Latin America and the Caribbean for Environmental Democracy: Towards a Regional Instrument http://www.cepal.org/rio20 Constance A. Nalegach [email protected] Focal Point Ministry of Environment Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente Trinidad and Tobago September 2013 OUTLINE I. Background II. United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)Brazil, June 2012 III. Regional Process for Environmental Democracy Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente
2 HOW TO DEAL WITH ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES? Recognition since 1992: Environmental issues are best handled with: 1. Participation of all concerned citizens. 2. Access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities. 3. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings. Principle 10 Ro Declaration Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 3 P10 RECEPTION Europe-Asia: Aarhus Convention (2001) It is by far the most impressive elaboration of principle 10 of the Rio Declaration () As such
it is the most ambitious venture in the area of environmental democracy so far undertaken under the auspices of the United Nations. Kofi A. Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations (19972006) BALI GUIDELINES National Examples + than 100 countries with information laws + than 120 countries with Participation provisions + than 44 countries with environmental courts International examples: MEAs FTA
ARGUMENTS FOR A LAC INSTRUMENT 1) Promotes joint action to confront shared environmental challenges Many important environmental challenges that our countries confront straddle beyond their national boundaries, so national advances- even when fully implemented- are insufficient. Instead there is a need for joint action at the regional level 2) Addressing new and complex issues: better prepare through cooperation. 3) Fosters dialogue, cooperation, capacity building and technical assistance 4) Allows to better face the lack of resources; way for synergies with ongoing funding 5) Contributes to prevent and/or mitigate social conflicts: a Regional Agreement can promote and ensure greater social inclusion; a peaceful way to channel interests, concerns and citizen demands that often go beyond national borders 6) Adding regional level, favors State policies, effective compliance and accountability Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 5 ARGUMENTS FOR A LAC INSTRUMENT
7) Countries commit to a minimum ground that can trigger local development 8) Fosters relationships of trust and supports objectives of States and of social actors. Promotes sustainable public-private partnerships. It also facilitates the achievement of the specific objectives of these groups by allowing access to relevant information and participation in decision-making 9)Promotes changes to unsustainable production and consumption patterns. Access rights are essential requirements for the empowerment of citizens committed to sustainable development. An active and engaged civil society is essential to bring about the necessary changes to unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. 10)Common ground with positive side effects for the region in other areas like trade. 11)Greater political stability in the region and greater visibility. In a complex global scenario, regional integration through an agenda of transparency, participation, access to information and accountability PUBLIC AND GOVERNMENTS ACHIEVE MORE WHEN HAVING INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 6 WHAT WAS ON THE TABLE?
New burden; lack of human and financial resources to comply another international agreement Unnecessary as Aarhus Convention is open Full exercise of access right at a national level as a prior stage and condition FEASIBILITY Already a commitment; cooperation and dialogue to fully implement Notwithstanding differences, not starting from scratch Expertise from the public, support from organizations Recognizes specific features of the Region, respond to specific challenges and needs, and allows the Region to establish its own stages and goals they consider appropriate to their circumstances. Greater sense of ownership g
OPPORTUNITY Cooperation window for compliance International dialogue that triggers and enhance domestic compliance IMPACTS Difficult to implement, sanctions and exposures of States for non compliance Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente Non confrontational but cooperation approach based on citizens rights Persuasive example for development and national compliance 7 Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente Source: OECD GLOBAL AGREEMENTS Since 1992:
1) Democratic option for facing environmental issues 2012: Two milestones: The Future We Want (globally) and LAC Declaration (regionally) 2) Acknowledged that democracy, good governance and the rule of law, at the national and international levels, as well as an enabling environment, are essential for sustainable development. 3) Broad public participation and access to information and judicial and administrative proceedings are essential to the promotion of sustainable development. 4) Encourage action at the regional, national, subnational and local levels to promote access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters, as appropriate. VALIDATION OF ACCESS RIGHTS Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 9 DECLARATION ON THE APPLICATION ON PRINCIPLE 10 OF THE RIO DECLARATION Commitments must be made to ensure the full exercise of rights of access to information, participation and justice regarding environmental issues as
enshrined in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration of 1992. To this end, we declare our willingness to launch a process to explore the feasibility of adopting a regional instrument, ranging from guidelines, workshops and best practices to a regional convention open to all countries in the region and with the meaningful participation of all concerned citizens. Latin America and the Caribbean can and must take a meaningful step forward on this front. The above-mentioned Governments therefore commit to drafting and implementing a Plan of Action 2012-2014, with the support of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) as the technical secretariat, to work towards such a regional convention or other instrument. Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 10 REGIONAL PROCESS AGREEMENTS 1) Advance from a Principle to a Rights approach. Renewed political commitment 2) Final goal: full implementation of access rights. Despite our efforts and progress thus far, however, we recognize the need for agreements to ensure proper fulfillment of these rights to access 3) Access rights are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the
eradication of poverty and hunger, 4) Synergies with relevant regional and international agencies and processes 5) Process aimed at strengthening dialogue, capacity building and regional cooperation 6) ECLAC as technical secretariat 7) Process for a regional instrument that reflects a common vision on the importance and benefits of Principle 10 access rights and the values and principles underpinning them and their implementation 8) Essential elements: i. Open to all countries of LAC ii. Broad definition of public for a meaningful participation of all interested citizens MOMENTUM AND UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO FULFILL A COMMITMENT Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 11 SIGNATORY COUNTRIES A/CONF.216/13. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N12/440/43/PDF/N1244043.pdf?OpenElement
POTENTIAL IMPACT : 500 MILLIONS Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente Mapa creacin CEPAL WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? What this process is not Just another political declaration The negotiation of another Multilateral (regional) Environmental Agreement. Too many MEAs A mechanism for sanctioning States An exclusive process: for developed countries with full implementation of environmental democracy Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente What is this process
A democratic process for a democratic instrument. Time (urgency) for all on board. A path towards an instrument that will benefit compliance of national and international commitments like MEAs. Sustainability through democracy Process of dialogue and regional cooperation that will benefits countries An initiative to ensure the full exercise of rights of access through mutual support. A learning process. An open process to all countries of the region without any condition. Parallel to national process. Recognition of the particular conditions in each signatory country. 13 ACHIEVMENTS SO FAR (1/2) 1)
From 10 original signatories, to 15 members 2) Two focal points meetings and virtual meetings of working groups 3) Instruments that reaffirm commitment and channel process (Declaration, Road Map and Action Plan) 4) Agreement on main tasks: i. Promoting the Declaration and incorporating new signatories ii. Strengthening and highlighting the progress made in the region iii. Actions to promote public participation at the national level iv. Establishment of working groups for advancing towards the formulation of a regional instrument: Identify strengths and weaknesses in the region, especially for capacity building. Discuss the nature and content of the regional instrument. Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 14
ACHIEVMENTS SO FAR (2/2) 5) International and public recognition "Appreciate initiatives for regional implementation of the 10th Principle of the 1992 Rio Declaration, regarding the rights of access to information, participation and environmental justice, as a significant contribution to the participation of organized community committed to Sustainable Development. Declaration of the first CELAC Summit, Santiago; January 27-28, 2013. The importance of implementing Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration at the Earth Summit, and reiterate the importance of advancing initiatives in this matter. They reiterated the right of citizens to participate in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of public policies. Declaration of the CELAC-EU Summit, Santiago; January 26-27, 2013. 6) Baseline: ECLAC document: Access to information, participation and justice in environmental maters in Latin America and the Caribbean: Situation, outlook and examples of good practice Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 15 The Access Initiative Vision 1) Legally Binding Convention for LAC.
2) Key contribution for democracy, governance and sustainable development. 3) Set standards and procedures for access rights. 4) Prevent and reduce environmental conflicts . 5) Reduce poverty. 6) Protection of natural resources. 7) Governments will benefit from training and technical asssitance. 8) Strengthen regional integration through a transparency agenda. Source: Andrea Sanhueza s presentation. June 2013 Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 16 ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS FARN, Argentina
UNES, El Salvador IDARD, Dominican Republic Prodena, Bolivia CIPA, Nicaragua CEDA, Ecuador Article 19, Brazil IDEA, Paraguay Ambiente y Sociedad, Columbia Coopesolidar, Costa Rica FIMA, Chile Comunicacin y Educacin Ambiental Jamaica Environment Trust, Jamaica
Cultura Ecolgica IA/Mex, Mexico SPDA, Peru CAINFO, GAIA, Uruguay CIAM, Panama Next Steps 1) Implementation of Action plan to 2014 2) Working Groups and Focal Points Meetings 3) i. ii. iii. iv. Save the date Per 30th and 31st of
October Public Participation Substantive contribution to regional process and action plan Follow up national and international commitments Due ambition Alliances and actions PUBLIC: Any natural or legal person or community organization Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 18 How to Participate? 1) Governments official willingness: Just a letter (email) to Presiding Officers (Chile, Mexico, Dominican Republic) or the Secretariat (ECLAC) 2) Public Participation: Regional Public Mechanism
http://teamrooms.cepal.org/apps/Principio10.nsf/Insc ripcion?OpenForm&Leng=I# Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 19 NEW INTERACTIONS IN A DEMOCRATIC CONTEXT LAC COUNTRIES PUBLIC GOVERNMENTS Rights based approach State legitimacy Environmental Efficiency Political Agreements: Re think -Re create
New partnerships and strategic vision for SD P10 Cooperation Capacity Building Compliance Solid ground for an appropriate regional instrument Democratic and inclusive Process Effectiveness 20 Thank You A country does not have to be deemed fit for democracy; rather, it has to become fit through democracy." Amartya Sen
Gobierno de Chile | Ministerio del Medio Ambiente 21
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