Follow-up and Implementation: Mandates
ENVIRONMENT: Water Resources MANDATES
II.4. Water Resources and Coastal Areas
Recognizing that the primary challenges to the attainment of sustainable development in this area include:
Taking into consideration the social, economic, and environmental value of inland, coastal, and marine water resources, the Governments will carry out the following initiatives (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).
- Assurance and improvement of the conservation, sustainable management and utilization of water resources, including the development of integrated programs and institutional capacity;
- Prevention of the contamination of water resources and assurance that drinking water supplies are safe and adequate;
- Promotion of cooperation among countries at bilateral, subregional, regional, and hemispheric levels on water resources issues;
- Promotion of user participation in the decision-making process on water resources management;
- Conservation and utilization, in a sustainable manner, of inland, coastal, and marine water resources, including wetlands, in the region;
- Promotion of the integrated management and sustainable development of the marine environment and coastal areas; and
- Prevention and control of environmental degradation caused by pollution and the unsustainable use of inland, coastal, and marine water resources that threaten human health and the economic viability and environmental integrity of these resources,
Initiative 48. Implement, in accordance with national laws and practice, integrated water resources management actions using watersheds and river basins as planning units whenever possible. These actions should include surface water and groundwater assessments and the preparation of strategic plans for water resource management, as well as the use of water utility revenues under local control, where appropriate, to fund watershed protection and the work of river basin authorities. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).
Initiative 49. Develop, strengthen, implement, and coordinate at the national or local level, as appropriate, water resources policies, laws, and regulations to ensure the protection and conservation of water resources. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).
Initiative 50. Promote hemispheric cooperation at all levels, including through the use of existing transboundary agreements and initiatives, in the conservation, management, and sustainable use of water resources and biological diversity. This would include the exchange of information and experiences on issues related to inland watersheds, river basins, and sub-basins. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).
Initiative 53. Promote public participation in the planning and decision-making process related to water resources. Public participation could be enhanced through education and awareness programs in schools and local communities. Where appropriate, establish public-private partnerships to promote programs that encourage compliance with laws and the adoption of mitigation measures to address water resources issues. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).
Initiative 54. Develop and strengthen at the national and regional levels, as appropriate, research and monitoring capabilities pertaining to the conservation of inland, coastal, and marine water resources , especially in relation to environmental health parameters, including sanitary water quality criteria and the health status of coral reefs, mangroves, and sea grass beds. In this regard, consideration should be given to the work being done in the region, which should be continued. Data collected will be incorporated into a study that will document the current state of health of the coastal and marine environment; establish benchmark indicators for assessing the effectiveness of national, regional, and international instruments and initiatives; and identify and categorize land and marine-based sources of pollution. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).
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