Gustavo Alanís Ortega, president of the Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (Mexican Environmental Law Center—CEMDA), to chair the Commission’s Joint Public Advisory Committee in 2015.
Montreal, 7 January 2015—The Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s (CEC) Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) has unanimously elected Mexican JPAC member Gustavo Alanís Ortega as the committee chair for 2015. He succeeds US JPAC member Robert Varney, former New England Regional Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, who served as chair during 2014.
A lawyer and university professor at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Alanís Ortega is widely respected in Mexico and abroad for his ability to bring together members of civil society, industry and government on environmental issues. He has worked diligently for more than 21 years with a broad range of domestic and international stakeholders to promote the relevancy, awareness and effective enforcement and compliance of Mexico’s environmental laws and regulations. In 1993, Alanís Ortega founded the Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (Mexican Environmental Law Center—CEMDA), a public interest environmental law firm based in Mexico City.
“The Commission for Environmental Cooperation is uniquely positioned to unite North Americans under a single goal — to work together to strengthen the stewardship of our continent’s natural environment,” said Alanís Ortega. “Outreach is a vital component of JPAC’s mandate, and we are committed to supporting and strengthening public participation and promoting transparency in the work of the CEC.”
Alanís Ortega has served as an advisor or board member for a wide range of organizations, including the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), the IUCN Environmental Law Academy, the Water Advisory Council (Consejo Consultivo del Agua), Reforesting México (Reforestemos México), and Mexico’s Climate Change Council.
Alanís Ortega received his law degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and his master’s degree in international law from the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, DC. He was most recently appointed to JPAC in December 2012, having previously served on the committee from 2001 to 2004 and from 2008 to 2011.
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.