EVENT UPDATE: Mexican Environment Secretary to join sustainable and healthy housing experts from across North America, in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico

Agenda released for public consultation to be hosted by CEC advisory committee.

Montreal, 6 May 2014—Whether in a small Alaskan village where wood-burning in homes leads to poor indoor air quality, or an indigenous community in Chiapas without access to affordable sources of energy, barriers to building healthy, sustainable housing remain a major concern for a number of indigenous communities throughout much of North America.

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s (CEC) Joint Public Advisory Committee welcomes members of the public to attend its meeting on 12–13 May 2014, to participate in discussions with leaders from industry, NGOs, government, and academia on the subject ofBuilding Healthy and Sustainable Homes in Remote Communities: A Focus on Indigenous Communities in North America. There is no cost to register.

Participants will be addressed by Mexican Environment Secretary Juan José Guerra Abud and the Governor of the State of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué Monteagudo. Speakers featured in the various sessions include Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz, general coordinator of the Alto Lerma Otomí Regional Council and an expert on rural sustainable development from Mexico; Molly McCabe, executive director of the Red Feather Development Group in Bozeman, Montana, a group dedicated to partnering with American Indian nations to develop and implement sustainable solutions to the housing needs within their communities; and Bill Semple, an architect in Ottawa, Ontario, who served for more than ten years as the senior researcher for northern housing at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

With the goal of providing recommendations on this important environmental issue to the CEC Council—North America’s highest-level environmental authorities—JPAC, invited experts, and stakeholders will explore the following topics:

  • Barriers that limit access to healthy and affordable homes and resources in remote communities;
  • Air, energy and water: providing high-quality and affordable resources in remote communities;
  • Protecting communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; and
  • Financing for residential green building projects (new construction and retrofits) in remote communities.

This meeting is being held in collaboration with two CEC cooperative projects: Improving Conditions for Green Building Construction in North America and Improving Indoor Air Quality to Reduce Exposure to Airborne Contaminants in Alaskan Native Populations and Other Indigenous Communities in North America.

Register today

There is no charge to participate in the public forum, but participants must register in advance at www.cec.org/JPACOaxaca.

For those not able to participate in Oaxaca, the meeting will be webcast live and the CEC Secretariat will be live-tweeting 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. For more information, contact the CEC’s JPAC Liaison Officer, Marcela Orozco: jpac@cec.org. To learn more about the CEC JPAC, visit www.cec.org/jpac.