Waterways and Livelihoods – A Workshop for Latin America
Bluefields, Nicaragua. 24th – 27th October 2005
This IFRTD regional workshop, initiated as part of the International Waterways and Livelihoods Programme http://www.ruralwaterways.org/, attracted participants from community level organizations through to local government across the region. Unexpected participants also included the Vice-Mayor of Bluefields who stayed to join in discussions after giving his welcome speech, and the Director of the local Port Authority who joined the workshop after meeting participants on their field trip. International participants from Uganda, the UK, and Indonesia shared the findings of the IFRTD’s Waterways and Livelihoods Research programme (2002 – 2003), which have now been fully translated into Spanish.
Over 4 days workshop participants explored the state of rural water transport in Latin America, highlighting key issues and the potential for change. Small group work maximised opportunities for all participants to share their experiences and forge new collaborative partnerships. While field trips to waterway dependent communities put workshop discussions into context. Interesting points of debate included the positive and negative impacts of regulations on small boat users, how to influence policy makers, the context of decentralisation, and environmentally and economically viable boat technologies, in particular the potential for introducing Longtail and diesel engines in Latin America (Longtails are already in use in Peru as the Peque Peque).
Participants made personal commitments to take the issues discussed forward in their work and to form a community of practitioners interested in issues of rural water transport in Latin America.
IFRTD would like to thank SIDA and DANIDA who co-funded the workshop and in particular the DANIDA team in Bluefields who hosted and organized the workshop.
The workshop presentations and report will soon be made available at http://www.ruralwaterways.org/
To join the Latin America community of Practice on Waterways and Livelihoods please email Ana.Bravo@ifrtd.org