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#CEC30: Join the 30th Regular Session of the CEC Council and Meeting of the Joint Public Advisory Committee

Fairmont Empress 721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia

28 and 29 June, 2023


Mark your calendars for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)’s 30th annual Council Session and Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) Public Forum, to be held 28-29 June 2023 in Victoria, British Columbia. For nearly 30 years, the Governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States have worked together through the CEC to conserve, protect and enhance the North American environment. Since July 2020, these trinational efforts have continued through the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, alongside the USMCA/CUSMA/T-MEC.

Each year, the CEC convenes the top environmental officials from Canada, Mexico and the United States to engage with the public in a dialogue on pressing environmental issues facing our region. This year, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, will host his counterparts, United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan and Secretary María Luisa Albores González of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources Mexico (Semarnat).

The CEC’s Joint Public Advisory Committee will kick off the two-day event, by hosting a Public Forum on 28 June, which will offer public participants representing a diversity of stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples from the three countries the opportunity to engage in a dialogue on critical environmental issues, and share their perspectives within the framework of the Council Session.

Throughout #CEC30, participants can learn from and engage with subject matter experts, business leaders, youth, Indigenous and community leaders, and other stakeholders focused on enhancing trilateral cooperation to conserve, protect and enhance North America’s unique biodiversity and natural resources. Remote and in-person participants will also hear from the CEC Council during the Council Public Session on 29 June.

The 2023 CEC Council Session and JPAC Public Forum are open to the public and both will be live streamed in English, French and Spanish. The agenda and registration details will be announced in April 2023.

If you would like to know more about CEC initiatives and stay up to date, you can sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media.

Participation at the 2023 CEC Council Session is free of charge.

#CEC30 Event Banner


Wednesday, 28 June 2023

JPAC Public Forum on Indigenous Approaches to Climate Adaptation

Climate change is impacting communities across North America, giving way to increased events such as flooding, coastal erosion, drought, fires, and heat waves, to name a few. For Indigenous communities, climate change also poses serious threats to their traditional way of life, including to their food, modes of transportation, cultural ways, and sacred sites. As North American communities face the reality of increasing climate variability, reducing vulnerability and building local resilience has become a shared priority for all three countries.

This JPAC hybrid forum will serve as a platform to showcase climate adaptation stories from Indigenous communities in the three countries and discuss the critical role of Indigenous Knowledge and perspectives in shaping effective climate adaptation policies and planning efforts.

Time Zone: Pacific Time (PT) (UTC-8)

(Palm Court, Fairmont Empress)

Registration of Public Participants


Welcoming Ceremony


Opening Remarks

Octaviana V. Trujillo
JPAC Chair


Welcoming Remarks

Jorge Daniel Taillant
CEC Executive Director


Keynote Presentation

Miles G. Richardson
Chair, University of Victoria, National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development




Session 1: Climate Adaptation in North America: Learning from Indigenous Communities

This session will bring together Indigenous community leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States to showcase climate adaptation stories in the three countries. Invited speakers will share their experience and unique perspectives on climate change, how it is impacting their communities, and how they approach climate adaptation to build community resilience.

Kathy Hodgson-Smith
TEKEG Facilitator (Moderator)

Eli Enns
President and CEO, IISAAK OLAM Foundation (Canada)

Paulina Garrido Bonilla
Representative, the Tosepan Union of Cooperatives (Mexico)
Download Presentation

Frankie Myers
Vice Chairman, Yurok Tribe (virtual) (United States)

Upper Pavilion, Conference Centre

Lunch [Provided]


Session 2: Integrating TEK and Indigenous Perspectives into Climate Adaptation Policy and Planning

During this session, invited speakers will discuss the critical role of Indigenous Knowledge and perspectives in shaping effective climate adaptation policies and planning efforts. The session will highlight case studies where Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous perspectives were integrated into climate adaptation initiatives to enhance their effectiveness and promote greater resilience to climate change impacts.

Felicia Marcus
JPAC member (Moderator)

Laura S. Lynes
President, The Resilience Institute (Canada)
Download Presentation

María Lorena Soto Pinto
Researcher, Southern Border College (ECOSUR) (Mexico)
Download Presentation

Lorraine Eiler
Legislative Representative, San Lucy District, Tohono O'odham Nation (United States)


Report from the National and Governmental Advisory Committee Representatives

Andy Carey
US National Advisory Committee Chair (virtual)
Download Presentation

Marina Brock
US Governmental Advisory Committee Chair (virtual)


Overview of SEM Process

Paolo Solano
Director, Legal Affairs and Submissions on Enforcement Matters Unit
Download Presentation


Closing Remarks

Octaviana V. Trujillo
JPAC Chair

Palm Court, Fairmont Empress

Visit to the CEC Exhibition, and Networking Space



475 Belleville St., Victoria, BC V8V 2P8

Travel to the Wawaditla Mungo Martin House

Participants will head to the Wawaditla Mungo Martin House at 18:30.

Wawaditla Mungo Martin House, 475 Belleville St., Victoria, BC V8V 2P8

Traditional Ceremony

Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville St., Victoria

Welcoming Reception and Official Opening of the 30th Regular Session of the Council

Thursday, 29 June 2023

CEC Panel on Nature-Based Solutions, Environmental Justice and Climate Adaptation in Urban Environments

The global consensus and current push to accelerate climate action, including transitioning to zero-carbon economies by reducing potent greenhouse gases, to protecting and conserving natural resources which act as critical carbon sinks, to introducing nature-based solutions to promote natural cooling and build community and ecosystem resilience to the impacts of climate change, to promoting environmental justice, and to generate the financing needed for climate action to improve resilience and capacity to adapt to climate change are largely derived and occurring at an international and national level. Yet many of the actions that are needed to thwart climate change must take place at the very local level, through actions advanced by subnational governments, including states, provinces, cities and local communities.

In North America, 80% of people live in urban areas, making urban environments the space and framework through which much of today’s climate change, and responses to it, plays out. Innovative local solutions and actions to tackle climate change are happening in our cities across North America.

This session explores North American challenges and responses to climate change in the urban environment and responds to the North American Environmental Cooperation Agreement’s (ECA) mandate to facilitate partnerships, linkages and other new channels for the development and transfer of knowledge and technologies with national and subnational governments to promote the development and exchange of best practices and environmental information.

The session will gather experts from the three countries working on climate action in urban settings, offering moderated discussion and public commentary on:

  • Key issues to consider, before city officials and urban communities to align with and adopt emerging global, national and state climate policy and targets, including regulatory, financial, administrative, social and economic challenges and opportunities;
  • Examples of effective policies, strategies, programs and city management approaches to promote climate adaptation and resilience;
  • The use of nature-based solutions to reduce emissions, promote cooling and energy efficiency, and to build community resilience to climate impacts;
  • Ecosystem restoration as a vehicle to reestablish connection and identify between urban dwellers and the natural environment;
    Program of Public Events
  • Priorities and actions to address environmental justice and promote social equity.

Time Zone: Pacific Time (PT) (UTC-8)


(Palm Court, Fairmont Empress)

Registration of Public Participants


Welcoming remarks and introduction of session scope and objectives

Jorge Daniel Taillant
CEC Executive Director


Presentation on the current status, challenges and opportunities for climate adaptation in urban environments

Doug Smith
Deputy General Manager, Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability, City of Vancouver
Download Presentation


Panel discussion with lead responses by invited experts intermixed with questions/comments from the public (in-person and online)

Download Response from ED to questions from the Public

Jacqueline Patterson
Executive Director, Chisholm Legacy Project, Washington, DC, United States

Deborah Carlson
Attorney, West Coast Environmental Law, British Columbia, Canada

Javier Garduño Arredondo
Lead, Latin America and the Caribbean, Red Global de Ciudades Resilientes (Resilient Cities Network)

Mario Duarte
Director, Cultura Ambiental y Asuntos Internacionales, Secretaría de Medio Ambiente, Mexico City

Matt Holmes
Co-coordinator, California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC), United States
California Air Resources Board-CARB



Evan Lloyd

(Palm Court, Fairmont Empress)

Visit to the CEC Exhibition, and Networking Space

(Upper Pavilion, Conference Centre)

Lunch [provided]

Council Public Meeting
Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation

In accordance with the Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (ECA) Article 3(4), the CEC Council shall hold public meetings in the course of all regular sessions. These public meetings have been held since 1995 and represent a unique opportunity for North American citizens to engage with senior environmental officials and learn about North American environmental collaboration in the context of free trade as well as share their views with the Council. This year’s public meeting will focus on “Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation.”

(Crystal Ballroom, Fairmont Empress)

Welcoming remarks

Jorge Daniel Taillant
CEC Executive Director


Introduction and presentation of video on CEC’s accomplishments

Jorge Daniel Taillant
CEC Executive Director


Dialogue with the Council on Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation

During this session, Council members and invited experts will participate in a public dialogue on Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation.

This dialogue will be moderated by Lisa Helps, former two-year term Mayor of Victoria, who will facilitate the expert dialogue and questions and answers with public participants.

The following invited experts will also participate in the dialogue with the Council: Skw’akw’as (Sunshine Lillian) (Canada), Jamie Donatuto (US), and José Inés Loria Palma (Mexico).


Youth Innovation Challenge Winners

The 2023 Youth Innovation Challenge invited North American youth, aged 18 to 30, to propose innovative solutions that address and respond to critical issues related to water. This 7th annual challenge, under the theme “Water Solutions for Sustainable Development,” encouraged dynamic and creative young leaders to participate in actions, innovation, and transformation on issues relating to water. Winners will be announced during this session and will be invited to present their innovative solutions to the Council and the public.


Council Announcements


Council Session Closing

Click here to download the complete program of public events.


Nathalie Daoust
Director, Government Relations, Strategy and Performance
(514) 350-4310

Marcela Orozco
Head of Unit, Advisory Groups and Private Sector Engagement
(514) 350-4305