The Governments of the United States and Peru convened the fourth meetings of the Environmental Affairs Council (EAC) and the Environmental Cooperation Commission (ECC) on June 4-5, 2013 in Washington, DC. The meetings focused on progress to implement the environmental provisions of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) and environmental cooperation activities under the United States-Peru Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA).
The EAC reviewed the progress the United States and Peru have made in ensuring effective implementation of, and compliance with, the obligations under the Environment Chapter of the TPA. The United States and Peru highlighted key steps each country has undertaken in the past year to improve its respective levels of environment protection and to strive to ensure that those laws and policies provide for and encourage high levels of environmental protection.
A key focus of the EAC included discussions related to the establishment of an independent secretariat to receive and consider submissions on enforcement matters as called for by the TPA. The United States and Peru made significant progress to finalize the documents needed to stand up a Secretariat, and stated their intention to finalize and sign all of the documents in the near future.
While the final details are being resolved, interested parties that would like to raise matters concerning the implementation of the Environment Chapter can do so pursuant to Article 18.7(3), using the existing mechanisms referred to on the websites of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Trade Representative, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR), and Ministry of Environment (MINAM). Article 18.7(3) of the TPA Environment Chapter requires that the Party to which the written submission is directed shall provide a written response, and shall make any submissions and responses publicly available in a timely and easily accessible manner. The Council also has the authority to review and discuss matters related to the implementation of this Chapter pursuant to Article 18.6 (2) (c)(i).
Following the closed session of the EAC, the ECC convened and reviewed implementation of the ECA, particularly the status of cooperative environmental activities under the 2011-2014 Work Program.
The Council and Commission also held a public session for various stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, private sector representatives, and other interested persons, which provided an opportunity for the public to participate in a discussion with government officials about implementation of the Environment Chapter, as well as the status of cooperative environmental activities. The Members of the Council and Commission will continue to work together to further enhance the mutual supportiveness of trade and environmental protection through continued implementation of the TPA Environment Chapter and U.S. – Peru Environmental Cooperation Agreement.
The meetings were chaired by Jennifer Prescott, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources; Ambassador Judy Garber, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Harold Forsyth, Peru´s Ambassador to the United States; Diego Urbina, Director for North America and Europe from Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism; and Josefina del Prado, Specialist of Environmental International Negotiations, Office of Cooperation and International Negotiations.
Additional U.S. Government participants in the meeting included officials from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Peruvian Government participants included officials from MINCETUR, MINAM, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (RREE).