The Project for the Implementation of the River Plate Strategic Actions Program (PPM), led by the Intergovernmental La Plata Basin Committee (CIC) in partnership with the Organization of American States (OAS), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and CAF - Development Bank of Latin America, is meant to help preserve this vital body of water and promote regional integration and sustainable development in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The PPM is not a one-off plan, it is part of an overarching strategic regional water project with goals set for 2022. The purpose is to “solve problems such as lack of sanitation and pollution, as well as to facilitate access to safe water, help improve water quality and preserve ecosystems,” CAF Green Business Unit representative Mauricio Velasquez said.
This initiative coincides with the 50th anniversary of CAF and the La Plata Basin Treaty, signed in 1969 to foster the development of one of the world’s most important natural reservoirs. The basin’s main rivers - namely De la Plata, Paraná, Paraguay and Uruguay - offer an enormous potential to generate energy and are key to trade and regional advancement. Given the area’s importance, the CIC intends to carry out joint actions to improve the use of resources, boost regional development and fulfill the objectives set out in the La Plata Basin Treaty.
The porject is meant to help preserve this vital body of water and promote regional integration and sustainable development in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay
Between 2013 and 2016, the committee created a Framework Program for the sustainable management of water resources of the La Plata Basin as a response to impacts caused by climate variability and change. A year later, the organization identified the need to continue working on coordinated actions through cross-border diagnostic analysis and came up with the “Foundations for the Implementation of the La Plata Basin Strategic Action Program,” which outlined an assortment of actions aimed at “improving water safety, resilience to climate, environmental degradation and ecosystem health,” CIC Pro Tempore President Myriam Fraschini said.
Meanwhile, Uruguayan Minister of Housing, Land Management and Environment Eneida de León emphasized that the “widespread presence of cyanobacteria and algae throughout the River Plate Basin” is a clear indication that the region must ”adjust productive development and focus on human settlements.” “We need to work together to improve early warning systems and combat these phenomena,” she said.
During the opening ceremony, a Letter of Understanding was signed between the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and CIC. The agreement is seen as the first step towards a greater synergy between the two international bodies, which should help improve relevant studies and analyses.