JPAC calls for more involvement of indigenous communities in CEC work

Montreal, 2/15/2008-The Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in late-December made recommendations to the CEC Council-composed of the federal environment ministers from the three North American countries-calling for greater involvement of indigenous communities in the work of the Commission.

In its Advice to Council, JPAC proposes actions ranging from new capacity building efforts for reducing the dietary risks of lindane and its isomers in Mexico to helping communities develop alternative energy and ecotourism projects.

JPAC based its recommendations on discussions held during its public meeting in Winnipeg, Canada, which also included the CEC-sponsored North American Indigenous Communities Renewable Energy Forum.

As part of its work on environmental issues with indigenous communities, the CEC, with support from JPAC, is also a sponsor of the upcoming Convening of Indigenous Peoples for the Healing of Mother Earth gathering in Palenque, Chiapas. More information is available from the organizers’ website: .

In December, JPAC members also elected Ms. Jane Gardner from the United States as committee chair for 2008.