Publications By Alphabetic Order (A - L)

Legal Institutional Frameworks for Payment for Ecosystem Services: Eight Country Analysis
(Spanish Only)

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Binational Programs for Border Cooperation - A Model for the Development of the Amazon Region (1993)

The document summarizes the objectives, methodological approach, and principal conclusions and recommendations of the binational plans, programs, and projects being executed by the Amazonian countries with the cooperation of the General Secretariat of the OAS. The general purpose of the border plans and programs is to create conditions for sustainable development. The plans also seek to explore the development potential of the border areas in terms of population, ecosystems, and natural resources, with a view to incorporating these areas into the countries' economies. They are intended not only to deal with the specific problems of each border area, but also to serve as models for extending environmentally sound development planning to other parts of the Amazon region.

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Binational Projects - Colombia-Perú - Brasil-Peru

In April of 1988, the Presidents of Colombia and Peru met in the town of San Antonio, on the Amazon River, and signed a Joint Declaration agreeing to a Bilateral Action Plan to carry out the Plan for the Integral Development of the Putumayo River Basin, to be executed within the framework of the Joint Committee for the Colombian-Peruvian Amazon Cooperation Treaty. Their ministries of foreign affairs were asked to jointly negotiate financial support from international organizations, especially the Organization of American States. The first meeting of the Joint Committee took place in August 1988 in Leticia, Colombia, capital of Amazonas Department. In this meeting, the terms of reference for the drafting of the Plan for the Integral Development of the Putumayo River Basin (PPCP) were approved.

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Conservation of Biodiversity and the New Regional Planning (1995)

This book is a next step in the ongoing characterization of sustainable development. It is a set of conclusions drawn from case descriptions and methods that look at the "why" and "how" of the new regional planning. Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 make the case for the importance of both wild and cultured biodiversity; Chapters 5, 6 and 7 give instructions on how attention can be given to special parts of the overall effort; Chapter 8 links the topic to the recently ratified Convention on Biological Diversity; and Chapters 9, 10 and 11 discuss experiences from the well-known cases of La Amistad International Park in Costa Rica and Panama, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in the United States, and CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe as they fit into the parameters of the new regional planning.

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Confronting the Challenges of Climate Variability and Change through an Integrated Strategy for the Sustainable Management of the La Plata River Basin for the Fifth World Water Forum. (2009)

Disaster, Planning and Development: Managing Natural Hazards to Reduce Loss (1990)

After seven years of field work it is now possible to prepare this synthesis of OAS experience with natural hazards. The material comes with a broad set of objectives, a reflection of the breadth of the issues involved in hazard mitigation. At the policy level, it is hoped that national planning ministries, development agencies, and international financing institutions will be encouraged to systematically include analyses of natural hazards in their economic development programs.

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Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Program - Programa de Conservación de Energía y Protección Ambiental - Summary - Resumen

In 1986, the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras concluded a technical cooperation agreement known as the Trifinio Plan with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (GS/OAS) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). The unique characteristics of the Plan area led the authorities of the three countries to protect part of it by establishing in 1987 the La Fraternidad Biosphere Reserve, comprising the Montecristo cloud forest (the Reserves' nucleus) and a surrounding buffer zone suitable primarily for forestry. As soon as the Plan was presented, in 1988, the countries began the dissemination and negotiation processes essential to its implementation. Through successive documents of understanding among the parties, the agreement has been extended to the present.

The Trifinio Plan consisted of a socioeconomic assessment and a strategy for regional development, based on a set of 29 trinational development projects and numerous national projects presented at the profile level. Among the elements shaping the strategy is the need for actions in the energy sector. This sector is closely related to environmental deterioration because of deforestation caused by the heavy demand for fuel wood. It was therefore considered necessary to promote activities to increase the energy supply through reforestation and to reduce household energy consumption with better-designed stoves that would use less firewood.

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Environmental Quality and River Basin Development: A Model for Integrated Analysis and Planning (1978)

This document is the result of nearly two years of work by the staff of the Program of Regional Development, Argentine coworkers, and several international consultants (Appendix A). Every effort has been made to make the content and prose applicable to the needs of project directors and field staff working in the planning of river basin development. Consequently, scientific and specialized terminology have been kept to a minimum and the recommendations have been made in full consideration of the realities of developing countries. The document has been purposefully kept short to give it the character of a guidebook rather than that of an exhaustive treatise on the subject of environment and development.

Although the methodology has been designed to guide the early planning stages of river basin development in semiarid regions of the developing world, much of it is applicable to regional and sectoral planning efforts in the more humid regions. Similarly, it should find use as a text and reference material in those training centers and institutions that relate to development planning.

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Evaluation of the Potential Industrial Environmental Impacts of the FTAA Brazil Case Study

This assessment focused on the industrial sector and indicated that the main environmental changes with the possible implementation of FTAA could include water contamination and detriment in air quality due to outdoor air pollution. However, the assessment highlights that those industries that could affect air quality in Brazil use environmentally friendly technologies in order to meet sustainability and market access requirements of the export markets. Additionally, this assessment examines the Brazilian legal-institutional frameworks and the internalization of environmental cost by industry, concluding that these costs do not affect competitiveness. Finally, this assessment includes some recommendations for regulating entities in terms of promoting efficiency and competitiveness of the Brazilian industrial sector.

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Financing Requirements of Nature and Heritage Tourism in the Caribbean

Sustainable tourism development requires that projects be financially independent and profitable. The profits should feed back into local economies. However, as national governments, site and service owners, borrowers, and lenders all recognize, there has been a lack of specific policies to guide the growth of nature and heritage tourism-and in particular, its financing. This is one of the areas singled out for consideration by the Caribbean Development Bank, which is coordinating efforts to examine the issues concerning tourism in the region in general. Since this kind of tourism has long been of interest to the Organization of American States, for its double potential of contributing to national economic development and to environmental protection, the OAS was happy to respond to a request to undertake this part of the overall study and commissioned the Inter-American Investment Corporation to collaborate. As the private-sector financing arm of the Inter-American Development Bank, the IIC provided valuable input from the perspective of entrepreneurs.

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General Study on the Vulnerability of Road Segments to Natural Hazards of the Pan American Highway and its Complementary Corridors in Central America (2001)

This document presents information on the vulnerability of road segments on the Pan American Highway and when available, information on its alternate or complementary corridors in Central America. The document also contains information about the vulnerability of each section of the Pan American Highway, the natural hazards to which it is prone, the length of each vulnerable road segment, the lists of vulnerability reduction measures taken, and the history of disasters it has suffered (where information was available).

This information is based on Central American vulnerability profile studies carried out by technical teams from the Central American countries and with international coordination by the DSD. The DSD has coordinated these efforts and has been working on the development of vulnerability studies since March 2000.

The matrices are available for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama. In order to receive a copy, please contact the respective Ministries or OAS/DSD Natural hazards Project natural-hazards-project@oas.org.

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Improving Collaboration Between the World Bank and the Organization of American States on Environmental Issues in Latin America and the Caribbean (1999)

The paper proposes specific institutional measures to foster a more active partnership between the World Bank Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Development Sector Management Unit (IBRD/LCSES) and the Office for Sustainable Development and Environment of the OAS (OAS/DSD), key international NGOs, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It explores the constraints to collaboration, analyzes trends in development assistance, and sketches a general framework for strengthening levels of collaboration among technical assistance and donor organizations active in natural resource management issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Biodiversity, water resources, and disaster reduction proposals and projects are suggested as examples of how an improved collaborative framework between the Bank, the OAS, and cooperating institutions can be implemented. Improving the climate for donor coordination is in the best interest of both client nations and the assistance community.

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Incorporating Natural Hazard Assessment and Mitigation into Project Preparation (1988)

This document was prepared by the Department to help identify the major constraints and opportunities to further the use of natural hazard information during the investment project formulation process, focusing on development assistance agencies. It describes their roles, procedures, structure, and influence, and presents a strategy for promoting natural hazard assessment and mitigation in investment projects. Also included is a list of issues for discussion by CIDIE members to assist each member in defining future actions it might undertake.

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Integrated Energy Development - Experiences of the Organization of American States (1988)

While today's low oil prices have reduced the sense of urgency surrounding energy issues, most development practitioners realize that the current calm is neither the end of energy problems in developing countries nor are these low prices likely to continue indefinitely. Instead, it is the ideal time to reflect on recent experiences, evaluating both successes and failures with an eye toward preparing for the future.

This document is intended for development and energy planners in the OAS member states, international agencies and elsewhere. We hope that the lessons which the Department of Regional Development (DRD) has learned through programs in integrated energy development can be beneficial to others.

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Integrated Land Development - The Case of the Mabouya Valley in Saint Lucia (1991)

A critical problem facing agricultural development in the Eastern Caribbean is the acute scarcity of arable land. Concentrated ownership of best lands compounds this scarcity. The majority of the rural population is left to farm small holdings on unsuitable hillsides. In turn, this intensive cultivation of hillsides triggers a complex process of soil erosion and environmental degradation of entire watersheds. Isolated soil-conservation efforts have at best been palliative. The roots of the problem remain in land scarcity.

This volume, designed as a follow-up to the original report, addresses the Morne Panache Pilot Project, the LRTP, and the Mabouya Valley Development Project. Together, the results of these projects illustrate the importance of an integrated approach to land issues, an approach that deals not only with the consequences of problems, but also with causes. The Department of Regional Development and Environment at the OAS is pleased to have cooperated with the Government of St. Lucia in this effort and believes that the following account may be helpful to other governments faced with similar development challenges.

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► Integrated Management of Water Resources and Sustainable Development of the San Juan River Basin and its Coastal Zone (2001)

The document summarizes the preliminary findings resulting from the PDF-Block B phase of the Project which included the preparation of a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA). It also describes the components and working elements for the formulation of a Strategic Action Program for the Integrated Management of Water Resources and the Sustainable Development of the San Juan River Basin and its Coastal Zone.

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Integrated Regional Development Planning: Guidelines and Case Studies from OAS Experience (1984)

Reviewing 20 years of experience with integrated regional development planning is a humbling exercise. Mistakes and failed plans stand out clearly with the perspective of time, but so do the occasional successfully implemented projects that flowed from the plans. Less obvious but perhaps equally satisfying are the mistakes avoided because of the plans. DRD draws here exclusively on its own field experience in Latin America, leaving it to other technical assistance agencies to catalog theirs. Accordingly, the emphasis in this book is on the development of natural resources, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, industry, human settlements, and social services. In these accounts, we believe, are information and ideas of use to developing-country governments from the local to the national levels, sectoral agencies, river basin authorities, regional development corporations, other technical assistance groups, and - most of all - field study managers.

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Integrated Water Resources Management in Mesoamerica (1998) - Gestión Integrada de Recursos Hídricos en Mesoamerica (1998)

The governments of the Western Hemisphere recognize that sustainable development depends on the availability of potable water, the prevention of pollution, the protection of aquatic ecosystems, international cooperation, the involvement and participation of users in planning and decision making, and the promotion of integrated management of this resource. To promote the sustainable development of water resources, the governments have adopted initiatives 47 to 58 related to water resources and coastal areas of the Action Plan for the Sustainable Development of the Americas, which was prepared during the Summit on Sustainable Development in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, 1996 (Table 1).

The Workshop on Integrated Water Resources Management in Mesoamerica took place in Panama City on October 20 to 22, 1997. The objective of the workshop was to obtain cooperation, understanding, and agreement between policy- and decision-makers and scientists on issues related to water-resources management in Mesoamerica.

This workshop report contains an evaluation of the degree to which countries have implemented each of the initiatives that were approved and adopted by the governments of the region. It lists national and international meetings on integrated water-resources management that have taken place or will be organized in the near future to discuss similar initiatives and recommends a set of future activities.

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Inter-American Strategy for the Promotion of Public Participation in Decision-Making for Sustainable Development (2001)

The formulation of this innovative strategy is a prompt response to a mandate entrusted to the OAS by the 1996 Bolivia Summit Conference on Sustainable Development. For almost three years, the DSD led an open and participatory process to give shape to the ISP, working with public sector and civil society organizations in the 34 member states in conducting technical studies, seminars, and extensive consultations. This broad consultation process gave governments, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders in the Americas the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions regarding the recommendations and principles to be taken into account in the design, implementation, and evaluation of participatory projects, policies, or programs. As a result, the ISP contains principles and policy recommendations aimed at achieving greater involvement of all sectors of society in the making of decisions on sustainable development and environment.

Mechanisms for Mutual Assistance in Case of Damage and Vulnerability Reduction of Transportation Infrastructure in Central America - Working Document (2001)

The Unit for Sustainable Development of the Organization of American States (OAS/DSD) has had an active role in vulnerability reduction to natural hazards and has been supporting disaster reduction activities related to the transportation sector. Prior to Hurricane Mitch the OAS/DSD approached the Central American Secretariat for Economic Integration (SIECA) and COMITRAN on the need to begin a systematic evaluation of the Pan American Highway to natural hazards.

Following that disastrous event, and as part of the U.S. Government’s interagency support of reconstruction activities in the affected countries, which are coordinated by the USAID, the OAS/DSD approached the U.S, Department of Transportation (USDOT) for financial support studies on the disaster reduction of the Central America transportation sector. One component of those studies is a the preparation of a document to identify existing and potential mechanisms for mutual assistance in case of damage to infrastructure and vulnerability reduction of the transportation sector in Central America. This study also forms part of USDOT’s support of the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Transportation Initiative (WHTI) through is action plan adopted at the WHTI meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana in December 1998.

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Minimum Conflict: Guidelines for Planning the Use of American Humid Tropic Environments (1987)

Minimum Conflict: Guidelines for Planning the Use of American Humid Tropic Environments represents the Phase I report of the OAS/UNEP/Government of Peru sponsored project: "Case Study of Environmental Management: Integrated Development of An Area in the Humid Tropics - The Selva Central of Peru." To a large degree this effort is a follow-up of the OAS/UNEP/Government of Argentina study of the Upper Bermejo River Basin of Argentina in 1975-1977 which sought to develop a planning methodology for river basins in semiarid areas. The results of this early study were published in 1978 as a small book, Environmental Quality and River Basin Development: A Model for Integrated Analysis and Planning. Both of these studies have their basis in Resolution 61 of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment Action Plan, which requests that research be undertaken to design practical planning methodologies for distinct categories of development activity in specific individual biomes and which would include "concern for the environment" as an integral part of development planning.

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Natural Resource and Environmental Accounts for Development Policy (1994)

In recent years, a fundamental change has taken place in the way national governments and the international community measure and think about countries' economic performance. Leading economists now agree that national income accounting should treat natural resources as it does other tangible economic assets. Standard-setting agencies, such as the United Nations Statistical Office, have formulated new methodological guidelines. More and more industrialized and developing countries are constructing revised resource and environmental accounts in order to make them more relevant to sound environmental management and sustainable development. In our own hemisphere, while Canada and the United States have taken the lead in this initiative, other countries are also taking steps to initiate the process of revision.

In serving as host of the seminar reported on in this document, the OAS is pleased to have provided, through a joint effort with the World Resources Institute, a pioneering hemispheric forum for discussion of the issues arising from its member countries' new and incipient accounting experiences.

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Perceptions of Sustainability: A Framework for the 21st Century (1999)

The study presented here forms part of the series entitled Trends for a Common Future, which shall explore the current state of cooperation in our region in each of CIDI's priority areas. The studies present, among other things, historical backgrounds, current situations, sectoral analyses and challenges to be faced in the new millenium.

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Peru - Bolivia Integrated Action Program (PAIPB)Summary in English

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Plan and Policy for a System of National Parks and Protected Areas

Grenada is in the process of better defining its land use policy. The national parks and protected areas program is an important step towards viewing the finite resource of land in a multiple use context. Grenada's actions in the protection of the upper watersheds and important ecosystems, promotion of cultural and natural attractions, and the development of educational and tourism programs are noteworthy in this respect.

The methodology for the establishment and management of a system of national parks and protected areas was developed by a team of national and international specialists working together under the direction of the Ministry of Agriculture. The inventory of the natural and cultural resource base relied on an interdisciplinary team made up of fisheries, forestry, land use, extension, and physical planning personnel as well as first-hand information of local hikers, naturalists and historians.

In conjunction with this report, and as part of the Government of Grenada/OAS Integrated Development Project, land policy and infrastructure development guidelines have also been defined. A zoning map has been generated to identify productive agricultural and grazing lands, especially in the southeast section of the island of Grenada where development pressures are most intense. The goal of these efforts is to protect and develop the natural resources of Grenada and Carriacou.

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Primer on Natural Hazard Management in Integrated Regional Development Planning (1991)

Following the El Niño occurrence of 1982-83, the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) expressed the need for technical cooperation in natural hazard management. In response, the Department of Regional Development and Environment (DRDE) initiated the Natural Hazard Project with support from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID).

The need for this book became clear through field work and discussions with planning agency counterparts and representatives of other development assistance agencies. Great strides were made in the past two decades in emergency preparedness and response, but up to now insufficient attention has been paid to reducing the vulnerability of existing and planned development. After seven years of field work, it is now possible to prepare this synthesis of OAS experience with this neglected subject.

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Proceedings of Interamerican Dialogue on Water Management (1993)

In concurrence with the objectives, policies and strategies specified in each country's Amazonian Development Plan, the overall PPCP goals can be summarized as follows: (a) To promote the harmonious and sustained development of the area; (b) To integrate the area with the rest of the territory by constructing roads and other transportation facilities and establishing communication links, as well as through political, cultural, social and economic inter-action; (c) To improve the population's standard of living; (d) To concentrate, in the native communities, on substantially improving the handling of territorial issues, and the provision of basic social and health services, including the conservation of areas traditionally inhabited by such communities while protecting the fundamental rights of those communities, and, in particular, their social and cultural integrity; (e) To promote research and the compilation of information on the area.

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Reduction of Vulnerability to Floods in River Basins - Reducción de la Vulnerabilidad a Inundaciones en Cuencas Hidrográficas (1996)

Regardless of their size, their location, or the degree of development of the country in which they are situated, river basins play an important role in the economic life of their countries. This becomes even more important when flood-caused losses of capital goods and production and service capacity, especially in major economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, and transportation are taken into account. It is the variability of water resources and its effects on the socioeconomic infrastructure that make the relationship between river-basin management and environmental management so pertinent to sustainable development.

With the support of the Secretariat of Water Resources of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, Water Resources, and Legal Amazonia, experts from these economic sectors and specialists in the environment, planning, and flood mitigation met in Foz do Iguaçu to deal with this topic. The conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar-Workshop on Reduction of the Vulnerability of the Agriculture, Energy, and Transportation Sectors to Floods in River Basins are presented in this publication.

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Renewable Energy Policy Manual

An undertaking that attempts to provide renewable energy policy guidance to policy strategists who operate across a spectrum of national energy systems inherently contains both the flaws and the strengths of “universal” or general concepts. Readers are asked to apply broad conceptual ideas in a specific national context. The authors have used operative or normative words with the objective of describing concepts neutrally - without implying conceptual bias. This objective is difficult to achieve - especially for multi-language translations. When possible, normative words are defined the first time they are used in the text.

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Report of the Secretary General on Bolivia Summit Implementation (1998)

In the context of the institutional arrangements set up in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, the Secretary General of the Organization American States was given the mandate to submit a report on progress attained in the implementation of the initiatives of the Plan of Action on Sustainable Development. The report, to be made available prior to the 1998 Summit of the Americas, was intended as a follow-up on the commitments entered into in Bolivia. This paper is in compliance with the coordinating and follow-up roles entrusted to the OAS.

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Role of Local Governments and Public Participation in Environmental Management (1997) - Papel de los Gobiernos Locales y la Participación Publica en la Gestión Ambiental (1997)

The process of decentralization in the Hemisphere is a response to the profound changes that are occurring in contemporary societies, governmental reforms, and the advance toward a global society. The object of this decentralization is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector and of the central government in particular, while promoting the participation of civil society in decision-making.

Environmental management is closely linked to this strengthening of the basic structures of government and of the institutional mechanisms for identifying, dealing with, and solving environmental conflicts and bringing about the necessary participation of local communities.

The Seminar whose results and conclusions appear in this publication was organized jointly by the OAS and the Foundation for the Development of the Midwestern Region (FUDECO) of Venezuela. Its purpose was to consider the experiences of a number of countries in the region in solving a variety of environmental problems through joint action by local governments and civil society within the countries' own institutional frameworks and environmental policies.

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Saint Lucia Natural Resources and Agricultural Development Project - Studies and Proposals for the Implementation of a Land Registration Programme (1986)

The unique land tenure problems inherited by Saint Lucia have represented a major constraint for the development of the agricultural sector. They are one of the most important factors preventing the farming community from diversifying production and increasing productivity. Conscious of the complexity of the problem, and cognizant of the far-reaching social and economic impact that possible solutions could have, the Government of Saint Lucia requested technical cooperation from the Organization of American States. This cooperation had two objectives: to undertake the studies required to design feasible technical alternatives and to identify complementary actions capable of taking full advantage of the solution of land tenure problems.

The present report synthesizes the technical studies undertaken during 1981 by a team of national and international specialists working with the Ministry of Agriculture.

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Source Book of Alternative Technologies for Freshwater Augmentation in Latin America and the Caribbean (1997)

The Source Book of Alternative Technologies for Freshwater Augmentation in Latin America and the Caribbean was prepared by the Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) as part of the joint United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Water Branch and International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) initiative to provide water resource managers and planners, especially in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition, with information on the range of technologies that have been developed and used in the various countries throughout the world.

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Uruguay - National Environmental Study - Executive Summary (1992)

On May 4, 1989, the Government of Uruguay and the Inter-American Development Bank signed a technical cooperation agreement to finance a national study that would help incorporate the environmental dimension into the development process of Uruguay.

This document synthesizes the findings of the study and provides an action plan to implement the strategy, projects and programs that are based on these findings. In summary, the study established that a formal environmental policy was needed to meet the national objectives of improved quality of life for the people of Uruguay.

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