Twenty-two (22) signatory countries and more than 40 representatives of the public made a significant advances in the 4th Meeting of the Negotiating Committee of the 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 held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, from 9 to 12 August 2016, was aimed at raising standards for environmental governance in the LAC region.
In her final words Andrea Sanhueza, Public Representative-elect (Chile) said: “We are very encouraged by a more open relationship between state representatives and the public, and we have seen and we sincerely appreciate the significant increase and consideration our views and contributions to the negotiations have received.
Ms. Sanhueza also noted as Lic. Euren Cuevas Medina, Executive Director of the Institute of Lawyers for Environmental Protection (INSAPROMA) of the Dominican Republic in his opening speech that a concern is the continued emphasis in the inclusion of texts that refer to “in accordance with the rules laid down in the national legislation”. She said: “This approach is at odds with the progressive regional standard that we expect to achieve this agreement. In this regard, we urge our countries to focus on the minimum standard be the highest possible in order to ensure effective implementation of this instrument.”
Ms. Sanhueza welcomed the last signatory, St. Kitts and Nevis, to the LAC process and indicated that the elected representatives of the public will support the participation of the civil society in these new countries and increased participation of Caribbean governments. Granada joined the process on the 3rd negotiation meeting in Uruguay in April 2016.
In his closing remarks, the President of the negotiation, Ambassador Luis Omar Fernandez, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, stressed the unique character of the negotiations, that include representatives of the public. Ambassador Fernandez and the delegate of Mexico, Mr. Hernán Ruiz Bravo, Subdirector General for Global Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thanked the public representatives for their contributions.
It is expected that the 5th. Negotiation meeting will take place at the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile from 22 to 25 November 2016. At this point, negotiations will resume with Articles 7 to 10 and will conduct the review of the outstanding issues from the exposition of motives up to Article 10.
For more information, please contact:
Elected Public Representative (Chile)
Elected Public Representative (Jamaica)
Journalist (Latin America)
Karetta Crooks Charles
Alternate Elected Representative of the Public (St. Lucia) and Journalist (Caribbean)
Visit our website: www.lacp10.org
Facebook: LAC Regional Public Mechanism P10 – ALC P10 Mecanismo Público Regional
Twitter: @ LacP10info
What is the Declaration of Principle 10 of Latin America and the Caribbean?
It is a political commitment made by several governments of the region to promote a change in how decisions are made and to begin negotiating a regional agreement that will bring standards on access to information, participation and justice in their countries. This commitment seeks to ensure that all people in Latin America and the Caribbean can participate in environmental decisions that affect them directly. This Regional Agreement will help citizens to obtain information, participate in decision-making and prevent the development of projects that could damage their lives and livelihoods, and prevent the proliferation of socio-environmental conflicts. Any country in Latin America and the Caribbean can join the negotiation process by signing the Declaration. To do this, you should contact the Technical Secretariat of this process, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), email: firstname.lastname@example.org.