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Media Release

Mérida workshop to aid vulnerable ecosystems, communities under pressure

Participants will learn about, use and help improve tools for assessing vulnerability and improving environmental health of communities

  • Register now for 13-14 December Joint Public Advisory Committee public workshop; agenda, forms online at: www.cec.org/JPACMerida

Montreal, 16 November 2012—North America’s ecosystems are under enormous stress—from a changing climate, the pollution emitted into the air and water, and the overconsumption of natural resources. This stress has direct impacts on the human communities that depend on those ecosystems.

On 13-14 December in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s (CEC) Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) will host a hands-on workshop to learn about and use a range of new tools for assessing vulnerability, mapping environmental stressors and changes, and developing capacity for improving the environmental health of communities.

Participants at the Reducing Ecosystem Vulnerability, Responding to Community Needs: Tools and Information for North American Action workshop will work directly with ecosystem and community experts from across North America, along with JPAC members, rural and indigenous community leaders, as well as officials from environment agencies in the Yucatán peninsula.

With the overall goal of exploring how to protect vulnerable communities across North America and the ecosystems they depend on from environmental change and disaster, the workshop will feature four working sessions following brief presentations to set the stage:

  • Give examples of impacts of increased ecosystem vulnerability on the livelihoods and health of participants’ communities and those elsewhere in North America
  • Use and improve the CEC’s Framework for Capacity Building to Improve the Environmental Health of Vulnerable Communities in North America
  • Locate vulnerable ecosystems and human communities geographically, using the North American Environmental Atlas and related maps and data to estimate future environmental change
  • Propose actions, for presentation to North America’s environment ministers, to strengthen the ability of North Americans to identify vulnerable ecosystems and human communities.

Register today

The JPAC workshop will be held at the Fiesta Americana Mérida Hotel and is open to the public. There is no charge to participate in the workshop, but participants must register in advance at www.cec.org/JPACMerida. A preliminary agenda is available online; other information, including speaker biographies, will be posted soon.

For those not able to participate in Mérida, the CEC Secretariat will be live blogging from the workshop. Join the conversation online before and during the event via Twitter (follow @CECWeb) using #JPAC and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CECconnect.

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.

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