The support Center for sustainable water and environment management known as “Agua Sustentable” is a non-profit NGO whose purpose is to contribute to water sustainability and environment management at national and international levels. Its work focuses in the building of knowledge, policies, institutions and regulations oriented to generate group wellbeing and environmental & socio-economic development of local populations. These action lines are achieved through social and community capacity development and strengthening, by promoting citizen participation and responsibility in the care of water basins & sources and others that derive from their use. The institution considers that water is a human right and their use is a priority for life; that is human consumption and productive activities related to food security and environment.
Local communities, social and citizenship organizations, economic and productive agents, civil society institutional networks, public and social institutions; and local, regional, departmental, and national governments carry-out a comprehensive and sustainable management of the environment and its fresh water resources, by knowing and exercising full respect towards Human rights, both group and individual; within a plurality, intercultural and equitable framework, benefiting a better quality of life, guaranteeing water usage for human consumption and productive activities associated to food security.
Agua Sustentable seeks to contribute towards water and environment sustainable management at national and international levels, through the building of knowledge, policies, institutions and regulations orientated to generate group wellbeing and environmental & socio-development of local populations, by developing and strengthening social and community capacities, promoting citizen participation and responsibility in the care and group management of water basins & sources and others that derive from their use. All these, following the principle that water is a human right and that their use is a priority for life; that is human consumption and productive activities related to food security and environment.
To promote and strengthen local, departmental, national and international processes, by interacting with the civil society and public institutions in the construction, consolidation and application of a regulatory and institutional framework for environment, biodiversity, and water management and others that derive from their use, by recognizing and respecting plurality, promoting inter-culturality and equity on the basis of human rights to both, healthy water and environment.
Agua Sustentable started its work in 2005 with the support of IDRC. Later on, other funders decided to support this initiative: INTERCOOPERATION – COSUDE, DIAKONIA, INTERMON – OXFAM, AFCI, ACSUR Las Segovias, DANIDA, IAL, DIAKONIA and ICCO.
The institution focuses on research, advocacy, training, and technical management at local, regional, national and international levels. Advocacy is key in the institution, achieved through the establishment of strategic alliances with social organizations, institutions and generation of spaces for public-social debate (main scenarios to reach agreements, planning, and decisions among social and public players).
In the international sphere, water research and free trade agreements were developed; also regulations, projects on drinking water services and poverty; water rights, and citizen management agreements. In the same manner, based on a specific study about borderline waters (such as those located in the Silala – border with Chile and Mauri – border with Peru) spaces for social public debate are promoted to build state policies and promote an appropriate management of borderline basins.
In the national sphere, Agua Sustentable has played an important role, supporting civil society institutions on the building of proposals and public policies (regulations for irrigation, drinking water, fresh water resources and basic services; basin’s comprehensive management, climate change, borderline water, among others). Likewise, support for the implementation of these regulations was given, mainly on rights promotion, contributing with technical and legal tools to foster public management and rights’ exercising.
Regarding contamination, support was given to the establishment of Pilcomayo River Defense Committee. Besides these important contributions to fresh water sources sustainable management, a constitutional proposal for water, biodiversity, and environment was built with social organizations.
The most important achievement in this process is the “constitutionalization” of “water right for life”, which established water, as the most fundamental right for life. Locally, Agua Sustentable has provided training on water healthy management in rural and peri-urban areas. On the other hand, case studies on climate change effects and melting of glaciers were done in native peasant communities that are dependent on the Mururata and Illimani snow Peak Mountains in Bolivia.
Addressing water problems, from a technical-scientific and social-political dimension, and the objective of Agua Sustentable has allowed developing important skills that can be replicated in different social learning processes related to water issues.
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