Tag Archives: principio 10

Speech by Andrea Sanhueza, Elected Representative of the Public (Chile), regarding the regressive development of the 7th 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.

Buenos Aires, Argentina,

August 2, 2017

Good afternoon esteemed delegates, and those watching via the live streaming.

The people and organizations of the Public present at this meeting are extremely concerned and frustrated by the progress of the negotiations. The vision that inspired the Rio + 20, P10 Declaration, which was to ensure the effective implementation of access rights in the region, is being lost.

Principio10-Andrea Sanhueza -7ma reunionWe have made a significant effort to accompany States in this process since 2012, hoping to achieve regional standards. Everyday thousands of people suffer pollution, loss of their natural resources, and even life as is the case of many environmental advocates. These people are waiting for an answer.

From the beginning, certain sectors of the public criticized the process because they observed a risk of regression regarding the standards already reached in the region. Today, regression is becoming a reality.

We see regression in the regime of exemptions that has been introduced to the text, which allows states more possibilities to deny information. Likewise, the text does not establish any category of environmental information that should always be disclosed, as is the case of pollutant emissions.

The text about access to environmental information is regressive and, therefore, unacceptable to the public. We feel it necessary to evaluate the degree of regression of the text negotiated so far.

The direction of the negotiation cannot continue in this manner. We want to explicitly state our minimum demands for participation and justice.

In participation, the text should GUARANTEE the right to participate, but we still see countries that propose verbs as to facilitate, promote and encourage. We want to emphasize that we are facing a rights-based approach, and States have an obligation to ensure them.

Participation must be early to effectively influence environmental decision-making processes. We notice that several governments want to dilute the text and do not want to talk about early involvement or advocacy. Late participation, which is a fait accompli, is not participation.

Regarding the right to access to justice, what is fundamental is the extensive active legitimation that allows any person or organization to access justice to protect the environment. In addition, preventive measures are essential to avoid environmental damage.

The text should also include full guarantees for environmental defenders.

We have reached a turning point. To go ahead we demand a negotiation in good faith. Good faith implies the creation of regional standards that improve the current reality. It seems to us that those countries that are not prepared to build robust regional standards will clear the way for countries that do have a real commitment to sustainable development and people.

It is time to define the binding nature of the agreement. The public is unwilling to occupy these chairs by observing how standards are lowered and rights diminished. However, we are willing to continue working with progressive proposals that recover the vision that inspired this initiative.

The Public Express Grave Concerns About the Regressive Development of the Ongoing Principle 10 Negotiations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 2, 2017ǀ Karetta Crooks Charles

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Members of the Public are saddened after several of their text proposals on Articles 6 and 7 that deal with ‘Access to Information’ and the ‘Generation and dissemination of environmental information’ have been lost. The blows came on day 2 of the Seventh Meeting of the Negotiating Committee of The Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), being held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship in Buenos Aires, Argentina from July 31 – August 4, 2017.

Principio 10 - Danielle Andrade-Goffe-7ma reunionDanielle Andrade-Goffe Elected Representative of the Public (Jamaica), clearly expressed the public’s concerns about the regressive path the negotiation has taken. She said:

Having a clear set of exemptions and specific types of information that would never be exempt are core elements of setting a regional standard for this access to environmental information regime, and currently we have lost these elements. The unwillingness of the countries to adopt a regional standard for exemptions is disappointing. Of course it is hard work to get an agreement and change current legislation but that is at the heart of what international negotiations is about. Not patting ourselves on the back and acknowledging what we have already done and that no further work is left to be done. We are talking about improving access rights. There are some countries where regimes may prevent access to critical information and they don’t even have mandatory proactive release. There are other countries – Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, who have no established regime for access to information. We risk losing faith in the process. Our high hopes that we had in the beginning for the realization of a true standard have dropped considerably. We must also remember that there are others who are looking towards this process – for example other regions in the world willing to develop their own regional standards.”

Despite the feeling of gloom hanging over the members of the public from Latin America and the Caribbean in attendance, they remain resolute in their commitment to offer their expertise to ensure that progressive standards are achieved at the end of the Principle 10 negotiations. However, their will is not enough and as such governments must show the political fortitude needed to move the process forward. The heart of Principle 10 is the protection of the rights of access to information, participation and justice on environmental matters for the approximately 650 million people who call the LAC region their home and rely on their environment for their livelihood and very survival.

The negotiations can be followed live at http://negociacionp10.cepal.org/7/en/node/14. To learn more about Principle 10 visit www.lacp10.org. Countries willing to be a part of this process can simply contact ECLAC at principio10.lac@cepal.com.

 

Contacts:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Another Caribbean Country Seeks to Raise the Bar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 31, 2017ǀ Karetta Crooks Charles

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Saint Lucia has attended a few meetings as an Observer of the Principle 10 negotiations geared at reaching an agreement which will give citizens in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) an opportunity to be involved from the onset in the decision-making process on environmental matters. But today was different, as the Permanent Secretary in the Department of Sustainable Development, Ms. Valerie Leon officially announced that Saint Lucia has joined the process thereby making them the 24th  signatory country to this ambitious initiative. The announcement was made on the first day of the seventh meeting of the negotiating committee of the regional agreement on access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters in LAC being held at Palacio San Martín, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship in Buenos Aires, Argentina from July 31 – August 4, 2017.

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Valerie Leon – Permanent Secretary in the Department of Sustainable Development (Saint Lucia)

According to Ms. Leon, “This marks the beginning of another important step in this process, as we now commit to working towards building the capacity of our national institutions and enhancing our legislative framework at the national level, to effectively implement this regional instrument and to facilitate progress on access rights.” Furthermore, she said, “The Government of Saint Lucia applauds the sterling efforts of the Saint Lucia National Trust. The Trust remains very instrumental in this process and the Government looks forward to continued collaboration with them, as well as other government agencies and the Saint Lucian public in general, as we remain cognizant that this is only the beginning.”

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Danielle Andrade-Goffe – Elected Representative of the Public (Jamaica)

Other highlights of the negotiation included an Opening Ceremony where two of the Elected Representatives of the Public; Danielle Andrade-Goffe of Jamaica and Andrés Napoli of Argentina joined Government delegates and the Technical Secretariat for the process, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in delivering remarks. Mrs. Andrade-Goffe made an impassioned intervention which called for better implementation of access rights. She said, “In the last five years since we began this journey, social conflicts in the LAC region have been escalating. Global Witness in their new report ‘Defenders of the Earth – Global Killings of Land and Environmental Defenders’ noted that 200 environmental defenders were killed in 2016 as a consequence of defending their land, rivers and forests from industries. 60% of those murdered were from Latin America. And while we in the Caribbean may not have as many grievous incidences, we are not unaffected. We are all one people because we are equally dependent on this planet we call home. Approximately 16 people died last year while protecting the Amazon forest from logging; the Amazon which we commonly refer to as the lungs of the earth because of the amount of oxygen generated by its lush forests. They should not stand alone when they are protecting the very air that we breathe”.

Meanwhile, Andrés Napoli said, “It is no coincidence that this process is blossoming at a time when the international community embarks on an ambitious path towards sustainable development. The full implementation of Principle 10 is undoubtedly at the heart of the 2030 agenda, since it ensures that all persons, especially those excluded or vulnerable, have reliable access to information and can effectively participate in decision-making processes, especially those in which their living conditions are affected, and that they can access justice; allowing a fairer distribution of the costs and benefits of development.”

The negotiations can be followed live at http://negociacionp10.cepal.org/7/en/node/14. To learn more about Principle 10 visit www.lacp10.org. Countries willing to be a part of this transformative process can simply contact ECLAC at principio10.lac@cepal.com.

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

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

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

Opening Remarks by Andrés Napoli, Alternate Elected Representative of the Public (Argentina), at the 7th 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.

Buenos Aires, Argentina,

July 31, 2017.

Good morning everyone. I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of Argentina’s civil society, to welcome the delegates and representatives from the Latin America and Caribbean countries, members of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), representatives from international organizations present here today, representatives from the public of various countries from the region, the public from our country here with us, as well as all those who are following the transmission online from various places.

Principio10-Andrés Napoli-7ma reunionAs part of Argentina’s civil society, we are very pleased to welcome this new meeting of the Negotiating Committee – Principle 10 Agreement in Buenos Aires and, at the same time, to be directly involved in the construction of a highly innovative environmental agreement, with a rights-based perspective, but also having significant participation from the public in its development.

It is no coincidence that this process is blossoming at a time when the international community embarks on an ambitious path towards sustainable development. The full implementation of Principle 10 is undoubtedly at the heart of the 2030 agenda, since it ensures that all persons, especially those excluded or vulnerable, have reliable access to information and can effectively participate in decision-making processes, especially those in which their living conditions are affected, and that they can access justice; allowing a fairer distribution of the costs and benefits of development.

This path, launched at the Rio + 20 summit in 2012, was one of the responses given by countries to the explosive increase of environmental conflicts in the region, and the millions of people who suffer the consequences of pollution and pressure on natural resources.

However, as my colleague from Jamaica, Danielle Andrade pointed out, the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean shows that environmental conflict is far from diminishing; it has considerably increased.

In this sense, the sustainable development agenda includes, in a substantive manner, processes of informed and participatory dialogue, an issue that has often collided with the interests of those who see the participation and involvement of the public as an obstacle to the realization of their projects.

This is particularly relevant at a time when many countries in our region are seeking investments for the execution of works and projects which, even though, they may be key to meeting the needs of economic development and improving the quality of life of the population, they cannot be carried out without the maximum precautions and safeguards in environmental matters, and with the necessary and indispensable participation of the public, as well as the consent from communities that inhabit the territories.

This is why we come to this new meeting with the expectation that agreements can be reached to build a robust instrument, guaranteeing the solid protection of standards for access rights, towards a solid sustainable development agenda in the region.

Argentina, when assuming the presidency of the 7th  Negotiation Meeting, also assumed the challenge of conducting the process in a fast and effective manner, while maintaining the substantial aspects that guarantee access rights, and with the high standard of public participation that the process has exhibited thus far.

Issues on which negotiations are still pending, are very significant: a decision on the binding nature of the agreement has not yet been taken, and discussions on mechanisms for its implementation have not yet begun.

Still pending is the final text of Articles 6 to 9 which contain the substantial part that defines the scope of the rights and obligations established in the agreement.

For this reason, regional diplomats and civil society involved in the process both face a crucial challenge: that the rights enshrined in the agreement do not become a constellation of abstractions of doubtful character, but that they respond to the colossal environmental challenges of our time.

We have collaborated in a fruitful way throughout these five years of intense negotiations, with representatives of governments and civil society. It has been a learning process; we have built bridges of understanding and bonds of trust, having always placed mutual respect above all.

I believe it is no mistake to say that this negotiation has been growing and getting stronger in each instance, and that the process is solid enough to produce results that can be translated into a robust and legally binding agreement; contributing, above all, to the consolidation of democracy in the region.

Thank you.

Opening Remarks by Danielle Andrade-Goffe, Elected Representative of the Public (Jamaica), at the 7th 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.

Buenos Aires,

Argentina, July 31, 2017.

Thank you to ECLAC and the Government of Argentina for organizing this seventh negotiation meeting for the regional agreement on access rights and for this opportunity to make opening remarks.

Principio10-Daniel Andrade-Goffe -7ma reunionWe, the Elected Representatives of the Public, would like to use this opportunity to share our reflections on the process so far and the possibilities that lie ahead.

This process began 5 years ago in 2012 with the signing of the Declaration by 10 insightful countries – only one country at that time was from the Caribbean. Today we have 24 signatory countries with the most recent addition being St. Lucia –making it the 9th Caribbean country to join.

These countries did not set out blindly on this journey to where we are now – we of course had the foundation that is the Rio Declaration. But these countries also realized that a vision was necessary in order to travel the road to effective and meaningful access rights for their people. Recalling the words of the Lima Vision crafted and adopted at the beginning of this process… “that an instrument for Latin America and the Caribbean will contribute to ensuring timely and effective access to environmental information, participation in decisions that affect the environment and access to environmental matters for all.” This Vision recognized:

  1. That access rights is important for strengthening and deepening democracy and is essential for governing natural resources;
  2. That a right to a healthy environment is important for poverty eradication and preservation for the environment for present and future generations;
  3. That  it is necessary to promote participation among all sectors of society; and
  1. That countries will be guided by the principle to advance progressively towards the full implementation of access rights.

This earnest intention to achieve this vision is reflected even in the progressive participatory rules of the

process, being, the election of the representatives of the public, the maintenance of continuous dialogue between these representatives and presiding officers to ensure that the concerns of the public are continually addressed and the freedom of the public to attend the negotiations and to be heard.

As we near the end of this process, we must not falter and we must not fail but remain steadfast in this vision of a better future with progressive standards for the people of our region. It is even more necessary and more important now than ever before. All around us, everyday there is evidence of the need for better implementation of access rights.

In the last five years since we began this journey, social conflicts in Latin America and the Caribbean have been escalating. Global Witness in their new report ‘Defenders of the Earth – Global Killings of Land and Environmental Defenders’ noted that 200 environmental defenders were killed just last year alone as a consequence of defending their land, rivers and forests from industries. 60% of those murdered were from Latin America. This does not include the countless threats and other act of intimidation meant to stifle voices of opposition. And while we in the Caribbean may not have as many grievous incidences, we are not unaffected. We are all one people because we are equally dependent on this planet we call home. Approximately 16 people died last year while protecting the Amazon forest from logging; the Amazon which we commonly refer to as the lungs of the earth because of the amount of oxygen generated by its lush forests. They should not stand alone when they are protecting the very air that we breathe.

Borrowing the words from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 16 – to obtain peaceful societies we must promote equal access to justice for all, the adoption of inclusive, participatory and representative decisions that meet the needs at all levels; and we must ensure public access to information and protecting fundamental freedom.

As we begin negotiations this week including on a provision in article 9 to protect environmental defenders, we call upon you to remember the Vision and to let it be your guide. This regional agreement presents us with the opportunity to overcome these false geographical barriers and bridge the gaps in implementation of access rights to ensure that we arrive at a progressive regional standard attainable by all. We do this not by settling for the lowest common denominator but by incorporating the best legislation in the region in the area of access rights and by establishing capacity building partnerships and mechanisms. The public stands ready to support and collaborate positively with the representatives of government in this process to achieve this, our collective vision.

Thank you.

P10 Declaration for SDG Forum with supporters

The SDG and Principle 10
A key partnership for achieving a sustainable development.

 

There will be no sustainable development without the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) or without the rights of access to information, access to justice and participation on environmental issues, known as access rights.

The Agenda for Sustainable Development began globally in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 with the Conference on Environment and Development. First were the Conventions, the Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration, then Rio + 20 with “The Future We Want” and now 25 years later, we have the SDG as a common global platform.

The Agenda 2030 and the Regional Agreement for Principle 10 saw the light together in Rio plus 20 and this Forum is an unparalleled opportunity for them to be strengthened and implemented together. Both processes are the result of the global political re-articulation of the environmental agenda that emerged from the Rio + 20 Summit…

Download complete document

Observatory on Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean

New ECLAC Observatory on Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean
Launched in Brasilia on the occasion of the Sixth Meeting of the Negotiating Committee for the Regional Agreement on Principle 10 on March 20, 2017, the Observatory of Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean (http://observatoriop10.cepal.org/en ) Makes available to the countries and the public outstanding references on the rights of access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters contained in international treaties, laws and policies as well as relevant jurisprudence on the subject.

The information available at the Observatory is organized by countries, rights, themes, policy instruments, jurisprudence and treaties, which are combined in cross-data and visualized through dynamic maps.

The Observatory emerges as an initiative of ECLAC to contribute to a better knowledge, dissemination and implementation of the rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters enshrined in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on The Environment and Development.

 

 

Click on the following icons to get to the section of interest

 

 

“The Observatory analyses legislation, policies, jurisprudence and treaties that guarantee the full enjoyment by all persons of the rights to have access to information, public participation and justice in environmental matters, as enshrined in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration.

Division of Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

 

http://www.cepal.org/en/work-areas/sustainable-development-and-human-settlements

 

Press Release #2 of the 6th NCM on Principle 10 & Opening Speeches

Dear Partners,

 

We are happy to share with you the second Press Release as well as the opening speeches. I will share the national actions and closing remarks to be read later today as soon as they are placed on the website.

Please share all information received with your organizations and Latin American media contacts (I have already shared with the Caribbean media, but feel free to share in case they are not on my list).

2nd PR: http://www.lacp10.org/single-post/2017/03/21/Saint-Lucia-and-Mexico-Emerge-Winners-of-Environmental-Video-Contest

Regards,

Karetta Crooks Charles

Alternate Elected Rep. (Principle 10)

LAC P10 Regional Public Mecanism

The Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters for Latin American and the Caribbean.

WATCH LIVE: SIXTH MEETING OF THE NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE OF PRINCIPLE 10 IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Dear all:

We invite you to follow the Sixth meeting of the negotiating committee on Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean being held from 20-24 March 2017 in Brasilia ( view your local time).

FOLLOW LIVE

The opening ceremony will take place today (20 March) at 02.30 pm Brasilia time.

See the full programme at:
http://negociacionp10.cepal.org/6/en/programme

Follow the meeting live at:
http://negociacionp10.cepal.org/6/es/node/7

FOLLOW LIVE
Sincerely,

Technical Secretariat
Principle 10
ECLAC – United Nations
http://www.eclac.org/en/principle10

 

(Español) Comunicado de prensa sobre la reciente reunión virtual del Principio 10

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.