Externado in the Presidency of the Global Water Partnership – GWP – Colombia
After being accredited on August 17, 2017, the "Colombian Alliance for Water – GWP Colombia" appointed Maria del Pilar García Pachón, Director of the Externado Environmental Law Department, as its first President.
GWP is a global organization defined as “a neutral platform for dialog, multilateral, with broad participation, nonprofit, and comprised of public, private and mixed institutions.” It has more than three thousand members in 183 countries and is organized through “country water partnerships.”
Until now, Colombia had no official GWP representation, even though its values, principles, and skills, have been adopted in different areas of water decisions.
“We are a large, diverse, inclusive, and multi-stakeholder Association interested in supporting communities and countries in improving water management. In a nutshell, we are trying to bring together water users (i.e., everyone) to solve water problems,” states the Organization in its official website, and adds: “Our mission is to advance governance and management of water resources for sustainable and equitable development.”
The Organization has spread throughout the planet a model known as the integrated water resources management – IWRM which, as explained by Dr. García Pachón, is “an approach to water management seeking to take into account all users of the resource and recognize their specific needs in all political and administrative decisions.” IWRM seeks development, but without endangering any users.”
The decision by the GWP Colombia Board of Directors to appoint Maria del Pilar García Pachón as President of the Organization in the country is a personal recognition to her and her almost 20 years of continuous work at the Externado Environmental Law Department. The important research performed makes the Department a reference on issues such as Water Law and Integrated Water Resource Management, with recognized impacts in political decision-making in the country.
María del Pilar García is an Externado de Colombia Law graduate, specialized in Mining – Energy Law. She has a Masters in Environmental Management (U. Carlos III de Madrid), and a PhD from the University of Zaragoza, where her graduating thesis, “Régimen jurídico de los vertimientos en Colombia” was awarded the highest rating.
The Presidency appointment entails numerous challenges for the Externado, and at the same time creates opportunities for training and political influence on this issue, one of the most crucial for humanity.