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April 20, 2022
ParlAmericas took part in the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Escazú Agreement

On April 20, 2022, ParlAmericas, represented by Senator Raúl Bolaños Cacho-Cué (Mexico), vice-president of North America for the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, took part in the special session “Towards the effective implementation of the Escazú Agreement and greater cooperation” in the first Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Escazú Agreement, hosted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). A series of preliminary remarks on the progress made in the implementation of the Escazú Agreement, the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, were shared during this first COP held between April 20-22, 2022, in Santiago, Chile. The topics of articles 14, 15 and 18 of the Agreement were addressed, among other relevant matters.

This session was also attended by key representatives of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), among others. They shared their views on the progress made, the challenges to be tackled, and the opportunities ahead to achieve a full and effective implementation of the rights to access environmental information, public involvement in environmental decision-making processes, and access to justice regarding environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean. Public officers and experts agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation, foster dialogue among stakeholders and adopt a multilateral approach as strategies to enable further progress in the implementation of the Agreement. They also reaffirmed their commitment to advancing the agenda.

In his intervention, Senator Bolaños emphasized that it is key that parliaments continue to be included in these efforts: “Our role as parliamentarians from the Americas and the Caribbean is instrumental for the success of the Escazú Agreement. Not only because the Parliament is charged with ratifying it, but also that the political and budgetary oversight we must perform favour its implementation. The involvement of parliamentarians in these areas is particularly relevant to the spirit of the Agreement, as the legislative branch is the forum for representation, deliberation and substantive participation of our fellow citizens in decision-making processes”.