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JPAC Regular Session 14-01: Building Healthy and Sustainable Homes in Remote Communities: A Focus on Indigenous Communities in North America

Hotel Victoria Oaxaca Carretera Internacional Km 545 Oaxaca, Oaxaca

12 and 13 May, 2014


Barriers to building healthy, sustainable homes remains a major concern for a number of remote communities in North America, as well as many indigenous communities. To discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by Canada, Mexico and the United States, the CEC invites you to join a public forum featuring researchers, community leaders, government officials, and all others impacted by this issue. 

With the overall goal of providing recommendations on this important environmental justice issue to the CEC Council – North America’s highest-level environmental authorities – the JPAC, invited experts, and stakeholders will explore the following issues: 

Indoor Air Quality

Recorded Webcast

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Day 1

Day 2


Monday, 12 May 2014

Foyer Mitla Room

Registration of Participants

Mitlá Room

Welcoming Remarks

Robert Varney
JPAC Chair

Mitla Room

Opening and introductory remarks

Irasema Coronado
Executive Director, Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)

Gabino Cué Monteagudo
Constitutional Governor of the State of Oaxaca

Juan José Guerra Abud
Mexico’s Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources


Presentation of objectives, methodology and participants

Benjamin Teitelbaum
Program Manager,CEC and facilitator

Julian Portilla
Director, Masters in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies, Woodbury Institute of Champlain College


Keynote presentation

Pedro Pacheco
Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Art and Design
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Session 1: Air, Energy and Water: Securing High Quality and Affordable Resources in Remote Communities

This session focuses on how to improve access to clean water, indoor air quality and affordable energy in remote communities, drawing from examples and successful practices in low-tech systems and designs, community renewable energy projects, and other initiatives across the continent.

Dave Angus
JPAC member

Troy Ritter
Applied Sciences Manager at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and Director of the Indian Health Service’s National Tribal Water Center
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María Teresa Hernández Cruz
Center of Applied Research on Environment and Health, CIACYT-Medicina-UASLP
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Chris Henderson
Lumos Energy and Author of “Aboriginal Energy”
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Mariel Nanasi
Executive Director and President
New Energy Economy Group

A.J. Salkoski
Project Manager
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium


Facilitated discussion with the panelists and participants


Session 1 wrap-up




Session 2: Barriers that Limit the Access of Healthy and Affordable Homes and Resources in Remote Communities

Affordable, healthy, high-quality housing is the basic element for a sustainable community. Housing choice plays an important role in reducing disparities in health, economic, and quality of life and leads to building thriving regions. This session will identify measures to mitigate barriers to affordable transportation of building materials to remote communities and the availability of local expertise in sustainable systems/building.

Ann Edminster
Principal, Design AVEnues and Chair of the CEC’s Green Building Task Force

Molly McCabe
Executive Director
Red Feather Development Group
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Dimos Polyzois
Professor of Structural Engineering
University of Manitoba

Jack Hebert
President and CEO of Cold Climate Housing Research Center
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Nadav Malin
President, Building Green


Facilitated discussion with the panelists and participants


Session 2 wrap-up


Keynote Presentation

Greg Koch
Global Director of Water Stewardship
The Coca-Cola Company
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Yagul Room



Session 3: Protecting Communities Most Vulnerable to the Impacts of Climate Change

Vulnerability to climate change and its impact on social, political, economic and environmental conditions is being experienced in communities throughout North America. This session will identify successful and promising mitigation measures that can be implemented in remote communities.

Francisco Garza Egloff
JPAC member

Salvador Rodríguez Kuri
Sustainable Energy Program in Mexico, GOPA
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Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz
Doctor in Rural Development, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana -Lerma
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Julie Koppel Maldonado
Department of Anthropology, American University in Washington, DC, and co-author of The Impact Of Climate Change on Tribal Communities in the Us: Displacement, Relocation, and Human Rights
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Charlie Sark
Board of Directors, Treasurer, Indigenous Rights Centre Coordinator
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Facilitated discussion with the panelists and participants


Session 3 wrap-up




Session 4: Financing for Residential Green Building Projects (New Construction and Retrofits) in Remote Communities

This session will examine opportunities to leverage new sources of capital—private or other—to scale up projects that increase sustainability of the built environment (e.g., collective, residential, new construction and retrofits) in Mexico’s low- and middle-income areas, taking into account community-specific needs.

Jerilyn Mendoza
JPAC member

Francisco Ceballos
Director of Evaluation and Performance
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Bill Semple
Architect/Principal, NORDEC Design and Consulting
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Dave Ron
Energy and Sustainability Expert, Sustainability Solutions Group


Facilitated discussion with the panelists and participants


Session 4 wrap-up


Sessions 1-4 wrap-up


Closing Remarks by Robert Varney, JPAC Chair

Jardín El Tule

Welcome Reception

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


Session 5: Recap of Sessions 1-4 and drafting of recommendations for each topic addressed in Sessions 1-4.

Facilitated discussion with all participants




Report from the National and Governmental Advisory Committee representatives


Report on Recommendations from the Good Neighbor Environmental Board

Mark Joyce
Associate Director
US Environmental Protection Agency
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Closing remarks by Robert Varney, JPAC Chair


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