LAC Countries Approve Action Plan on Principle 10

lac_countries_approve18 April 2013: The 14 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, approved a 2014 action plan to conclude a regional agreement on applying Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The action plan was agreed at the second meeting of focal points from signatory countries, organized by the UN Economic Commission for LAC (ECLAC) and hosted by the Government of Mexico, in Guadalajara, Mexico, from 16-17 April 2013.

Under the action plan, negotiations for a regional agreement will proceed through at least two working groups. A working group on capacity building and cooperation will focus on intensifying regional and international cooperation regarding training and financing needs and operations, both for the public sector and the public in general. A working group on access rights, consultation and the regional instrument will examine a report prepared by ECLAC on the status of Principle 10 access rights in the signatory countries, as well as national and international practices, and prepare proposals on the subject for the regional instrument.

Non-signatory LAC countries can participate in working groups as observers. Members of the public can also attend unless the signatory countries, in exceptional circumstances, decide to hold closed sessions during meetings. In addition, a regional public mechanism will be created to keep interested parties informed, facilitate their involvement, and coordinate public participation in meetings.

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, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Since Rio+20, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago also have signed the Declaration. [ECLAC Press Release] [Plan of Action to 2014] [Access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean: Situation, outlook and examples of good practice] [IISD RS Story on First Meeting of Focal Points]