Press Release No. 121/14 | Yellowknife, Canada, July 17, 2014

• The head of SEMARNAT participates in the XXI Regular Session of the CEC Council and reiterates Mexico’s commitment to the region to tackle common challenges

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Video: Celebrating 20 years of environmental cooperation in North America

CEC Ministerial Declaration


In the context of the XXI Regular Council Session of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), which took place in the city of Yellowknife in northern Canada, the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, Juan José Guerra Abud, stressed that "North America will need to be ready to face global and national challenges, in order to agree on a coherent agenda that adds value to the efforts of each individual country with respect to common environmental challenges."

The most relevant results of this session include the adoption of guidelines for developing the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, which in turn will guide the future work of the CEC based upon three fundamental pillars: mitigation and adaptation to climate change, green growth, and sustainable communities and ecosystems. Cross-cutting themes will be taken into consideration, such as regulatory cooperation, the link with indigenous and local communities, and transparency, education and communication.

The CEC Council, comprising the Canadian Minister of the Environment (EC), Leona Aglukkaq; the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the USA, Gina McCarthy; and Secretary Guerra Abud, issued a Joint Statement in which the environmental leaders emphasize the CEC’s value 20 years after its creation, priorities for future work, and the innovative approach to filing and processing citizen submissions.
Clear advances have been made in two decades of trilateral work to benefit the environment, including Mexico’s suspension of the use of DDT for malaria control in 2000.

CEC projects also helped Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) to identify 5,852 chemicals that were included in an ongoing national inventory of industrial chemicals.

Prior to the XXI Regular Session of the CEC Council, a public forum of the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) was held, where environmental experts from Mexico, Canada and the United States addressed issues such as watersheds, climate change and traditional ecological knowledge. The contributions of these experts will aid in developing a document that JPAC will deliver to the CEC Council.
In this regard, Roberto Aviña Carlin, Director of Wildlife Conservation at SEMARNAT, gave the presentation "Returning to the Presa de Silva", regarding a reservoir located in the municipality of San Francisco del Rincón in Guanajuato. In his presentation, he noted that this location serves as a temporary refuge on the migratory path of waterfowl from the central region, adding that international cooperation is essential to the conservation of these migratory species.

Similarly, Mariana Bellot Rojas, Director General for Institutional Development and Promotion at the National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) introduced the "Big Bend Rio Bravo" project, which has been supported by the CEC since 2011.
The "Big Bend Rio Bravo" project, which the CEC supports in conjunction with various government agencies and institutions, including CONANP and the US National Park Service, is an example of cross-border conservation where coordination of actions and efforts between the two countries is essential to the conservation of a large shared ecosystem that includes incredible biodiversity and endemic species. This project is yet another success story of the CEC, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of its creation this year.

While in Yellowknife, Secretary Guerra Abud will hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Canada and the United States.