ParlAmericas and Parliamentarians for Global Action hosted “Towards effective environmental governance: Access to information, participation, and justice”
The virtual meeting “Towards effective environmental governance: Access to information, participation, and justice” jointly organized by ParlAmericas and Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) was held on July 11, 2023, to examine the challenges and opportunities related to advancing environmental governance in the region.
As the regional agreement that recognizes, protects, and promotes the rights of access to information, participation, and justice in environmental matters, the Escazú Agreement is crucial in guiding inclusive and effective environmental governance in Latin America and the Caribbean. In this vein, the welcoming remarks by the Honourable Senator Rosa Galvez (Canada), President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, and the Honourable Valerie Woods, MP (Belize), Speaker of the House of Representatives and PGA Board Member highlighted the importance of parliamentary participation in the regional and global forums in which such agreements are negotiated.
The meeting featured a presentation on the current state of the Escazú Agreement in the region by David Barrio Lamarche, Environmental Affairs Officer for the Escazú Agreement Secretariat of ECLAC, and a vibrant panel discussion including Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns (Jamaica), Shadow Minister of Land, Environment and Climate Change; Senator Emilio Álvarez Icaza (Mexico), PGA Board Member; and Tyrell Gittens, young geographer, environmentalist, conservationist and journalist from Trinidad and Tobago, which was moderated by Member of the Chamber of Deputies Margarita Stolbizer (Argentina), PGA Board Member and founding President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality.
The discussions held during the session addressed strategies parliaments can use to promote public awareness and inform national debates on ratifying and implementing the Escazú Agreement. To conclude the meeting, Mónica Adame, Secretary-General of PGA and Alisha Todd, Director General of ParlAmericas offered brief words of appreciation and underscored the relevance of spaces such as this for inter-regional knowledge exchange towards improved environmental governance.
The Honourable Senator Rosa Galvez (Canada), President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change
“In efforts to achieve more inclusive and democratic societies amidst a changing climate, it is our responsibility as parliaments to promote civic engagement. In order to do so we have to ensure all members of society are not only aware of their right to access information but are also empowered to exercise it.”