Joint Public Declaration—Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation—Twenty-First Council Session

The Council of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation met in person for its Twenty-First Annual Session on November 7–8, 2023, in Santiago, Chile.

The 21st Session was chaired by the Minister of the Environment of Chile, Maisa Rojas, and the Assistant Deputy Minister for International Affairs at Environment and Climate Change Canada, Sandra McCardell, and was also attended by other senior Canadian and Chilean representatives.

During the Private Session, Chile and Canada exchanged views on each country's environmental policies and priorities, including addressing the triple crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. Additionally, both countries reviewed past cooperation and approved the 2023–2024 Work Program.

The following day, a Public Session on "Financing Biodiversity Conservation on a Burning Planet" was held, with the participation of representatives from academia, the private sector, civil society and the public sector, serving as a forum for dialogue and debate with civil society. This topic was chosen because both countries have devoted significant efforts to promoting biodiversity conservation at the national and international levels.

For instance, Chile approved the creation of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service (SBAP), an institution that will create an integrated national system of protected areas, which will include both terrestrial and marine areas officially protected by the State, as well as private protected areas. Moreover, Canada welcomed the world to Montreal in December 2022 for the COP15 of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), where the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework was adopted to safeguard nature and halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. During this event, Chile and Norway co-facilitated a discussion on digital sequence information on genetic resources (DSI), where this issue managed to be unblocked after years of negotiation. Furthermore, in February 2023, Canada hosted the 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) involving the global ocean conservation community, and in August 2023, Canada hosted a Ministerial on Nature in Vancouver on the margins of the 7th Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly. This later meeting sought to advance global momentum on biodiversity and the implementation of the new Global Biodiversity Framework.

Chile and Canada maintain ongoing collaboration and have continued to successfully implement their joint work program. Since October 2022, both countries have cooperated on climate change, carbon pricing, marine protected areas, illegal wildlife trade and forest fires management, among others. Other countries and organizations supported the implementation of certain elements of the work program, including Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the German Agency for International Cooperation, the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada, and the Rapa Nui Board of Directors.

This year, Chile and Canada celebrate the 26th anniversary of the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, signed in 1997 under the auspices of the Chile-Canada Free Trade Agreement. This Agreement offers a model for environmental cooperation, based on the principle that trade liberalization should not be detrimental to environmental protection.

Chile and Canada reaffirm their commitment to the agreement and agree on a work program focused on relevant issues for the current and next year, including climate change, biodiversity conservation, and the assessment of the environmental impact of the free trade agreements signed by both countries.

This statement reflects our joint achievements and our determination to continue working together to address global environmental challenges and strengthen our collaboration and regional leadership on biodiversity conservation and climate change.

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