Montreal, 21 July 2015—On 20 July 2015, the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) received a submission asserting that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws in relation to La Primavera Forest Natural Protected Area in Tlajomulco de Zuñiga, Jalisco, Mexico.
Submission SEM-15-001 (La Primavera Forest), from an individual in Mexico, asserts that the Santa Anita Hills housing development project is causing the destruction of a netleaf oak forest, and questions the legality of the change in land use from forest to urban area and the construction of houses in the buffer zone of La Primavera Forest.
The Submitter maintains that the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) and the State of Jalisco are failing to enforce provisions of the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente), the General Wildlife Law (Ley General de Vida Silvestre), the Federal Sustainable Forest Development Act (Ley Federal de Desarrollo Forestal Sustentable) and Jalisco’s State Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection Act (Ley Estatal de Equilibrio Ecologico y de la Proteccion al Ambiente).
The CEC Secretariat is reviewing SEM-15-001 to determine whether it meets the admissibility criteria for submissions set out in Article 14(1) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).
NAAEC Articles 14 and 15 include procedures allowing private parties to make submissions to the CEC Secretariat asserting that a Party is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law. The CEC has published Guidelines for Submissions on Enforcement Matters explaining these procedures. In appropriate cases, and upon instruction from the CEC Council, the CEC Secretariat may examine a submission further and develop a factual record. Article 11(8) requires that the Secretariat safeguard from disclosure, where appropriate, information that could identify a person making a submission.
For more information, please visit the CEC’s Submissions on Enforcement Matters webpage, and the registry of Submission SEM-15-001 (La Primavera Forest).
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.