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Media Release

CEC Council votes against the development of a factual record concerning the Protection of Polar Bears submission

Montreal, 13 June 2014—On 5 June, the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) decided by a vote of two-thirds majority in Council Resolution 14-04 to instruct the CEC Secretariat not to prepare a factual record concerning submission SEM-11-003 (Protection of Polar Bears), which was filed in December 2011 by the Center for Biological Diversity, a US-based nongovernmental organization.

Council Resolution 14-04, as well as Canada’s and Mexico’s reasons against the preparation of a factual record and the statement by the United States explaining its vote in support of the preparation of a factual record, are posted in the public registry for Submission SEM-11-003.

On 18 November 2013, the CEC Secretariat had recommended to the CEC Council the development of a factual record, regarding the submitters’ assertions on Canada’s enforcement of certain provisions of the federal Species at Risk Act with respect to the polar bear species.

Articles 14 and 15 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation(NAAEC) provide that the CEC Secretariat may consider a submission from members of the public and nongovernmental organizations concerning the effective enforcement of environmental law by a NAAEC Party (Canada, Mexico, or the US). The CEC has published Guidelines for Submissions on Enforcement Matters explaining the steps in the process.

For further information, please visit the CEC Submissions on Enforcement Matters website.

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

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