CEC to Convene Top Environment Officials from Canada, Mexico, United States, 28–29 June in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Montreal, 24 May 2023 — The Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s (CEC) 30th annual Council Session and Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) Public Forum will take place in Canada this year, as the CEC convenes North America’s top environmental officials, Indigenous Peoples, youth, experts and interested groups and individuals for #CEC30, where “Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation” will be at the forefront of the environmental agenda.
Following last year’s Session in Mexico, it is now Canada’s turn, as Chair, to host North America’s leading environmental event. #CEC30 will take place as a hybrid event (virtual and in-person participation) in Victoria, Canada, on 28 and 29 June 2023.
“As North Americans increasingly feel the impacts of climate change, this is the moment to accelerate collaborative actions across the region to make our communities and economies more resilient,” said Jorge Daniel Taillant, CEC’s Executive Director. “Whole-of-society solutions are needed to respond to the multiple challenges of our most climate-vulnerable communities. This 30th Council Session represents a sea change for environmental protection in North America. We must align our environmental priorities and actions to more quickly and aggressively address our most pressing environmental challenges, by recognizing and prioritizing the importance of traditional and Indigenous perspectives in climate solutions, as well as considering climate impacts and solutions in urban environments where many of our most climate-vulnerable communities are located. We must respond to the climate emergency head-on and with all available means. The time to act on climate is now, and North America, through our trilateral collaborative forum offered by the CEC, is leading the way.”
Each year, the CEC convenes the top environmental leaders from Canada, Mexico, and the United States to engage with the public in a dialogue on pressing environmental issues facing North America. This year, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, will host his Council counterparts, Secretary María Luisa Albores González of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico (Semarnat) and United States Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe.
Throughout #CEC30, participants can learn from and engage with environmental officials, subject matter experts, Indigenous and community leaders, youth, activists and other interested groups and individuals working on or concerned about climate change, Indigenous approaches to climate adaptation and conservation, and urban environmental issues, like environmental justice.
#CEC30 will be open to the public and live streamed in English, French and Spanish. We encourage participants to take advantage of the ability to participate remotely in this two-day conference and avoid the need to travel. Registration is now open and participation is free of charge.
Media and the public-at-large are invited to attend all #CEC30 events, either in person or virtually, and will be able to pose questions for all event sessions:
28 June 2023
Time Zone: Pacific Time (UTC-8)
- 9:00–15:00 JPAC Public Forum on Indigenous Approaches to Climate Adaptation, which will serve as a platform to showcase climate adaptation stories from Indigenous communities and discuss the critical role that Indigenous knowledge and perspectives can have in shaping climate adaptation policies and planning efforts. In addition to a keynote presentation and providing updates on JPAC and CEC activities, the forum will include two sessions on: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.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.
29 June 2023
Time Zone: Pacific Time (UTC-8)
- 9:00–11:30 CEC Panel on Nature-based solutions, Environmental Justice and Climate Adaptation in Urban Environments
- 14:00–17:00 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.”
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 trade agreement.
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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.