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UNECE welcomes adoption of regional agreement to protect environmental rights in Latin American and the Caribbean

Published: 06 March 2018

UNECE congratulates the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and Governments and civil society in Latin America and the Caribbean on the adoption of a regional legally binding instrument to promote Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. This Aarhus-inspired agreement grants the public the right to access information, participate effectively in decision-making and to seek access to justice regarding important decisions that affect people and the environment.

Representatives of 24 Latin American and Caribbean countries adopted the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin American and the Caribbean at the ninth Meeting of the Negotiation Committee, held in San Jose, Costa Rica, from 28 February to 4 March 2018. The text had been under negotiation since 2014. Throughout the negotiations, the Aarhus Convention secretariat provided advisory support to ECLAC, upon request, and facilitated participation of relevant experts in negotiations. Several Aarhus Parties and partner organizations also supported the process. The Aarhus Convention secretariat stands ready to continue its close collaboration with ECLAC also during the next steps of bringing the Regional Agreement to life.

According to ECLAC, the agreement will be open to the signature by all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (33 nations) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, from 27 September 2018 to 26 September 2020. Unlike the Aarhus Convention, which is open for accession by any United Nations Member State, this agreement is only open to membership by States of the ECLAC region.

For further information on the Aarhus Convention, please visit www.unece.org/env/pp/welcome.html

or contact:

Ella Behlyarova, Secretary

Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

Tel: + 41 22 917 2376

E-mail: ella.behlyarova@unece.org

Note to editors:

The Aarhus Convention was adopted in Aarhus, Denmark, in June 1998 and entered into force in October 2001.

The Parties to the Convention include the European Union, the vast majority of countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, all the countries in the Caucasus and South-Eastern Europe and all European Union member States. The Parties to the Convention are: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05