Expert Workshop: Role of Regional Organizations in the International Waters Focal Area

STAP/GEF Technical Workshop
Hosted by the Organization of American States
Washington, DC

A two day expert workshop (June 11th – June 12th), co-organized by members of the STAP, OAS, UNEP and the GEF Secretariat, provided a platform to discuss the preliminary findings of the upcoming report – The Political Economy of Regionalism and International Waters. The report explores the increasing influence of regional political and economic organizations such as – the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Organization of American States (OAS), Central American Integration System (SICA), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and others – in various projects and programs developed by the International Waters focal area of the GEF. These regional organizations together form regional governance frameworks and networks which are aimed at improving cooperation, trade and exchange within these emerging regional structures. Such systems of integration could benefit GEF interventions through stronger channels of formal and informal cooperation at regional level

IW workshop Participant Photo

The workshop took on a two pronged approach addressing the extent and manner in which regionalization processes influence GEF interventions and how GEF interventions can be better positioned in these processes for mutual benefit. The first day commenced with information sessions where members from various regional organizations across the world presented on different aspects of regional integration. The following day comprised of a detailed and comprehensive discussion in plenary – including representatives from regional organizations around the world, the co-authors of the report, and other experts from STAP and the GEF. The discussion was divided according to the following sub categories – The Political Economy Context, Regionalism and the Governance Systems. Overall, discussions from the workshop called for a more practical application of the theoretical analysis, addressed the difficulties in making overall regional decisions due to the varying political and economic structures within a region itself and explored the structuring and evaluation mechanisms of effective governance frameworks.

The Presentations from the Workshop are listed below

  • Ivan Zavadsky – International Waters Focal Area Coordinator, GEF Secretariat | GEF IS Strategy for the 6th replenishment period
  • Phera Ramoeli – Senior Program Officer at Southern African Development Community Secretariat, Botswana | Experience from SADC and the transboundary river basin commissions
  • Hamukaya Hashali – Executive Secretary at the Benguela Current Commission, Namibia | Science to Governance in the BCLME: Two decades of institutional and capacity building for integrated transboundary LME management
  • Cansius Kabungo Kanagire – Executive Secretary of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Rwanda | The role of LVBC in the EAC developmental and integration agenda
  • Peter Kanyi Maina – Senior Economist/M&E/ NBI/ NELSAP, Rwanda | The role of NELSAP in regional integration
  • Tuğba Evrim Madem – ORSAM, Water Research Programme, Turkey | Turkey and the implementation of the EU aquis in the context of transboundary river basins
  • Martha Jarosewich – Holder –The World Bank, Central Asia Energy Water Development Program, USA) | Lessons from the Regionalization of Water Programs in the Americas
  • Cletus Springer – Director, Department of Sustainable Development, OAS, USA | Lessons from the Regionalization of Water Programs in the Americas
  • Robin Mahon – Director of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies, University of West Indies, Barbados | The importance of regional cooperation and governance arrangements for Small Island Developing States

Prepared By: Francisna Fernando