In celebration of World Environment Day 2018, ECLAC called on the Latin American and Caribbean States to sign the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, adopted this past March 4 in Escazú, Costa Rica.
The Escazú Agreement will be open for the 33 countries of the region to sign on September 27, 2018 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, coinciding with the opening of the UN General Assembly annual debate. From that point on, it will be subject to ratification by the countries that have signed it. It will require 11 States Party to enter into force.
The theme of World Environment Day this year, “Beat Plastic Pollution,” reminds us that participation by society as a whole and its access to information and knowledge are essential when it comes to creating and applying effective policies favorable to a pollution-free planet, and to ensure the active collaboration of all people in putting these policies into practice.
According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the challenges facing our societies to advance toward more sustainable development require concerted action by everyone: governments, businesses, communities and individuals. The Agreement adopted in Escazú seeks precisely to ensure that all persons have access to timely, reliable information, for them to be able to effectively participate in the decisions that affect their lives and surroundings and have access to justice in environmental matters, thus contributing to the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, “This is an unprecedented, visionary agreement, made by and for Latin America and the Caribbean. It reflects our ambitions, priorities and singularities as a region, while addressing fundamental aspects of environmental protection and management in important matters such as the sustainable leveraging of natural resources, the preservation of biodiversity, the fight against desertification and climate change and the construction of disaster resilience.”
The Escazú Agreement is the only treaty to emerge from the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Río+20), the first regional environmental treaty of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and the first to contain specific binding provisions on defenders of human rights in environmental matters. Today it became part of InforMEA, an online platform for all Multilateral Environmental Agreements, both regional and global.
For more information and access to the original text of the Agreement, visit here.
Observatory on Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean: https://observatoriop10.cepal.org/en
Stay informed. Register with the Regional Public Mechanism here.