Revitalizing governance for adaptation

Published: 08 January 2021
Last edited: 17 March 2021

To be effective, governance for adaptation must be multidimensional and participatory, which entails involving farmers, municipalities, ministries and other public institutions in the area, community leaders, public health units and educators, in water management and adaptation processes. In the Sumpul River, this was achieved particularly through "action learning" processes and the revitalization of the Binational Community Committee of the Sub-basin. The work and local legitimacy of the Binational Committee was enriched by the inclusion of community bodies that for years were disjointed and lacked participation, such as the Water Committees, which are important entities in each community. New management instruments were also generated, leadership and the active participation of youth and women was promoted within the Binational Committee, and training and exchange of experiences were carried out for collective learning. Other contributions to governance came from producers who implemented EbA measures on their farms (and are now spokespersons for the benefits derived from such measures) and from municipalities (La Palma and San Ignacio) that integrated the EbA approach into their policies through the formulation of Local Adaptation Plans.


Alliance and partnership development
Co-management building
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Legal and policy frameworks, policy advocacy
Management planning
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Documentation and dissemination of results

Enabling factors

  • The prior existence (since 2012) of the Binational Committee is a key enabling factor, as it was not necessary to start from scratch, an existing structure could instead be strengthened through restructuring, after a diagnosis of its operations and key actors/leaderships.
  • In order for the Water Committees to contribute to a shared management model with a basin-wide vision in the Binational Committee, they must first improve their own organizational and management capacities, to then be better able to advocate for and represent their communities.

Lessons learned

  • Having biophysical studies and specific technical information on water resources and EbA facilitated the processes of raising awareness, motivating participation, adopting agreements and implementing targeted actions, which in turn helped to avoid the dispersion of resources.
  • Increasing the effectiveness and sustainability of governance processes entails constant efforts over many years, which often exceed the duration of cooperation projects. Therefore, it is convenient to seek to, on the one hand, maximize synergies between projects and, on the other hand, maintain a presence and accompaniment in the territory through successive projects.

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