Advice to Council 98-05 — North American Agenda for Action: 1999-2001 – A Three-Year Program Plan for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation


North American Agenda for Action: 1999-2001 – A Three-Year Program Plan for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation

The Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC),

IN ITS ROLE as one of the constituent bodies that comprise the CEC,

IN ACCORDANCE with its mandate to provide advice to Council,

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the constructive and detailed recommendations received by JPAC at the Public Workshop on Priorities for North American Cooperation for 1999-2001 and its meetings with the Council members during the Fifth Regular Session in Mérida in June 1998 and with the Alternate Representatives and the Secretariat on 3-4 September 1998;


Commends the Secretariat for producing a solid and informative draft Program Plan based on A Shared Agenda for Action agreed to by Council members at the Fifth Regular Session and makes the following general comments:

With regard to the specific programs and projects, JPAC provides the following comments and recommendations:

Theme 1:        Pursuing Environmental Sustainability in Open Markets

1.         Promoting Trade in Environmentally Friendly Goods and Services

This program area, as currently developed, appears to reflect an uneasiness with linking trade and environment and JPAC hopes that the following comments will assist in remedying this uneasiness.

The block of projects under this program area must be linked to emerging trends in order to produce an adequate assessment of potential negative implications. 

Sustainable Agriculture

Conservation and Utilization of Biodiversity

Sustainable Tourism in Natural Areas

Shared Approaches to By-Product Synergy

2.         Exploring Linkages between Environment, Economy and Trade

NAFTA Environmental Effects

3.Environmental Standards, Enforcement, Compliance and Performance

North American Regional Enforcement Forum Indicators of Effective Environmental Enforcement and Compliance Capacity Building

4.         Regional Action on Global Issues

Greenhouse Gases Emission Trading

Theme 2:        Stewardship of the North American Environment

1. Identifying Emerging Trends

Activities in this program area should be coordinated with those conducted in the Promoting Trade in Environmentally Friendly Goods and Services Program for the reasons stated above under that program area.

Emerging Trends in North America

2. Protecting Human and Ecosystem Health

There is a glaring absence of attention to water issues.  Freshwater, marine and coastal environments (including the Global Programme of Action in the Bight of the Californias and the Gulf of Maine) were a matter of focused attention and specific recommendations at the Public Workshop.  The relationship to the greenhouse effect and global warming and consequences for resources, productivity, human health require attention.

Cooperation on North American Air Quality Issues

Sound Management of Chemicals

Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry

Capacity Building in Pollution Prevention

3. Sustaining North American Biodiversity

Identifying Emerging Biodiversity Issues for North American Cooperation

Biodiversity Prospecting

North American Transboundary Migratory Species

North American Biodiversity Information Network