing monitoring data of their national network.