17 Countries Adopt Lima Vision for LAC Instrument on Access Rights

Lima-Vision4 November 2013: The 17 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) signatory countries to the Declaration on the Application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, on access to information, justice and public participation, have approved the 'Lima Vision for a Regional Instrument on Access Rights Relating to the Environment.'The Lima Vision was agreed at the third meeting of focal points from signatory countries, organized by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and hosted by the Government of Peru in Lima, from 30-31 October 2013.

The document declares the rights of access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters as essential to promoting sustainable development, democracy and a healthy environment. It also outlines agreement on values and principles to guide negotiations on the regional instrument, namely: equality, meaning without discrimination based on social status, gender, age, nationality, race, religion or any other factor; inclusion; transparency, including that all necessary information is reliable and provided in a timely manner; proactivity, allowing the public to participate in the sustainable development decision-making process in an effective and timely manner; collaboration among stakeholders; progressive realization toward full implementation of Principle 10; and non-regression, i.e., that the instrument build on agreements already reached in the region and aim to strengthen national laws or international agreements on the full implementation of access rights.

Just prior to the third meeting of the focal points, a training workshop on the implementation of Principle 10 in LAC was organized by ECLAC, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SDPA) and the World Resources Institute's Access Initiative (WRI-TAI), on 28-29 October.

The Declaration on the Application of Principle 10 was signed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) by the Governments of Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Since Rio+20, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago also have signed the Declaration. [ECLAC Press Release] [Lima Vision] [Meeting Website]