Mexico City public forum to address CEC projects, sustainable freight transportation

Meeting will also feature discussion on experiences with CEC’s citizen submissions on enforcement matters process

Montreal, 29 March 2011—The Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) will be holding its first Regular Session of 2011 on 4–5 April in Mexico City to discuss upcoming CEC cooperative work, the Citizen Submissions on Enforcement Matters (SEM) process and the environmental impact of freight transportation in North America.

JPAC—15 citizens appointed by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States—organizes public sessions throughout the year as part of its mandate to ensure active public participation and transparency in the CEC’s work. The information gained from these sessions assists JPAC in its job of providing advice to the CEC Council.

The first session, to be webcast live from the Hotel Royal Pedregal, starting at 9 am CDT, will focus on proposed projects for 2011–12 under the Council’s priority areas: Healthy Communities and Ecosystems, Climate ChangeLow-Carbon Economy, and Greening the Economy in North America.

The JPAC-led review of this draft cooperative work program is intended to be transparent and accessible. Your comments are important and appreciated.

In the afternoon, JPAC members will focus their discussion on the effectiveness, timeliness and fairness of the CEC’s Citizen Submissions on Enforcement Matters process, which allows citizens in any of the three countries to file a submission asserting that a Party is not effectively enforcing its environmental law.

To gain a better picture of this process, JPAC will be gathering feedback from process participants and is seeking input on the development of a questionnaire for submitters who have participated since 1994. The questionnaire results will assist JPAC in its consideration of advice to the CEC Council regarding the citizen submission process.

On 5 April at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, JPAC will lead a roundtable discussion on North American transportation-related environmental issues, building on the key findings and recommendations in Destination Sustainability, a CEC Secretariat report to be released on 31 March that examines greening freight transportation in North America through, among other actions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from this sector.

Attendance at these sessions is free and open to the public. Non-profit organizations and individuals interested in participating may register using the form available on the CEC website, along with the preliminary agenda.

Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish, French and English will be available for the duration of the event.

Also, to encourage as much public input as possible from throughout the region, an online virtual discussion will be opened a few days beforehand to allow questions and comments to be submitted remotely. The webcast and virtual discussion forum—open before and during the event—may be viewed at the CEC website. Questions and comments can also be sent using Twitter hashtag #jpac.

Please visit www.cec.org/jpacapril2011 for all of the details on these events, or contact JPAC Liaison Officer Marcela Orozco at jpac@cec.org.