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

ENVIRONMENT: Environmental Protection

  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 will continue to work towards promoting good environmental governance by, inter alia, advancing conservation efforts and strengthening, implementing and effectively enforcing national environmental laws, in accordance with our sustainable development priorities and international law. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We will collaborate to promote environmental sustainability through regional cooperation, in accordance with national legislation and applicable international law, in the areas of human and institutional capacity building, transfer on mutually agreed terms of environmentally sound technology, and effective mobilisation of new and additional human and financial resources, as appropriate, including innovative public and private financing mechanisms and instruments, for inter alia:

    1. the sustainable management of forests, including efforts for reducing deforestation;
    2. the sustainable management of protected areas and World Heritage Sites;
    3. protecting endangered and migratory species;
    4. combating illegal international trafficking of biodiversity;
    5. promoting the exchange of scientific knowledge on biodiversity, such as through the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network; and,
    6. recognising and sharing the benefits arising from access to and use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. (Declaration of Port of Spain, 2009).

  1. We recognise that the conservation of marine resources and the protection of marine ecosystems, including estuaries and coastal areas, throughout the Americas are vital for the continued economic and social well-being of those who live near or otherwise depend on the sea. We will seek to secure the wider adoption and implementation of existing regional and international marine conservation and marine pollution agreements. We further recognise that the wider Caribbean is a marine area of unique biodiversity and highly fragile ecosystems, and we will continue to work together along with other countries and relevant regional and international development partners to continue to develop and implement regional initiatives to promote the sustainable conservation and management of Caribbean coastal and marine resources. In this regard, we take note of the ongoing efforts to consider the concept of the Caribbean Sea as a Special Area in the context of sustainable development without prejudice to relevant national legislation and international law. (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. Recognizing that the protection of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources are essential to prosperity and to the sustainability of our economies, as well as the quality of life and health for present and future generations; and committed to advancing sustainable development throughout the Hemisphere consistent with our 1994 and 1998 Summit of the Americas Declarations and Plans of Action and the 1996 Santa Cruz de la Sierra Declaration and Plan of Action:(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. Advance hemispheric conservation of plants, animals and ecosystems through, as appropriate: capacity building, expanding partnership networks and information sharing systems, including the Inter American Biodiversity Network; cooperation in the fight against illegal trade in wildlife; strengthening of cooperation arrangements for terrestrial and marine natural protected areas, including adjacent border parks and important areas for shared species; support for regional ecosystem conservation mechanisms; the development of a hemispheric strategy to support the conservation of migratory wildlife throughout the Americas, with the active engagement of civil society; and the promotion the objectives and the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Promote the adoption of concrete and urgent actions towards the implementation of sustainable forest management; promote policies, practices, incentives and investment in support of sustainable forest management, building on existing hemispheric initiatives and cooperation, as well as support the UN Forum on Forests and its program of work; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Reaffirm our commitment to advancing environmental stewardship in the area of energy by advancing policies, practices, transference of and access to technologies, that are economically efficient and take the environmental impacts of energy development and use into account; and endorse and support the work of the Hemispheric Energy Initiative in this area;(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. We will strengthen national, hemispheric, and international efforts aimed at environmental protection as a basis for sustainable development that provides human beings a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature. The commitments undertaken at the Miami Summit and the Summit on Sustainable Development held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, provide a solid basis for strengthening our actions. As parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we underscore the importance of working together to further fulfillment of the agreement reached at the Conference in Kyoto, Japan, and to promote its ratification in our countries. Moreover, we will work closely to make preparations for a Conference of the Parties to be held in November of this year in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  • Initiative12. Promote the conservation and restoration of soils through the application of technologies and economic policies to reverse soil degradation processes and to remedy the problems of significant soil erosion including in mountainous areas and, when applicable, problems that result from misuse of natural resources. Promote also hemispheric cooperation for implementation, as appropriate, at the national and regional levels, of the 1994 United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, with special attention to the appendix related to our region.(Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative18. Seek to establish, implement, and monitor, as appropriate, national plans and programs for the conservation and sustainable management of forests. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative23. As appropriate, seek the ratification of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and seek the adoption of legislative, administrative, and other policy measures to implement the provisions or promote the objectives of these conventions. (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).

  • Initiative26. Promote research and training programs on conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative27. Promote the exchange of innovative experience on partnerships for the management of protected 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).

  • Initiative41. Develop strategies that encourage policies and programs for prevention of and protection against pollution, cleaning up of the environment, and waste treatment, strengthening sustainable urban development. These policies may include public-private sector associations, market-based programs, and other volunteer programs. (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).

  • Initiative50. Promote hemispheric cooperation at all levels, including through the use of existing transboundary agreements and initiatives, in the conservation, management, and sustainable use of water resources and biological diversity. This would include the exchange of information and experiences on issues related to inland watersheds, river basins, and sub-basins. (Plan of Action Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1996).

  • Initiative56. Promote the development or strengthening, as appropriate, of institutional capabilities at the national level or, where specific agreements exist, at the subregional level, especially in land use planning, coastal zone management, coastal engineering, environmental impact assessment, environmental protection and natural resource management laws, hydrography, fisheries and marine affairs management. This should be supported by promoting the establishment of a marine environment center for the Caribbean and the design and development of model legislation which could serve as the basis for national legislation that would provide an integrated and sustainable approach to the management of coastal and marine resources. Such model legislation should be consistent with relevant international treaties to which states are party and enhance the effectiveness of government policies and programs. (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).

  • 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).

  • 22.2 Seek to ensure that strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are integrated into relevant economic development activities including forestry, agriculture, and coastal zone management, taking into account the social dimension and impact of these activities. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 22.5 Support democratic governmental mechanisms to engage public participation, particularly including members of indigenous communities and other affected groups, in the development of policy involving conservation and sustainable use of natural environments. The forms of this participation should be defined by each individual country (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 22.7 Build capacity for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, through programs on management of parks and protected areas, forests and wetlands management, the Small Islands Developing States Action Plan, the Coral Reef Initiative, CITES support projects, and the Caribbean Regional Marine Pollution Action Plan, among others. (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).

  • 23.4 Strengthen national environmental protection frameworks and mechanisms for implementation and enforcement, and include sustainability criteria and objectives in national and other development strategies. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 23.11 Develop compatible environmental laws and regulations, at high levels of environmental protection, and promote the implementation of international environmental agreements.
    Discuss progress on implementation of international and national activities described above at the 1996 Summit Conference on Sustainable Development in Bolivia and at subsequent annual sustainable development ministerials. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).



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