Canada and Chile step up environmental co-operation

The Council of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Co-operation meeting in Ottawa announced on 27 June agreement to broaden the scope of joint projects. This will build on initiatives that the two countries have been collaborating on over the past two years.

Under the auspices of the CCAEC (the Agreement), Canada and Chile agree to enhance environmental co-operation and to effectively enforce environmental laws, governing water, air, toxic substances and wildlife. The agreement aim is to ensure that environmental laws and regulations in both countries provide for high levels of environmental protection.

The Council agreed to move forward with 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), double last year’s budget. The costs of implementing projects will be shared between the two governments.

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.

The 1999 workplan focused on sharing of information and best practices, particularly in the areas of environmental enforcement and public participation. The council unveiled environmental law and regulation databases to provide easily accessible information on both countries’ environmental laws and regulations. Recent legal and regulatory publications will be accessible, and organisations with an interest in environmental law are invited to share their research and publications.

The CCAEC came into force in July 1997 at the same time as the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement. These agreements were modelled on the North American Free Trade (NAFTA) and Environment Agreements and aimed at strengthening the existing relations between Canada and Chile, facilitating Chile’s eventual membership of NAFTA.

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