An Action Plan for Environmental Justice in Latin America and the Caribbean

first_imgWhich Countries Have Joined the Regional Principle 10 Declaration?So far, governments from 13 LAC nations have signed on to the regional Principle 10 Declaration. These countries include:BrazilChileCosta RicaDominican RepublicEcuadorHondurasJamaicaMexicoPanamaParaguayPeruTrinidad and TobagoUruguay So far, governments from 13 LAC nations have signed on to the Declaration, and signatory governments prepared a Road Map in Chile last November. The formal Plan of Action is to be approved at the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) meeting in Mexico, which begins tomorrow. This Plan of Action is important because it will commit governments to the type of regional instrument to be created in the region, define the way people and organizations can get involved, and establish concrete steps that governments will take to prepare for a negotiation process that will begin in 2015.3 Principle to Ensure a Strong Plan of ActionThe governments of Chile, Dominican Republic, and Mexico have already released a draft Plan of Action. Finalizing this plan will be a significant step forward in the LAC Principle 10 process, but what’s more important is that the plan is a strong one that puts the public’s rights first. WRI’s Access Initiative, along with a number of our partners, believe that the Plan of Action must contain three key elements:Demonstrated Political Will–to make serious progress on discussion of a legally binding regional convention for Principle 10 (rather than voluntary), as well as its scope and a vision for success. A legally binding regional convention presents opportunities to increase the adoption of access rights in the region and address the lack of implementation and enforcement that currently exists (see our paper, From Principles to Rights).Resources: A LAC Principle 10 Declaration won’t achieve results unless governments and civil society can build their capacities to ensure adoption of new freedom of information laws, improve public participation processes, and boost judicial and administrative justice. We’ll need a clear method to obtain financial, educational, and other resources to move this process forward.Strong Rules for Public Participation: Governments can’t design a regional instrument all on their own. Strong rules should facilitate participation of all stakeholders—public, private, and civil society groups—including those most affected by environmental harms, such as children, women, and indigenous groups. Without strong participation and official roles for civil society (e.g. on working groups or as vice chairs), this process will fail to meet the needs of those in each country in the region.Now is the time to make the important decisions that will guarantee the Principle 10 Declaration process is successful. A strong foundation during the planning phase will lead to a strong regional instrument during the implementation phase. Developing a robust Principle 10 Convention just may ensure that we see fewer and fewer of those media reports on environmental and development conflict in Latin America and the Caribbean. UPDATE, 4/19/13: Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries adopted an ambitious Plan of Action to improve access rights on April 17, 2013. Read WRI’s press release for more details about the Plan of Action for the LAC Principle 10 Regional Declaration.Without the right laws and safeguards in place, development can come at the expense of the environment and local communities. This point is especially evident in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Newspapers across the region regularly document conflicts over land and natural resource use, hydroelectric power development, oil exploitation, expansion of agriculture into virgin forests, and the disruption of indigenous practices.Many of these conflicts occur because countries lack strong laws and practices that encourage the public’s access to information and early participation in government decision-making. Without these laws in place, citizens can’t legally obtain information on projects like proposed oil wells or highways—or engage in the decision-making processes about developing and approving these projects. Governments can then make decisions without considering the impact on local citizens. The resulting social, environmental, or health costs often fall disproportionately on the affected communities. (See our video, “Sunita,” for more information on the need for access to information laws).But the situation in the LAC region could be poised to change, depending on what happens at a meeting this week. Representatives from 13 countries and two observer countries will meet with civil society groups in Guadalajara, Mexico, to finalize a two-year action plan on implementing the LAC Principle 10 Regional Declaration. If attendees come up with a strong plan, several LAC countries will come closer to adopting a plan for improving environmental justice and public participation rights across the region.center_img The Latin America and Caribbean Principle 10 Regional DeclarationPrinciple 10, or the “environmental democracy principle,” mandates the public’s right to access environmental information, participate in any government decision affecting the environment, and complain and seek redress from judicial or administrative bodies. The Latin America and the Caribbean Principle 10 Regional Declaration was adopted at the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012, marking the first time that developing countries came together to formally consider the possibility of creating a regional instrument to implement Principle 10.last_img read more

Saskatchewan government says its cracking down on trafficking of fish

first_imgConservation officers say they were alerted in 2016 that two people were selling fish illegally.Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsA nearly two-year, undercover operation helped catch two poachers, netted $15,500 in fines and cracked down on ‘trafficking of fish,’ the Saskatchewan government says.In a release Friday, the Ministry of Environment addressed questions about the time and energy it put into catching Indigenous fishermen from Canoe Narrows, about 400 kilometres north of Saskatoon.Donald Iron, 60, and Richard Desjardin, 63, were fined in provincial court last week after they illegally sold more than 200 walleye without a licence.Both men are band members of Canoe Lake First Nation.“In the 1970s and ‘80s, walleye populations in Canoe Lake crashed and took years to recover,” the government’s release says.“As a result, extra efforts were taken to curb the unlawful trafficking of fish from Canoe Lake.”Iron was fined a total of $1,080 after being found guilty of three counts of illegally selling fish and three counts of selling fish without a licence.Desjardin pleaded guilty to three counts of marketing fish without a licence, and single counts of commercial fishing without a licence, fishing in a close area and obstructionHe was fined $14,500 and his truck forfeited to the Crown.The release describes both men as targets of an undercover operation after the ministry received complaints that two men were illegally selling fish.“Undercover officers were able to purchase fish from both individuals, with one selling a significant amount more than the other.”The release said they were guilty of taking fish from an area of Canoe Lake that has been closed for 20 years to protect the walleye spawning ground – with what the release says was the full support of Canoe Lake First Nation.Canoe Lake Chief Francis Iron couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.Charges against two alleged accomplices were stayed, the release [email protected]@katmartelast_img read more

Prayer Service for Sean Astwood planned

first_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Budget cuts hurt, but necessary says TCI Deputy Premier in parliamentary debate on hurricane funds Related Items:paradise baptist church, prayer service, sean astwood Preachers invite TCI Politicians to New Year Prayer Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 03 Mar 2015 – Constituents of Five Cays say they will continue to pray and have organized a vigil for the Hon Sean Astwood, the area’s Member of Parliament. The prayer service is scheduled for Wednesday 8pm at Paradise Baptist Church. Astwood was on Saturday airlifted to Nassau for urgent medical care, where he is stable but critical in Doctors Hospital. The general public is invited… thousands are following the story of Hon Sean Astwood’s condition and are offering prayers for a return to good health for the Provo businessman who is also Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Deputy Leader of the PDM. PNP Government to cut back over a million in projectslast_img read more

Carnival Cruise Lines will be first to sail to Cuba from US

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 08 Jul 2015 – Carnival Cruise Lines, the world’s largest cruise line has seen one of its brands approved for sailing into Cuba. It is the first to get the approval to sail to the Communist island from the US. The cruise will set sail in 2016 with a missionary styled voyage; the boat is expected to take in around 700 passengers. Recommended for you TCI Residents not affected by US ESTA Notice Related Items:cuba, US, varnival cruise line Cuban military crash leaves 8 dead At Least 10 People Killed in Cuba from Hurricane Irmalast_img