Montreal, 18 December 2015—The Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) today voted unanimously, Council Resolution 15-05, to make public the factual record concerning submission SEM-11-002 (Sumidero Canyon II), filed with the Secretariat on 29 November 2011, by the Comité Pro-Mejoras de la Ribera Cahuaré (the “Submitter”).
On 17 September 2015, the CEC Secretariat delivered to the Council a final factual record regarding the Submitter’s assertions that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law in connection with the operation of a rock quarry in Sumidero Canyon National Park (“Sumidero Canyon”) in Chiapas, Mexico.
The factual record presents information relevant to the Submitters’ assertions in regard to: i) noise emissions by Cales y Morteros del Grijalva, a company operating a quarry in the Sumidero Canyon; ii) the definition of acceptable rates or limits of change and carrying capacities for the Sumidero Canyon National Park; and iii) the extent to which the quarry’s activities generate benefits for the local residents, including its alleged impact on the health of the residents of Ribera Cahuaré, and whether these activities are compatible with the applicable legal framework.
The purpose of a factual record is to provide an objective presentation of the facts relevant to the assertions set forth in a submission under Article 14 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, and to allow readers to draw their own conclusions regarding a Party’s environmental law enforcement. Although a factual record does not contain conclusions or recommendations, it is expected to generally outline the history of the environmental enforcement issue raised in the submission, the relevant legal obligations of the Party, and the actions of the Party in fulfilling those obligations.
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.