“Community-Based Water Management and Environmental Education in Times of Climate Change”
Organized and hosted by the Ecoar Institute for Citizenship São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — 22-29 August, 2010
The Inception Meeting provided the opportunity for project partners to meet each other and to discuss their individual contributions and shared goals for the project, fine-tune the project’s methodology, and compare notes on the pre-project situation related to climate change, water governance, and related community-based initiatives in each of the three cities.
The purpose of this meeting was to:
- Get to know each other as project partners and discuss the CCAA program and this project’s structure, goals, and methodologies as approved by IDRC.
- Present to each other our own various backgrounds and areas of work and expertise, as well as the existing situation in each city in relation to climate change, water governance, and civil society involvement – in a form which could provide the basis for a publication on these issues.
- Visit several examples of Brazilian community-based initiatives related to water and community action in times of climate change, and consider a range of ideas on how to approach our project.
- Develop a shared approach and agree on our project’s priorities, focus, methodologies, budget, and workplan for the coming year, including plans for the next project team meeting in 2011, and finalize Memoranda of Understanding to serve as the basis for our individual and organizational involvement with the project.
Inter-municipal Consortium of the Piracicaba, Capivari, and Jundiai River Basins
(situated north of São Paulo in Americana City)
On August 24, 2010, workshop participants visited the Intermunicipal Consortium of the Piracicaba, Capivari, and Jundiai (PCJ) River Basin in Americana City. The PCJ watershed supplies water to São Paulo and this inter-watershed transfer from the PCJ river basin to the Upper Tiête river basin is the largest of its kind in Brazil.
The consortium, founded in 1989, is made up of 59 municipalities, as well as a number of businesses and civil society members, and it carries out water projects (both social and infrastructure-related) in the PCJ river basin.
The consortium has a large headquarters site in Americana City, which houses offices, training rooms, and a sustainable model home, with exhibits on different sustainable design options for water and energy conservation. The consortium offers a number of programs on environmental education, watershed management, investment, and solid waste. During the visit, workshop participants were able to listen in on a water and environmental training session for government workers.
Workshop participants learned about how the consortium supports water management in the region, including how the use of water is monitored and controlled and how drinking water is treated.
Participants learned about the role that sector associations play in the management of water resources, including their role in water use and pricing decisions and pollution control. These associations are made up of various stakeholders, including civil society, farming associations, manufacturing associations, etc. The revenue collected from water use pricing is then invested in community programming to develop infrastructure and educational programs.
Workshop participants received complimentary copies of consortium educational materials (i.e. books and posters) to take back to Africa and use as visual aids in community workshops. The Consortium, and its structure and funding based in Brazil’s Water Law, provide a model for water governance and community education that may have relevance in African contexts, from the local to the regional/international.
The Consortium’s educational programs for government officials, NGOs and community members were also interesting and inspirational. Its headquarters, with classrooms and exhibits as well as model buildings demonstrating energy efficiency, recycling, waste management and water conservation, showed examples of what can be done to advance environmental education for improved water governance and civil society participation. We will be able to build upon contacts we made with Consortium staff for ongoing communication about water and climate change education and policy steps throughout our project and into the future.
Second Visit – agua doce – inception meeting report