Ministers expand Canada-Chile environmental program
Council of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation meets in Ottawa
June 27, 2000 (OTTAWA) -- The Council of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation has broadened the scope of projects it will undertake jointly, building on the initiatives on which the two countries have been collaborating over the past two years. It also unveiled each Parties’ internet-based databases on environmental law and regulations.
Council consists of Environment Minister David Anderson and fellow Council member Adriana Hoffmann, Executive Director of the National Commission for the Environment of Chile. Minister Anderson was represented by Parliamentary Secretary Paddy Torsney at this second session to review the implementation of the Canada-Chile Agreement for Environmental Cooperation (CCAEC) and discuss the path ahead.
"Since its establishment in 1997, the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation has built a strong foundation for working toward shared environmental goals," said Ms Torsney. "It demonstrates the environmental benefits that can occur when countries work together."
"The projects we have approved will help further the work we have already begun," added Ms Hoffmann. "They are designed to encourage the dissemination of knowledge and information; to facilitate the establishment of partnerships and networks within and between Canada and Chile; and to support shared domestic and international priorities."
Council agreed to move forward with a workplan that includes projects under three themes:
- enforcement and compliance with environmental legislation
- public participation in environmental management
- trade and the environment
Eleven projects are proposed for an estimated budget of $130,000 (CDN), which represents a doubling of last’s year budget. Expenses related to project implementation will be shared between the two governments. Some key activities include:
- technology transfer in the area of information systems for tracking and managing enforcement activities
- workshop on public participation, in Chile September 2000
- updates and further development on websites and legislation databases
- workshop to demonstrate the use of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR), such as the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) to track progress on environmental management and facilitate public access to information on the environment
- establishment of a Round Table on Trade and Environment to discuss issues of concern to both countries.
Council also reviewed progress of the 1999 workplan, where efforts focused on sharing of information and best practices, particularly in the areas of environmental enforcement and public participation. This includes the environmental law and regulation databases that were unveiled by Council.
These databases provide easily accessible basic information on both countries’ environmental laws and regulations. They will include governments’ recent legal and regulatory publications, and will invite organizations with an interest in environmental law to share their research and publications.
Recognizing the importance of public engagement, Council also had the opportunity to participate in a public session, in which representatives from various sectors of society could express their views and concerns with respect to the CCAEC, its work program, or the environmental situation in Canada and Chile. This activity was chaired by the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC), a consultative body whose role is to provide advice to the Council on any matter related to the Agreement.
The Canadian National Secretariat received the first submission on enforcement matters pursuant to Article 14 of the Agreement from Fiscalia del Medio Ambiente (FIMA) representing five non-governmental organizations in Chile. The submission relates to the Cascada Chile project that was subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment System in Chile.
The CCAEC is the environmental side-agreement to the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement. It is designed to promote environmental cooperation and enforcement of environmental laws in both Canada and Chile. The CCAEC includes Council, a Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) (three members from each country) and a Joint Submission Committee (JSC) (one member from each country).
Media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of Minister of the Environment
Chilean National Secretariat, CCAECCONOMA
011 562 240 5600
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