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  • In transboundary river basins, political borders oftentimes trace shared rivers across a basin. A border between territories can be seen as a space that is separated; however, it is actually one with the potential to unite populations and environments. A river basin is generally defined by its topography and hydrology. New paradigms in river basin management point towards expanding this definition to include culture, values and placed-based knowledge (Jackson 2011; Jackson et al. 2015). By including these aspects, we can have more informed and comprehensive planning that addresses the needs of river basin residents (Wolf 2008; Jackson 2011). This research explores and addresses how incorporating culture and values is being implemented and included in river basin management plans (Wolf 2008; Cosens 2012; Jackson and Palmer 2012) through a case study of the Sixaola River Basin— an international transboundary river basin located in Central America that is shared between Costa Rica, Panamá and five indigenous communities: the Bríbrí, Naso, Cabecar, Brunca and Ngöbe. This case study exemplifies how these practices are being applied to water resources management at international, national and local levels. Through collaborative participatory research, videography, photography and storytelling, I explore lessons learned in the Sixaola River Basin and take note of how this approach can be used in other international transboundary river basin management plans worldwide (Jackson et al. 2015). Findings in this work include: 1) the importance of integrating culture and values in river basin management, 2) the effectiveness of co-managed research, and 3) the value of increasing communication and information exchange of river basin residents.
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