Organization of American States Summits of the Americas
Follow-up and Implementation: Mandates

ENVIRONMENT: Water Resources

  1. To decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere from agricultural, forestry, mining, and other land-use sectors, we commit to:

    • c. Pursue policies and develop mechanisms to improve the sustainable use and management of chemicals and technological practices, to promote the development of sustainable agriculture practices that maintain productivity and food security, and avoid negative impacts on local communities, rural producers, and consumers, and that support healthy terrestrial ecosystems, water systems, and the health of human populations and of fauna and flora in general; (Our Sustainable Green Future, IX Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, 2022).

  1. To harness the role of oceans and other bodies of water to mitigate and adapt to climate change and to contribute to global efforts to combat plastic pollution, we commit to:

    • a. Coordinate efforts and facilitate exchanges among governments and stakeholders to support the environmentally-sound management of plastic waste to take action against plastic pollution and the discharging of plastic into oceans, and welcoming the process launched at the resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) to negotiate a legally-binding international instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment;

    • d. Strive to conserve, protect, and restore coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, salt marshes, seagrass beds, and river grass beds that function as sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gas emissions, thereby helping to capture and store carbon as an ecosystemic service for oceans;

    • e. Engage and actively participate in the ocean-climate change dialogue within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) framework to promote adaptation and mitigation actions. (Our Sustainable Green Future, IX Summit of the Americas, Los Angeles, 2022).

  1. To promote the implementation of public policies, practices, and technologies to strengthen national capacities for proper integrated management of water resources. Thus, we reaffirm our commitment to the declaration “Water to Feed the Land,” adopted by the Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas in 2013. (Environment, Initiatives VII Summit of the Americas, Panama City, 2015).

  • II.4. Water Resources and Coastal Areas
    Recognizing that the primary challenges to the attainment of sustainable development in this area include:

    • 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,
    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).

  • 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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