Montreal, 2 September 2021—Climate change is already impacting communities across North America, increasing the likelihood and impacts of events such as flooding, coastal erosion, drought, fires, and heat waves. As our climate changes, not all communities experience such impacts equally. Vulnerable or historically marginalized communities are experiencing these impacts more severely due to their exposure and capacity to recover from them.
On September 9, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s (CEC) Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) will host a public forum, entitled Leaving no one behind: working together for more equitable solutions to climate change impacts.
To view the full agenda for the JPAC meeting, click here.
This JPAC forum will focus on potential solutions to increase the resilience of vulnerable and historically marginalized communities by incorporating social considerations in climate programs, housing and zoning policies, infrastructure initiatives, etc., and building partnerships with all stakeholders, including underrepresented groups.
The forum will also highlight examples from communities and organizations coming together to find and implement equitable solutions to climate change impacts throughout North America, and how these examples could inform other North American communities.
Participants will engage in a question-and-answer period and facilitated discussions on understanding the impacts of these challenges.
To learn more about JPAC, please click here.
Keynote Presentation: The many facets of climate change and environmental justice in North America – This presentation will provide an overall picture of climate change and environmental justice issues in Canada, Mexico and the United States and will set the stage for the following panel.
Leticia Merino Pérez, PhD, Institute of Social Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), is a researcher and lecturer at UNAM’s Institute for Social Research and its Sustainability Sciences Postgraduate Program. For more than 35 years, she has devoted herself to research on issues and public policies related to the use, management and governance of territories and natural resources in rural and indigenous communities. Since 2017, she has coordinated UNAM’s Society, Environment and Institutions University Seminar (SUSMAI) and the academic observatory of the same name, which brings together SUSMAI members and other associations from civil society and academia. Merino Pérez holds a PhD in Anthropology from UNAM, specializing in forest governance and sustainable development.
Panel discussion: Moving forward toward more equitable solutions to climate change: presentations by invited experts – Vulnerable and historically marginalized communities are more exposed and have greater difficulties recovering from climate change impacts. This panel will reflect on lessons learned from different initiatives and explore ways to reduce these inequalities in building more equitable solutions.
Robert H. Manson Jr., PhD, National Investigator, Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (INECOL) is a tenured researcher at the Institute of Ecology, A.C., a federal research institute in Mexico focused on natural resource management and other environmental issues and is a member of the merit-based National System of Investigators in Mexico. His current research focuses on improving sustainability in the coffee sector in Mexico, the mapping, quantification and valuation of the ecosystem services of Mexico’s forests and strengthening programs making payments for hydrological services (PHS) through a combination of scientific and community-based monitoring networks. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University and both his masters and PhD in Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University, working with researchers at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
Earthea Nance, PhD, Associate Professor, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University is committed to working with vulnerable communities at disproportionate risk of hurricanes, floods, oil spills, pollution, and lack of access to water and sanitation. She served as a public official after Hurricane Katrina, where she directed the office of disaster mitigation and planning for the City of New Orleans. She managed $60 million in recovery funds, created the city’s first approved hazard mitigation plan and sustainability plan, and also represented the city in disaster recovery discussions with FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the State of Louisiana. After Hurricane Harvey, she served on a team of flood experts known as the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium. She and her colleagues provided recommendations to elected officials and produced a definitive body of information on flood mitigation for the Houston region.
Alexandra Harrington, PhD, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Global Governance and Emerging Law, Research Director of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, and Vice-Chair of the Board of Women in Ethics and Compliance Global. She serves as the Director of Studies for the International Law Association Colombian branch and is a member of the International Law Association Committee on the Role of International Law in Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Development, of the Climate Law and Governance Initiative’s Scientific Committee, and of the Green Economics Institute’s Research Group. She also guest lectures globally on topics related to international law, environmental law, global governance, and sustainable development, and is an international advisor to various faculties and international organizations. She holds a doctoral degree in law from the McGill University Faculty of Law.
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.