Exchange of experiences in water quality monitoring and public and political advocacy in the Selva Maya

It has never been more pressing to protect water resources than it is now. In addition to the problems of non-sustainable use and contamination of water bodies, some effects of climate change such as droughts or floods are also present. The Selva Maya region, as well as having an abundance of water, also suffers from the loss or impact on this resource.

In view of the situation, the efforts made by different public and private organizations to achieve regional management of such a valuable ecosystem service as water, is commendable. With the facilitation of the GIZ Project “Support for the monitoring of biodiversity and climate change Monitoring in the Selva Maya”, in July 2020 the first tri-national exchange of experiences took place between the Plataforma Territorial de Diálogo de Petén for Guatemala; the civil association Agua Clara Ciudadanos por Bacalar for Mexico and the New River Task Force for Belize. These organizations carry out water quality monitoring tasks in their countries, with a view to having a political impact on the competent authorities.

During the virtual meeting, the state of different bodies of water in the Selva Maya was presented. The importance and challenges related to having a water quality monitoring system and the need of generating public and political advocacy were also discussed. Finally, it was an opportunity to develop capacities in the area of communication to the public. Since the objective is to influence key actors so that efforts become concrete in timely decision making, strategic communication becomes a necessary and functional tool.

“This kind of exchange helps us to identify strategic actors and to send key messages correctly”.

Agua Clara Ciudadanos por Bacalar