Government & Civil Society Work to Strengthen Environmental Governance in Latin America & the Caribbean

371

Twenty-two (22) Signatory Countries and over 40 representatives of the public made significant progress at the 4th Meeting of the Negotiating Committee for a Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The negotiation meeting which was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from August 9-12, 2016, was geared at raising the standards for environmental governance in the LAC region.

In her closing remarks, Andrea Sanhueza, Elected Representative of the Public (Chile) said, “We have been encouraged by a more open relationship between the state representatives and the public, and we have seen and sincerely appreciate the significant increase and accommodation of our views and contributions to the negotiations”. Ms. Sanhueza also pointed out that an issue of concern is the continued emphasis on including texts that reference standards established in national legislations. She said, “Such an approach is in contradiction with the progressive regional standard that we anticipate to achieve from this agreement. In this regard we urge our countries to focus on the highest possible minimum standard to ensure the effective implementation of this instrument”.

Ms. Sanhueza went on to welcome the latest signatory, St. Kitts & Nevis, to the LAC process and indicated that the Elected Representatives of the Public look forward to supporting civil society engagement from these new countries and increased participation of Caribbean governments. Grenada joined the process at the 3rd Negotiation in Uruguay in April 2016.

In his closing, the Chair of the proceedings, Ambassador Luis Omar Fernández, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dominican Republic, highlighted the unique nature of negotiations including representatives of the public. Ambassador Louis and the delegate from Mexico, Mr. Hernán Ruiz Bravo, Deputy Director General for Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked representatives of the public for their contributions.

The 5th Negotiation Meeting is expected to take place at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile from November 22-25, 2016. At this point the negotiations will resume on articles 7 to 10 and a revision of outstanding issues from the preamble to article 10 will be undertaken.

For more information, please contact:

Andrea Sanhueza
Elected Representative of the Public (Chile)
andreasanhuezae@gmail.com

Danielle Andrade
Elected Representative of the Public (Jamaica)
dandrade.law@gmail.com

Paola Valdés
Journalist (Latin America)
periodistalacp10@gmail.com

Karetta Crooks Charles
Alternate Elected Representative of the Public (St. Lucia) & Journalist (Caribbean)
karetta.charles@gmail.com

Visit our website: www.lacp10.org
Facebook: LAC P10 Regional Public Mechanism – ALC P10 Mecanismo Público Regional
Twitter: @LacP10info

What is the Declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean on Principle 10?
It is a political commitment made by several governments of the region to promote a change in the way decisions are made and to begin negotiating a Regional Agreement that will bring standards in access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters in their countries. This commitment seeks to ensure that all people in Latin America and the Caribbean participate in environmental decisions that affect them directly. This Regional Agreement will help citizens to obtain information, participate in decision-making, prevent the development of projects that could damage their lives and livelihoods, and prevent the proliferation of social and environmental conflicts. Any country in Latin America and the Caribbean can join the negotiation process for the Regional Agreement by signing the Declaration, simply contact the Technical Secretariat for this process, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean at principio10.lac@cepal.org.

SHARE