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First Round of Negotiations Concludes for Regional Agreement on Rights of Access in Environmental Matters

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7 May 2015|Press Release

With the incorporation of Antigua and Barbuda, 20 countries agreed the organization and working plan for the second round of negotiations.


Photo of the delegates attending the meeting
Delegates from 20 countries attended at ECLAC the First meeting of the negotiation committee on the regional agreement on Principle 10.
Photo: ECLAC

(May 7, 2015) Representatives from the signatory countries of the declaration on the application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development wrapped up a three-day meeting today at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile.

During the gathering, delegates agreed to begin a process of internal national consultations on the preliminary document, prepared by ECLAC at the request of the signatory countries, regarding the creation of a regional instrument on access to information, public participation and justice in environmental matters.

The document may serve as the basis for forging a future regional agreement, which should be completed by December 2016 at the latest.

The main thrust of the organization's proposal is to strengthen environmental governance and protect the right to live in a healthy and sustainable environment through the effective application in the region of the rights of access consecrated in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, with a focus on cooperation and strengthened capacities that enables countries to improve their laws, policies, institutions and practices in this area.

At the end of the meeting, the delegates agreed to present their observations on the document prepared by the Commission to the process’s secretariat—which is held by ECLAC—before August 31, 2015.

Additionally, they agreed to negotiate on the new text that includes these observations during the Second Meeting of the Negotiating Committee for a Regional Agreement on Principle 10, which will take place in October 2015 in Panama.

With the incorporation of Antigua and Barbuda as a signatory country of the declaration on Principle 10, the number of nations in the region adhering to this process rises to 20. The process itself is open to all Latin American and Caribbean countries.