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September 6, 2017
ParlAmericas participates in the II Inter-American Congress on the Environmental Rule of Law

From September 4th to the 6th, lawyers, judges, experts, parliamentarians, and academics gathered at the Supreme Court of Justice in Santiago, Chile, to participate in the II Inter-American Congress on the Environmental Rule of Law. The conference was organized by the Organization of American States (OAS), in collaboration with UN Environment, the World Commission on Environmental Law, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature to promote the debate on the state of environmental law in the Americas, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Congress was inaugurated by Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, followed by a high-level panel comprised of Senator Andres Zaldívar Larraín, President of the Senate of Chile; Ricardo Lorenzetti, President of the Supreme Court of Argentina; and Antonio Benjamin, Minister of the High Court of Brazil, among others.

During the meeting, a ParlAmericas delegation offered a parliamentary perspective on the status of environmental rule of law. Member of the National Assembly and Vice-President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change Ana Belén Marín (Ecuador) stated that, “National laws must be aligned with international commitments and have the necessary budgetary support. It is imperative to create long-term agendas that are independent from political situations”. Also in attendance was Member of the Chamber of Deputies Patricio Vallespín (Chile), member of the commission on the environment and natural resources in the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, who highlighted that, “Legislatures must seek mechanisms to oversee progress in environmental legislation and use approaches that are appropriate the reality of each territory.”

Further, the delegates shared information about legislative work to advance environmental legislation in alignment with the commitments adopted by governments through the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. During the discussions, participants emphasized the importance of decision makers taking into account environmental issues and the dynamic nature of environmental legislation, which must keep pace with the changing climate and its impacts.