STRENGTHENING CITIZEN PARTICIPATION: POLICY, REPRESENTATIVITY AND CHALLENGES (SPECIAL SESSION)
STRENGTHENING CITIZEN PARTICIPATION: POLICY, REPRESENTATIVITY AND CHALLENGES
The challenges listed in the session concern ensuring the effective participation of all sectors of society in water governance. To this end, the challenge was raised to deliberate clearly on the projects and programs that may actually be implemented, and the need for funding to the institutions so that the collective interest is defended rather than the financiers’ interests.
The great recommendations of the session were linked to major challenges: the participation of all user sectors and dialogue for conflict resolution, with the basin councils or committees being the best stage for all actors to come together and find better solutions for water management; the encouragement of society’s participation in resolutions, especially of ordinary citizens, ensuring their representativeness and gender balance; improved communication of councils to the population by introducing more participants with good local visibility, such as community leaders, teachers, health workers, journalists and influencers; use accessible language; institutionalize public participation in the process, including identifying key actors and giving them a voice; In some cases it may be necessary to empower actors for effective participation. Achieving local community membership requires adding local cultural values to water-related discussions.
Considering these challenges, as trends are pointed the broad social mobilization of community groups, with a process of collective decision making; increased trust, transparency, communication, participation and effective representation; greater indigenous representation; greater importance to the qualification and training of management participants. The need to consider the environmental impacts arising from water uses was pointed out; dialogue in conflict resolution and to consider water resources as a major asset of the world, seeking equitable economic and social growth.
JEAN-FRANÇOIS DONZIER – FRANCE
LUPÉRCIO ZIROLDO – BRAZIL
ALEXANDRA MAYA W. MAGALHÃES – BRAZIL
PAULO LOPES VARELLA – BRAZIL
BELINDA C. CONSTANT – USA
CHARAFAT AFAILAL – MOROCCO
MANUEL GÓMEZ MELCHOR – MEXICO
PAVEL PUNOCHÁ – CZECH REPUBLIC
HAMED DIANE SEMEGA – SENEGAL
AZIZA AKHMOUCH – MOROCCO