Photo Credit: Dominica News Online
Dominica signed on to an important process, geared at improving Environmental Governance in the region. The first day of the Fifth Negotiating Committee Meeting of the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has got off to a good start. These announcements were made by Mr. Lloyd Pascal, Director of the Environmental Coordinating Unit in Dominica’s Environment Ministry. Dominica which is the 23rd signatory to the Declaration, joins fellow negotiators at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) headquarters in Santiago, Chile, to continue negotiations from November 21-25, 2016.
In her opening address, Ms. Andrea Sanhueza, Elected Representative of the Public – Chile said, “The world is changing at an unprecedented pace. Many leaders coming to power in various parts of the world, are much less interested in & willing to defend the environment, protect human rights, strengthen communities or empower citizens. That is why reaching a comprehensive binding agreement is a task that can no longer wait. We call on governments to act promptly, & have an agreement signed at the end of 2017. This agreement is from and for our region.”
Also addressing the opening were the Minister of Environment of Chile, Mr. Pablo Badeneir and ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Mrs. Alicia Bárcena. In essence they noted that the P10 negotiations provide an opportunity for us to rethink our decision making processes and that our region can be the protagonist of this people centred approach to environmental governance, where citizens are active subjects instead of objects. Additionally, Mrs. Bárcena said this process connects environmental issues with human rights, and redefines the relationship between Governments, Private Sector, Civil Society and the Public.
ECLAC also revealed a creative tool called “Observatory on Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean”. This platform which will be launched in about 2 weeks will share information on laws, policies and ruling of environmental courts, related to Principle 10. This tool shows the connection between international agreements, like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and the Climate Change Paris Agreement and Principle 10. This is essential, considering the UNFCCC and the SDGs, like Principle 10, all have their origins in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.
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