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Andean Community Adopts Common Strategy for Integrated Water Management

23 August 2011: The Andean Community's (CAN) chief decision making body, the Council of Foreign Ministers, adopted a legally binding Decision creating an Andean Strategy for the Integrated Management of Water Resources (known  by its Spanish acronym, GIRH). It is estimated that CAN accounts for 10 percent of the world's freshwater.

The Decision, adopted on 22 August 2011, charges the environment ministers and chiefs of national water authorities in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru with implementing the Strategy by formulating a joint Action Plan and set of specific follow-up projects.

The Strategy outlines seven broad lines of action, each with specific actions envisaged: knowledge management, including the design and establishment of an Andean Information System on Water Resources; strengthening of governance, including subregional dialogue regarding participation in international fora on water issues; subregional and international cooperation for GIRH implementation; promotion of conservation and sustainable use of water resources; responses to the effects of climate change on water resources; promotion and aid to the integrated management of transfrontier water basins, including promoting agreements between member countries on such basins; and promotion of GIRH guidelines and actions of member countries in the Amazon Basin. [CAN Press Release (Spanish only)]