Summary of Canada-Peru environment agreement

Preamble

The Preamble sets out the shared foundations on which the Environment Agreement is based. It highlights common beliefs in the importance of conservation, protection and enhancement of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development. It recognizes the growing economic, environmental and social links between Canada and Peru and the desirability of pursuing policies that promote sustainable development and sound environmental management. It also expresses the importance of transparency and public participation in the development of environmental laws and policies.

Section I: Environmental Rights and Obligations

The Environment Agreement recognizes the right of each country to establish its own domestic levels of environmental protection, environmental development policies and priorities, and to adopt or modify its environmental laws. To this end, it includes the following:

  • Commitments under General Provisions that require Canada and Peru to ensure high levels of environmental protection and to continue to strive to develop and improve their environmental laws and policies. They also commit the countries to effectively enforce their environmental laws through appropriate government action. There is a non-derogation clause that obligates the countries not to relax their environmental laws in order to encourage trade or investment. Furthermore, the countries commit to maintain appropriate procedures to conduct environmental impact assessments and to encourage the promotion of trade and investment in environmental goods and services.
  • Provisions under Availability of Proceedings and Procedural Standards that specify that Canada and Peru shall ensure that judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative proceedings are available to sanction or remedy violations of environmental laws. These provisions also require the countries to ensure that interested persons can request the investigation of alleged violations of environmental laws and that these requests be given due consideration in accordance with law. In addition, each country is obliged to ensure that appropriate access to enforcement-related judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative proceedings is fair, equitable and transparent.
  • Public Information and Participationprovisions that commit Canada and Peru to promote public awareness of environmental laws and policies by ensuring that information regarding environmental laws and policies as well as compliance and enforcement is available to the public. These provisions also commit the countries to ensure that the public can participate in environmental assessment procedures. In addition, they include a provision which allows any person residing in or established in the territory of either country to submit a written question to either country and to make the questions and responses available to the public.
  • Commitments under Biological Diversity that reaffirm Canada and Peru’s commitments under the internationalConvention on Biological Diversity to strengthen the protection of biological diversity and to respect, preserve and maintain the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities in this area. The provisions further reiterate the authority and obligations established by the Convention in regard to access to genetic resources, and to the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of those genetic resources.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility commitments that require Canada and Peru to encourage best practices of corporate social responsibility by the enterprises operating in their countries and to strengthen coherence between economic and environment objectives.

Section II: Environmental Cooperation

This section of the Environment Agreement commits Canada and Peru to develop cooperative programs and activities that support the achievement of the objectives and obligations of this Agreement, if resources permit. The countries are to decide on priority areas for environment-related cooperative activities which may be carried out through technical (e.g., training) or financial cooperation.

It also specifies that the countries can strengthen their cooperation by utilizing other bilateral, regional and multilateral fora and that they may cooperate with other states not party to this Agreement to maximize available resources. It further commits the countries to meet no later than one year after the entry into force of this Agreement to address implementation, and to meet subsequently as agreed.

Section III: Institutional Provisions

This section outlines the mechanisms and institutional arrangements that will support the implementation of the Environment Agreement.

It specifies that a Committee on the Environment, comprised of governmental representatives from both countries, will be established to review the progress on the implementation of the Environment Agreement.

It also commits Canada and Peru to each designate a National Coordinating Officer to serve as the official point of contact for the Environment Agreement. As well, it commits the countries to consider undertaking a major review of this agreement no later than five years after the date of its entry into force with a view to improving its operation and effectiveness.

In addition, this section sets out the process and function of the dispute resolution mechanism--a mechanism which allows the countries to address any matter arising under the Environment Agreement up to the ministerial level.

Finally, there is a federal/provincial clause that commits Canada to use its best efforts to make this Agreement applicable to as many provinces and territories as possible.

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