Wednesday, June 25, 2008

NAFTA CEC's State Of The North American Environment Report

Jun 18: The NAFTA environmental organization, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), has released its latest State Of The North American Environment Report. The report adds to other recently released similar reports including: U.S. EPA's 2008 Report on the Environment (EPA 2008 ROE) [See WIMS 5/20/08]; the State of the Nation’s Ecosystems 2008, released by the Heinz Center on June 17, and its companion policy report, Environmental Information: Roadmap to the Future [See WIMS 6/23/08].

The CEC report addresses issues related to air and atmosphere, biodiversity and ecosystems, pollutants, and water. Specific topics include climate change, species of concern -- including the critically endangered vaquita porpoise -- and the quality and quantity of water shared between the North American nations. The report, The North American Mosaic: An Overview of Key Environmental Issues, is a follow-up to the CEC’s 2002 state of the environment report and responds to the CEC Secretariat’s obligation to periodically address environmental conditions in Canada, Mexico and the United States. With the advice of environmental reporting experts from the three countries, the report draws on information from national and international sources for a broad overview of North America’s environment. The report was presented to the environment ministers of Canada, Mexico and the United States in advance of their annual meeting, to be held in Ottawa, Canada, on June 26.

CEC Executive Director Adrián Vázquez-Gálvez said, “Over the next year, we will use this report, along with other important information, to engage the public, subject matter experts and governments in evaluating our progress to date and future opportunities for cooperation. It will help us identify the central environmental challenges confronting North America, as well as the top priorities for cooperative action among the three countries to address these environmental challenges.” In addition to the June 26 meeting of environment ministers, the CEC’s Joint Public Advisory Committee is hosting a major conference -- North America 2030: An Environmental Outlook -- to discuss the report and other issues as they pertain to North America’s environmental future on June 25.

The report, conference and council meeting all explore the following questions: What are the central environmental challenges confronting North America?; What are the greatest priorities for cooperative action among our three countries to address these environmental challenges?; How can we measure our progress and create effective feedback mechanisms?; and How can we enhance the relevance of trinational cooperation through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation?

Access a release on the CEC North American Mosaic report (
click here). Access the State of the Environment website for links to the complete report, chapters, and related information (click here). Access the Environmental Outlook conference website for an agenda, discussion paper, and webcast (click here). Access details on the 15th CEC Council June 26, meeting including a webcast of the meeting (click here).