LAC Countries Continue Negotiations on Principle 10 Instrument
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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During the Second Meeting of the Negotiating Committee on the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), delegates negotiated substantive aspects of the regional instrument, and agreed to a process for further negotiations.

The meeting was organized by the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) - the technical secretariat of the negotiating process - and the Government of Panama.

1280784375ECLAC_logo30 October 2015: During the Second Meeting of the Negotiating Committee on the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), delegates negotiated substantive aspects of the regional instrument, and agreed to a process for further negotiations. The meeting was organized by the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) – the technical secretariat of the negotiating process – and the Government of Panama.

The meeting took place from 27-29 October 2015, in Panama City, Panama.

Considering substantive aspects of the agreement, as contained in a preliminary document prepared by ECLAC, representatives from more than 20 countries, international organizations and civil society highlighted their willingness to contribute to a regional instrument that guarantees the rights of access in environmental matters. Participating countries included those that have signed onto the declaration on the application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration (access to information, public participation and justice in environmental matters).

On the process for further negotiations, participants decided to: draft a second version of the text; continue negotiating that document during a third meeting of the negotiating committee, to convene from 5-8 April 2016, in Uruguay; to continue considering proposed modalities for public participation; and to convene a fourth meeting, at a place and date to be determined. Negotiations are expected to conclude by December 2016.

In a video message, Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC Executive Secretary, said access to information, participation and justice “deepens our democracies and enables reducing global and local asymmetries,” making it more relevant than ever.

Jose Luis Samaniego, ECLAC’s Division of Sustainable Development and Human Settlements, emphasized that the results of this process will contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, considering that Principle 10 is at the center of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Panama’s Minister of Environment Mirei Endara said Principle 10 and the participation of all interested citizens is the best way to deal with environmental issues, and supported a binding regional agreement. [ECLAC Press Release, 28 October] [ECLAC Press Release, 30 October] [Meeting Website] [IISD RS Story on Negotiating Process] [IISD RS Story on First Meeting]


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