Ministers Adopt Andean Environment Agenda, Water Resources Management Action Plan
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The Andean Community Environment Ministers have approved a 2012-16 Andean Environment Agenda with actions on biodiversity, climate change and water resources, and an action plan to implement the Andean Strategy for Integrated Management of Water Resources adopted in August 2011.

11 April 2012: The Andean Community (CAN) has approved the Andean Environmental Agenda (known by its Spanish acronym AAA) for the period 2012-2016, outlining common actions and capacity-building measures regarding climate change, biodiversity and water resources for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and the Action Plan for implementing CAN’s Andean Strategy for Integrated Management of Water Resources (known by its Spanish acronym GIRH).

The decisions were taken during the Sixth Regular Meeting Andean Council of Ministers of the Environment and Sustainable Development, held by video conference on 10 April 2012.

The three main axes of the AAA are biodiversity, climate change and water resources. In the first area, the Agenda envisions the following actions during 2012-16: strengthening and sharing experiences in biodiversity management, with emphasis on protected areas; identifying the benefits of sustainable biodiversity management; promoting joint initiatives on biosafety; strengthening and promoting sub-regional actions to improve civil society participation in the benefits of biodiversity use; strengthening national processes aimed at protecting traditional knowledge; developing joint actions regarding the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS); and exchanging information on regulations for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

On climate change, the AAA calls for formulating an Andean Plan of Action on Climate Change, constructing a sub-regional scientific research agenda on climate change and creating a sub-regional panel of climate scientists. It envisions strengthening capacity in the use of technological tools for adaptation and mitigation, and strengthening the National Climate Observatory Systems. The AAA also calls for, inter alia: identifying and analyzing the effects of climate change on desertification and biodiversity, and the implications for the global instruments on both; supporting national adaptation plans and programmes; strengthening capacity to undertake sub-regional mitigation actions; promoting national and sub-regional actions to combat deforestation, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, sequester carbon, and promote sustainable production and consumption; promoting national and sub-regional initiatives on renewable energy and energy efficiency; and forming a common Andean front in global climate change negotiations.

On GIRH, the AAA calls for strengthening knowledge, information and research management, fomenting campaigns on responsible and efficient water use, strengthening institutional and normative frameworks, promoting technical and financial cooperation, fomenting water pollution prevention and control measures, and evaluating the impacts of climate change and climate variability on Andean water resources, and fomenting appropriate adaptation measures.

The Action Plan adopted by the Ministers specifies actions, activities, indicators and desired results for each of the GIRH Strategy’s seven areas, namely: knowledge management, including the design and establishment of an Andean Information System on Water Resources; strengthened governance, including sub-regional dialogue regarding participation in international fora on water issues; sub-regional and international cooperation for GIRH implementation; promotion of conservation and sustainable use of water resources; responses to the effects of climate change on water resources; promotion and aid to the integrated management of transfrontier water basins, including promoting agreements between member countries on such basins; and promotion of GIRH guidelines and actions of member countries in the Amazon Basin. [CAN Press Release (in Spanish)] [IISD RS Article on GIRH]

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