THE SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN PROJECT

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1 Formulation of a Strategic Actions Program for the Integrated Management of the Hydrological Resources and Sustainable Development of the San Juan River Basin and its Coastal zone PROCUENCA SAN JUAN

2 THE SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN PROJECT It is a binational project that promotes the integrated management of the hydrological resources of the San Juan river basin and its coastal area. It is executed by the governments of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, through their respective ministries of the environment in each country.

3 PROJECT LOCATION SOUTHERN NICARAGUA AND NORTHERN COSTA RICA AMÉRICA CENTRAL NICARAGUA PROJECT AREA COSTA RICA

4 DESCRIPTION OF THE BASIN Shared between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. There are 36 municipalities in Nicaragua and 7 in Costa Rica. NICARAGUA The extension is km 2 and it includes the coastal area of the Caribbean, km 2 (64%) in Nicaragua and km2 (36%) in Costa Rica Subsystems: - Lake Cocibolca - San Juan River - Coastal area It represents the largest reservoir of fresh water in Central America and second in Latin America. The flows in San Carlos COSTA RICA is 475 m 3 /s which increase in Sarapiquí river to 1308 m 3 /s

5 Great biological diversity in protected areas Within the basin area there are 51 protected areas, totaling 8812 km 2 in both countries. Of these, the most important are Tortuguero National Park-Barra del Colorado (939 Km 2 ) in Costa Rica and Indio-Maiz (3321km 2 ) in Nicaragua Socioeconomic data The total population in the basin is inhabitants approximately, of these 73% reside in Nicaragua and 27% in Costa Rica. In Nicaragua the population density in the basin is 46 h/km 2 (55 rural%) and in Costa Rica is of 22 h/km 2 (85% rural). The annual population growth is 4,1% in Nicaragua and 3,7 % in Costa Rica. The economical growth is 3,4 % in Nicaragua and 4,5 % in Costa Rica.

6 Income By and large the population within the basin exists at subsistence levels. Levels of per capita income and unemployment differ greatly in the basin as compared to the countries as a whole. Ecosystems Threatened by over exploitation of timber and growing pressure due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier.

7 History In 1992 at a CA Presidents meeting in Panama, to discuss transboundary issues, the first expressions of interest in the San Juan river basin occurred. In 1995 the first phase of the project began with support from UNEP and the OAS. This phase covered the environmental and socio economic diagnosis of the basin. In 2001, began the second phase which included the formulation of the strategic actions program. In the present phase we are entering into a medium size project, with support from GEF-UNEP and OAS, which serves as a bridge to tide us over into the stage of implementation of SAP.

8 Diagnosis Phase Definition of the environmental and socioeconomic characteristics of the basin. Identification of main problems relating to hydrological resources. Basic Studies carried out to complement the environmental transboundary diagnosis

9 Formulation of SAP phase Based on the diagnosis, the SAP is designed to: Assure the availability of hydrological resources Conserve the natural ecosystems Promote sustainable economic and social development. It consists of 22 projects in both countries. The approximate cost is US $50 millions with a duration of five years.

10 The bases for the SAP were: A. Seven Basic studies: Batimetry in lake Nicaragua and San Juan river. Analysis of critical aquatic habitats. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of hydrological resources. Analysis of coastal and marine resources. Sedimentation analysis in the coastal area. Transboundary migration and settlements Analysis of social behavior by gender.

11 Basic Studies Location NICARAGUA N PROJECT AREA Batimetry in the Lake Nicaragua and San Juan river. COSTA RICA Determination of the sedimentation plume in the coastal area in San Juan river basin Hydrometeorological monitoring (flows) and water quality in San Juan river basin. Coastal and marine resources in the Colorado Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica and Rio San Juan Wildlife Refuge in Nicaragua. PROJECT AREA Transboundary migration and colonization areas Information for the sustainable management of critical aquatic habitats in the San Juan river basin.

12 B. Demonstrative projects 13 demonstrative projects, five in Nicaragua and eight in Costa Rica. Designed to illustrate environmental sound technology and methodology. Promote inter-institutional cooperation. Establish costs and determine replicability and viability. Promote stakeholder participation.

13 Demonstrative Projects location 13 projects (5 in Nicaragua and 8 in Costa Rica) River Oyate Basin Rehabilitation N River Tepenaguasapa Basin Restoration Rio de Oro environmental restoration NICARAGUA PROJECT AREA COSTA RICA Environmental education in the municipality of San Carlos, Rio San Juan Integrated management of rural properties in communities of Guatuso Fund for agroforestry activities in the municipality of Cárdenas, Rivas Support to the local environmental administration Project of organization and community education Wildlife Refuge Las Camellias Conservation Sustainable use and rehabilitation of Rio Frio basin Environmental education in San Carlos' canton Recovery of riperian habitat of Ara ambigua and Dipteryx panamensis Recovery and management in the riperian areas of rivers Sarapiquí and Sucio

14 C. Public participation workshops Five Public participation workshops in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Three binational and two national. Included different sectors such as: productive sector, tourist sector and municipalities. Approximately 2000 individuals (stakeholders) participated from a total of 221 organizations. Workshops facilitated the binational exchange of information. Developed stakeholder commitments. Most important, the participants generated input was formally incorporated into the SAP.

15 LESSONS LEARNT High level government participation is essential for project success. Participation of local level authorities (municipalities and cantons) is essential for sustainability. Interaction and creation of strategic alliances with other institutions: Universities, NGOs, Associations is also essential for success. Incorporation of large scale producers remains a challenge.

16 Formulation of a Strategic Actions Program for the Integrated Management of the Hydrological Resources and Sustainable Development of the San Juan River Basin and its Coastal zone PROCUENCA SAN JUAN a binational effort for the protection of hydrological resources Thank You

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