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Watershed management critical to OECS countries development goals

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Contact:  OECS Secretariat


Tuesday 27 September 2011 The second in a series of workshops to create a forum for technical practitioners and decision-makers to address the current regional trends of land-use and watershed management that pose a threat to long-term economic development goals and building resilience to the impacts of climate change begins here today.     


In recent years, the Eastern Caribbean islands have experienced long periods of drought, exposing the challenge of decreased groundwater production, resulting from watershed degradation.  Meanwhile, demand for water is increasing and some countries are considering expensive alternatives such as water importation, desalination and rain water harvesting.


During the first workshop, sponsored by the World Bank and held in St. Lucia in March 2011, the focus was on building the capacity of technical practitioners to effectively communicate policy recommendations by examining current and future data needs and assessment tools to support this level of responsibility.


The workshop, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the “Reducing risk to human and natural assets resulting from climate change project, will build the capacity of decision and policy makers to utilize the information generated by water resources management practitioners. 


This would empower the decision makers to examine the effects of current water resource management policies, which may have directly contributed to watershed degradation and reduced freshwater availability, on critical economic sectors.  


Today’s workshop will provide the framework for decision-makers to explore integrated, cross-sectoral approaches to better manage surface and ground water supplies, particularly given the need to build resilience of OECS Member States in light of the imperatives of climate change.

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