Canada-Chile agreement on environmental cooperation

Official title: Agreement on Environmental Cooperation between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of Chile

Subject category:
Environmental Cooperation
Type of agreement / instrument:
Bilateral
Form:
Legally-binding treaty
Status:
  • Signed by Canada February 1997
  • Ratified by Canada April 25, 1997
  • In force in Canada July 1997
  • In force internationally July 1997
  • Ongoing
Lead & partner departments:
Lead:
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Partners:
Global Affairs Canada. Others (depending on cooperative activity)
For further information:
Web links:
Contacts:
ECCC Inquiry Centre
Compendium edition:
October 2018
Reference #:
B1/EN

Plain language summary

The Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation is a legally binding mechanism for bilateral environmental cooperation. This treaty aims to promote environmental protection and sustainable development in both countries. The Council, a body established by the agreement, is required to meet annually to discuss collaborative activities and establish a work program. Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Ministry of the Environment of Chile, in partnership with external experts, coordinate the activities of the Council. These cooperative efforts provide an opportunity for policy dialogue and information exchange, which strengthens environmental protections in both countries, as well as the Canada-Chile bilateral relationship.

Objective

The Agreement provides a framework for bilateral cooperation on environmental issues and seeks to foster environmental protection and sustainable development in Canada and Chile. It also commits both countries to the effective enforcement of environmental laws and contains mechanisms to help ensure those commitments are kept.

Key elements

The agreement establishes the Canada–Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation, composed of a Council, a Joint Submission Committee, a Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC), and two National Secretariats that support the work of the Commission.

Citizens and non-governmental organizations of the two countries are able to present an official complaint (submission) should they believe governments have failed to effectively enforce environmental laws.

A consultation and dispute settlement process is available to the Parties where a persistent pattern of failure to effectively enforce an environmental law is alleged.

Expected results

Facilitate collaboration between Canada and Chile on environmental priorities, aimed at strengthening environmental protection.

Provide effective mechanisms to raise and resolve concerns about the effective enforcement of domestic environmental laws.

Canada’s involvement

Environment and Climate Change Canada works with Chile’s Ministry of Environment to implement the Agreement, in partnership with external experts (including representatives of other government department/agencies, academics, private sector and NGOs) who support collaborative activities.

Results / progress

Activities

The agreement requires that an annual Council Session take place in which the Parties discuss cooperative activities and approve the work program. Both parties support the implementation of projects focusing on priority topics identified in the work program, which is updated every two years. The last Council Session took place in May 2017.

The Joint Public Advisory Committee chairs an annual public meeting aimed at promoting accountability, transparency and engagement.

Submissions on enforcement matters are reviewed by the independent Joint Submission Committee and can result in an independent assessment through the preparation of a factual record.

Reports

The Agreement calls for the preparation of an annual report by the National Secretariats, in accordance with instructions from the Council.

In addition, the National Secretariats have undertaken two reviews of implementation of the Agreement – in 2004 and in 2009.

Results

Under this Agreement, Canada and Chile have built a strong and positive relationship on environmental matters.

The annual Council Session provides an opportunity for policy dialogue and information exchanges on a wide range of priority topics.

The Agreement has fostered capacity-building and collaborative research on issues of importance to Canada and Chile. 

Recent cooperative activities have focused on protected areas, climate change, conservation of shared migratory species, contaminated sites, air quality, environmental information systems, chemicals management, indigenous participation in environmental decision-making, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

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