Towards just water governance in Colombia: A dialogue on the Transformative Water Pact | Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) Skip to content Skip to navigation
23 March 2023

UN 2023 Water Conference virtual side event

Ecosystems such as wetlands, paramos, rivers and other hydrosystems, as well as the people who inhabit them, are fundamental to mitigate the water crisis. However, the growing socio-environmental conflicts over competition for water uses are evidence of the strong pressure on water resources exerted by large-scale mining and other extractive industries in Colombia and Latin America. Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, peasant communities and urban dwellers continue to demand judicial protection of their human rights to water and environmental participation due to the impacts generated by human activity.

This event presented The Transformative Water Pact (TWP), an innovative framework for water governance that has been developed by environmental justice experts from around the world. The TWP served as a starting point for dialogue between representatives of the government of Colombia, academia, regional and international NGOs in relation to Colombia’s current ambitions in multi-scalar water governance. Specific attention was given to the ways in which indigenous, ethnic and bio-cultural approaches can be used to create stronger synergies between communities and formal institutions within the context of water governance. We also discussed challenges that still remain in protecting strategic ecosystems in the region and the lessons learned from the environmental movement in Colombia, linking them to policy recommendations for transformative water governance at the regional level.



  • Murtah Shannon, Policy Advisor, Both ENDS.
  • Yeny Rodríguez, Attorney, Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA). 
  • Fabián Caicedo, Director de Gestión Integral del Recurso Hídrico, Ministerio de Ambiente de Colombia. 
  • Violet Matiru, Executive Director, Millenenium Community Development Initiative (MCDI), Kenia.
  • Bhanumathi Kalluri, Director, Dhaatri Trust, India.




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