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Background - Principle 10

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, the Declaration on the application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development was signed. In this Declaration, signatory countries committed, with the support of ECLAC as technical secretariat, to advance the implementation of a regional agreement for the full implementation of the rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters. Between 2012 and 2014, four meetings of the focal points of the signatory countries and fourteen meetings of working groups were held. In November 2014, the countries launched the negotiation phase of the regional agreement and established a Negotiating Committee with a view to concluding the negotiations by December 2017.

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United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), Rio de Janeiro, June 2012
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), Rio de Janeiro, June 2012
Photo: Courtesy of UN Photo

The regional process towards the adoption of a regional agreement on Principle 10 began with the Declaration on the application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean adopted in the framework of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012. By means of the Declaration, the signatory countries committed themselves to work towards a regional agreement on the rights of environmental access to information, public participation and access to justice, matters which are enshrined in Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.

The Declaration currently has 23 signatory countries regional process and is open to all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Between 2012 and 2014, four meetings of the focal points appointed by the Governments of the signatory countries were held:

 

 

At these meetings, the countries adopted the following founding documents:

In addition, during this time, two working groups were created to advance the discussions (Working Group I on Capacity-Building and Cooperation and Working Group II on Access Rights and Regional Instrument). Such working groups met fourteen times and concluded their mandate in November 2014.

More information on the meetings of the working groups (2012-2014) can be found below:

 

First meeting

Second meeting

Third meeting

Fourth meeting

Fifth meeting

Sixth meeting

Seventh meeting

Working Group I

9 August 
2013

4 October 
2013

29 October 
2013

28 March 2014

30 May 2014

22 August 2014

10 and 11 September 2014

Working Group II

9 August
2013

8 October
2013

29 October 2013

4 April 
2015

23 May 2014

1 August
 2014

10 and 11 September 2014

With the Santiago Decision of November 2014, the countries began the negotiating phase of the regional agreement, thereby creating a Negotiating Committee that would substitute the meetings of the focal points and the two working groups.