Opportunity for improved transparency, access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters in Latin Americ

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Feb 4, 2013

Overview

The TAI network was actively involved at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development promoting the importance of access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental decision-making (Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration).

TAI campaigned for the development of a Global and Regional Convention on Principle 10 by running various campaigns, hosting workshops, and attending preparatory meetings lobbying and sharing information with government officials. Our efforts were rewarded as the Outcome Document “The Future We Want” encourages countries to take action at the regional level to ensure effective implementation of Principle 10.

More importantly, 11 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) governments –Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay- signed onto a declaration called the Principle 10 Declaration to launch a process to create a regional instrument that promotes transparency, inclusiveness and accountability.

In November 2012, the Government of Chile and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in its role as Secretariat, organized the First Meeting of the Focal Points of the P10 Declaration. The meeting had for objectives to look at access rights in the region and to start a dialogue to move towards a regional instrument. The governments’ Focal Points agreed on a roadmap that defined next steps and appointed a Steering Committee composed of the governments of Chile, the Dominican Republic and Mexico to coordinate the process.

Please click here for the report of the first meeting of the signatory countries, including the list of Government-appointed Focal Points.

Getting Started

The TAI Secretariat has convened a core group of civil society organizations in 17 LAC countries, comprised of the 11 countries that signed the Declaration, as well as other organizations committed to the process and who can work with their governments to sign the Declaration. Andrea Sanhueza is in charge of the coordination as well as a team composed of Lesly Baesens and Carole Excell from the World Resources Institute, TAI’s Secretariat.

See here for the complete list of organizations.

Each organization has made the following commitments:

  1. Keep abreast of the process.
  2. Tell their government that their organization is part of this effort.
  3. Engage their country government to sign the Declaration, if it hasn’t done so already.
  4. Provide feedback, suggestions and contact information when prompted
  5. Disseminate information about this process as widely as possible.

Proposal on rules of procedure for public participation process

TAI contacted the Chilean Government to express interest in sending them a proposal to include rules of procedure for the participation of the public in the process at the regional and national level. TAI prepared the proposal and sought comments from the 15 interested CSOs, several of which had participated in the first meeting of the Focal Points. Click here for a copy of the document incorporating the comments received.

We hope to hear from you! To keep informed about this process, please contact:

Carole Excell cexcell@wri.org Lesly Baesens lbaesens@wri.org Andrea Sanhueza andreasanhuezae@gmail.com

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