Organization of American States Summits of the Americas
Follow-up and Implementation: Mandates

ENVIRONMENT: Environmental Management

  1. We recognise that social and economic development and protection of the environment, including the sustainable management of natural resources, are mutually reinforcing, interdependent pillars of sustainable development. We therefore reaffirm our strong commitment to sustainable development, as set out in the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Environment and Development, the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA), the 1996 Declaración de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the 2002 Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, the 2005 Mauritius Strategy for the implementation of the BPOA, the 2006 Declaration of Santa Cruz + 10 and the objectives of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We acknowledge the challenge of environmental management in the Hemisphere. We commit our governments to strengthen environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources with a view to ensuring a balance among economic development, social development and the protection of the environment, as these are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Our goal is to achieve sustainable development throughout the Hemisphere (Declaration of Québec, 2001).

  1. Reaffirm our commitments to implement Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) to which we are party, including through enactment and effective enforcement of any necessary domestic laws, reiterating common and differentiated responsibilities as set forth in Principle 7 of the1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and taking into account the needs and concerns of small developing countries and noting, in this context, the recently concluded Global Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants; also stress the need to build synergies among MEAs to enhance their effectiveness in implementation and to strengthen international cooperation;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote the adoption, implementation and enforcement of national legislation , regulations, standards and policies that provide for high levels of environmental protection , recognizing the right of each country to set its own levels of environmental protection and, to this end, reinforce cooperative partnerships, placing particular emphasis on achieving cleaner air, enhancing access to safe water and sanitation services, and strengthening national and regional capacities for integrated water resources management and for waste management;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote improved environmental management at the municipal level, including through information exchange among local communities, the development of environmentally sound technology and the promotion of partnerships to facilitate, as appropriate, technology transfer, capacity building, including the strengthening of local institutions and services, and support for initiatives such as the World Bank Clean Air Initiative and IDB programs in this area;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote the development of environmentally sound exploitation and management of minerals and metals, recognizing the importance of the social and economic dimensions of the activities of the mining sector, and support the work of regional and international fora in this area; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. We, the elected Heads of State and Government of the Americas, gathered in Santa Cruz de la Sierra as decided at the Summit of the Americas held in Miami in 1994, reaffirm our determination to move forward toward sustainable development and to implement the decisions and commitments set forth in the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, which were adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
    We also reaffirm the commitments undertaken in the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action of the Summit of the Americas.

    We undertake to promote the agreements reached at the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, held in Barbados in 1994, and recognize the importance of the principles enunciated at recent United Nations conferences concerning sustainable development.
    We support the efforts launched at the hemispheric, regional, and subregional levels, such as the Central American Alliance for Sustainable Development, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, the Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation, and the Permanent South Pacific Commission.(Declaración de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996, 1996).

  1. We reaffirm that human beings are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature and, as such, are the focus of sustainable development concerns. Development strategies need to include sustainability as an essential requirement for the balanced, interdependent, and integral attainment of economic, social, and environmental goals. (Declaración de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996, 1996).

  • Initiative20. Cooperate in the development of policies and comprehensive strategies for achieving sustainable forest management, bilaterally and through programs such as the International Model Forest Network, as well as consider ways and means to address the critical areas related to the transfer and development of environmentally sound technology, on favorable terms as mutually agreed. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative21. Support criteria and indicators at the regional, subregional, and national levels as mechanisms for assessing progress toward sustainable forest management. Continue to participate, as appropriate, in the ongoing initiatives relating to the development of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, such as the Tarapoto and Montreal processes. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative25. Promote, as appropriate and in accordance with existing legislation and agreements, and with appropriate input from local stakeholders, the identification of cross-border protected areas and national parks which the respective neighboring countries consider to be critical sites for biodiversity conservation. Further, promote cooperation among those countries with a view to improving the sustainable management of those areas. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative28. Consider, in accordance with the terms of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, ways and means for the effective protection and use of traditional knowledge, innovations, and practices of indigenous people and other local communities relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, as well as for fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from such knowledge, innovations, and practices. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative42. Develop a hemispheric framework for the exchange of information on and experiences in successful pollution prevention and waste treatment efforts as an appropriate means of managing the environment so as to support national policies in these areas. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative43. Promote the exchange of information and experiences among the mayors of the Hemisphere on the most appropriate practices for urban environmental stewardship, promotion of non-polluting consumer practices, sustainable transportation, environmental impact, and sewage treatment. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • II.4. Water Resources and Coastal Areas
    Recognizing that the primary challenges to the attainment of sustainable development in this area include:

    • Assurance and improvement of the conservation, sustainable management and utilization of water resources, including the development of integrated programs and institutional capacity;
    • Prevention of the contamination of water resources and assurance that drinking water supplies are safe and adequate;
    • Promotion of cooperation among countries at bilateral, subregional, regional, and hemispheric levels on water resources issues;
    • Promotion of user participation in the decision-making process on water resources management;
    • Conservation and utilization, in a sustainable manner, of inland, coastal, and marine water resources, including wetlands, in the region;
    • Promotion of the integrated management and sustainable development of the marine environment and coastal areas; and
    • Prevention and control of environmental degradation caused by pollution and the unsustainable use of inland, coastal, and marine water resources that threaten human health and the economic viability and environmental integrity of these resources,
    Taking into consideration the social, economic, and environmental value of inland, coastal, and marine water resources, the Governments will carry out the following initiatives (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative49. Develop, strengthen, implement, and coordinate at the national or local level, as appropriate, water resources policies, laws, and regulations to ensure the protection and conservation of water resources. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • III.15. Cooperate in the establishment of a hemispheric network of officials and experts in environmental law, enforcement, and compliance in coordination with the OAS to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences and to provide a focal point, as appropriate, for carrying out cooperative efforts to strengthen laws, regulations, and implementation, as well as training in these areas for those states seeking such assistance, taking into account the studies prepared by the Inter-American Juridical Committee..(Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996)

  1. Social progress and economic prosperity can be sustained only if our people live in a healthy environment and our ecosystems and natural resources are managed carefully and responsibly. To advance and implement the commitments made at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, and the 1994 Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, held in Barbados, we will create cooperative partnerships to strengthen our capacity to prevent and control pollution, to protect ecosystems and use our biological resources on a sustainable basis, and to encourage clean, efficient and sustainable energy production and use. To benefit future generations through environmental conservation, including the rational use of our ecosystems, natural resources and biological heritage, we will continue to pursue technological, financial and other forms of cooperation (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. We will advance our social well-being and economic prosperity in ways that are fully cognizant of our impact on the environment. We agree to support the Central American Alliance for Sustainable Development, which seeks to strengthen those democracies by promoting regional economic and social prosperity and sound environmental management. In this context, we support the convening of other regional meetings on sustainable development (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  • 22.1 Our Hemisphere contains over half the world's biodiversity. To sustain the Hemisphere's social and economic development, we must intensify efforts to understand, assess, and sustainably use this living resource base. We must act now to increase the technical and management capacity and public awareness of national and international efforts in this area. Agenda 2l, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and other related international instruments recognize these needs and call for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity resources. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 22.6 Develop national plans and programs to establish and strengthen the management of parks and reserves, seeking links to economic, social, and ecological benefits for local people. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 22.9 Increase support of training and education initiatives addressing sustainable use of biodiversity resources and foster activities by universities, non-governmental actors and organizations and the private sector to assist in the training of managers and to empower local communities. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 23.1 As recognized in Agenda 21, sound environmental management is an essential element of sustainable development. Cooperative efforts are needed to develop or improve, in accordance with national legislation and relevant international instruments: (1) frameworks for environment protection; and (2) mechanisms for implementing and enforcing environmental regulations. To achieve this goal, a new partnership will promote cooperative activities for developing environmental policies, laws, and institutions; increasing technical capacity; promoting public awareness and public participation; continuing to pursue technological, financial and other forms of cooperation; and facilitating information exchange, including on environmentally sound technologies. The activities of the partnership will build on and advance the implementation of international agreements and principles including those agreed to at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the 1994 Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, in areas identified as priorities by countries of the Hemisphere. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 23.2 Strengthen and build technical and institutional capacity to address environmental priorities such as pesticides, lead contamination, pollution prevention, risk reduction, waste and sanitation issues, improved water and air quality, access to safe drinking water, urban environmental problems, and to promote public participation and awareness. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 23.6 Support democratic governmental mechanisms to engage public participation, particularly from members of indigenous and other affected communities, in the consideration of policies regarding the environmental impact of development projects and the design and enforcement of environmental laws. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).



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