CEC Receives Environmental Enforcement Submission on Illegal Logging and Forest Land Use Change in Jalisco, Mexico
Montreal, 18 May 2023—Yesterday, Mexican citizens filed a submission under Chapter 24 of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA/CUSMA) with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). The submission asserts that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws, including the Sustainable Forest Development Act and the Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection Act, to prevent illegal logging and forest land use change in the municipality of Cuautla, Jalisco, Mexico.
In submission SEM-23-006 (Illegal Logging in Jalisco), the submission asserts that Mexico is failing to prevent illegal logging that is occurring to clearcut forest land and alter land use for avocado cultivation. The submission alleges that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce procedures for changing land use from forest land to agriculture. The submission maintains that the process established in the law was not followed with regard to an area known as “Los Amoles” in Cuautla, Jalisco, and that people entered the land illegally, cut down trees in this area without authorization, transported the wood, and sold the wood commercially, resulting in deforestation and land use change, as Los Amoles is allegedly being converted to an avocado plantation.
The submission cites provisions from the General Act on Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente) as well as the General Act on Sustainable Forest Development (Ley General de Desarrollo Forestal Sustentable) and its regulations. Due to security concerns, confidentiality regarding authorship of the submission was requested.
The Secretariat will review the submission within 30 days and determine whether it meets the requirements of USMCA/CUSMA Articles 24.27(1), (2), and (3). To learn more, please consult the registry page for the submission SEM-23-006 (Illegal Logging in Jalisco).
The CEC SEM Process
The CEC Submissions on Enforcement Matters process supports public participation, information-sharing between governments and the public, and transparency and openness in the effective enforcement of environmental law in North America. If you have reason to believe that an environmental law is not being effectively enforced by Canada, Mexico or the United States, the SEM process may address your concerns.
As of 1 July 2020, the CEC’s SEM process is governed by USMCA Articles 24.27 and 24.28 of the Environment Chapter of the free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States (CUSMA, T-MEC, USMCA).
Want to learn more about the SEM process? Please watch this two-minute video for an introduction: