Canada-Costa Rica agreement on environmental cooperation

Official title: Canada - Costa Rica Agreement on Environmental Cooperation  

Subject category:
Environmental Cooperation
Type of agreement / instrument:
Legally-binding treaty
  • Signed on April 23, 2001
  • Ratified by Canada December 18, 2001
  • In force in Canada November 1, 2002
  • In force internationally November 1, 2002
  • Ongoing
Lead & partner departments:
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Global Affairs Canada. Others (depending on cooperative activity)
For further information:
Web links:
ECCC Inquiry Centre
Compendium edition:
February 2022
Reference #:

Plain language summary

The Canada-Costa Rica Environmental Cooperation Agreement, signed in parallel to the Free Trade Agreement, is a legally binding mechanism for bilateral environmental cooperation. The Agreement requires both countries to encourage high levels of domestic environmental protection. Cooperative activities allow for policy dialogue and information exchange, which strengthens environmental protection in both countries. The implementation of the Canada–Costa Rica Environment Agreement is overseen by a Committee on the Environment, composed of officials from Environment and Climate Change Canada and Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy. 


This Agreement seeks to foster the protection and improvement of the environment; to ensure effective enforcement of environmental laws and regulations; to enhance bilateral cooperation and promote sustainable development through mutually supportive economic and environmental policies; and to strengthen cooperation and promote transparency and public participation in the development of environmental laws, procedures, policies and practices.

Key elements

Commitment to ensure high levels of environmental protection and effective enforcement of environmental laws.

Commitment to designate a point of contact for communications between the parties and to meet at least every two years to review progress on implementation (including programs of cooperative activities).

Commitment to ensure a process is in place to submit written questions to either party with respect to the enforcement of their environmental laws and regulations and for interested persons to request the investigation of alleged violations of environmental laws.

Expected results

Facilitate collaboration between Canada and Costa Rica to help strengthen environmental protection.

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

Canada’s involvement

Canada is committed to the framework established by the Agreement to better conserve, protect, and enhance the environment of Canada and Costa Rica through cooperation and effective enforcement of environmental laws.

Results / progress


The Committee on the Environment is required to: meet biannually or more frequently as mutually decided by the countries in order to discuss priority areas for cooperation; approve the bilateral work plan consisting of cooperative projects; discuss implementation of projects; and, share policy updates. The Committee on the Environment last met in February 2020 in San José, Costa Rica.


The Committee on the Environment is encouraged to jointly prepare reports on the activities related to the implementation of the Agreement.  


Recent cooperation has focused on climate change; green transportation; biodiversity and conservation; wildland fire management; and clean hydrogen technologies, among others.

Page details

Date modified: