This year’s CEC Council session builds on the November 2021 North American Leaders Summit, where President López Obrador, President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau highlighted the CEC’s role in developing a North American climate adaptation work plan.
We are committed to building on the progress of successful CEC grant programs. Through 25 grants valued at more than $3 million, CEC supports climate resilience and COVID-19 recovery at the community level. With the Environmental Justice and Climate Resilience (EJ4Climate) and North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) grant programs, we are taking action for a healthier environment and rebuilding a prosperous and equitable economy for all.
We expressed a shared commitment to work to empower our citizens with effective solutions for a sustainable future, especially for an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, we support actions aimed at preserving the knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities within the framework of our trilateral model and our regional approach to environmental collaboration.
Our shared vision to lead the way in promoting complementary regional environmental and trade policies is based on our unwavering commitment to sustainable development and environmental justice and equity. Through the CEC, we will continue to drive an ambitious agenda that promotes awareness and participation in environmental governance and stewardship, mobilizes collective action, and facilitates the inclusion of a diverse network of stakeholders and partners.
Community-led environmental education for sustainable development
This year’s theme for the 2022 Council Session, “Community-led environmental education for sustainable development”, focused on activities from across North America that support an understanding and awareness of key environmental concerns, from the perspective of directly affected communities and that work to develop and share best practices for climate change adaptation. The importance of this theme is timely, as it promotes the development of local and context-specific strategies as well as an international cooperative approach to managing and responding to environmental and socio-economic risks across society.
This year’s Council session addressed several topics supporting the development of community projects and initiatives. Our exchange with the Joint Public Advisory Committee, the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Experts Group (TEKEG) and the CEC Secretariat led to a constructive discussion of immediate priorities and urgent needs, including opportunities ranging from solutions specific, innovative and nature-based, to the best use of traditional and local knowledge, including the integration of indigenous perspectives.
As part of the Council session, we were pleased to benefit from the two open public forums, which provided an invaluable space to share information with the public and an opportunity for questions, comments and suggestions from the public on the trilateral work of the CEC. This year’s session included in-person and virtual participation, with broad representation from diverse groups of individuals and interested stakeholders from across North America.
Specifically, in the context of the Council session, we:
- Announced extra $2 million to launch a new round of the EJ4Climate grants program that will focus on projects supporting environmental education to build resilience to climate change. The EJ4Climate grant program supports underserved and vulnerable communities, as well as Indigenous communities, by Canada, Mexicoand United States prepare for climate-related impacts;
- announced a C$750,000 initiative to undertake work to support increased adoption of circular economy approaches with sustainable production and consumption patterns in North America;
- Announcing a large-scale, multi-year initiative totaling 1 million Canadian dollars build community resilience to climate change;
- Contributed CA$300,000 support a JPAC-led initiative that will raise awareness in the three countries to advance sustainable forestry and responsible consumption of wood products;
- approved one CA$300,000 Initiative led by TEKEG to address threats to food security by improving our understanding of traditional indigenous practices and knowledge related to food systems;
- Committed to the winners of the CEC Youth Innovation Challenge 2022 from Canada, Mexico and United States about their innovative and practical solutions to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We were impressed with their skills, dedication and vision; and
- Review of progress on the CEC’s current operational plan and the projects we approved last year.
“The government of Mexico presented concrete steps to achieve environmental and social justice for all Mexicans, and we are confident that the trilateral work propelled by the CEC will add to efforts to ensure the well-being of the poorest and most vulnerable sectors. to climate change in North America.”—María Luisa Albores González, from Mexico Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources
“Strong environmental cooperation between our three countries has never been more important. The impacts of climate change, from flooding and coastal erosion to dangerous heat waves and wildfires, pose a real threat to our health, safety and economic security. I am pleased to see that all parties are committed to ensuring that international environmental cooperation remains a top priority. I thank the other members of the CEC Council for supporting community solutions and working to advance sustainable development as we tackle these environmental challenges together. – The Honorable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Advancing environmental justice and equity is essential to addressing the climate crisis both at home and abroad, and I am proud that CEC is centering community engagement as part of our environmental agenda. way to create long-term sustainable solutions for our community environmental challenges come from the grassroots I am committed to working hand-in-hand with communities, young people who demonstrate incredible innovation and our North American partners, to build a healthier and more equitable future for all. Michael S. Regan
Building on our strengths and our long tradition of facilitating cooperation and promoting public participation, we will strengthen our resolve to modernize and increase the effectiveness of our regional efforts. We will strive to expand our collaboration by promoting awareness of issues of common concern as well as solutions for a more sustainable future, sharing knowledge in support of evidence-based decision-making and contributing to the capacity building in communities through North America.
We affirm the urgent need to address the devastating effects of climate change on the well-being of our communities. We underscore the unequivocal threat of this crisis, ranging from extreme weather events, such as floods, wildfires and drought, to the implications for our food systems, for our continent’s biodiversity and for vulnerable and underserved communities. , all of which have environmental consequences, economic and societal impacts.
We underscore the importance of promoting collective action, including on innovation and green growth, to ensure clean air, land and water for present and future generations, and to protect our ecosystems and the rich flora and fauna found in our common environment.
The path to a healthier environment and meaningful progress towards sustainable development in our region depends on our collective determination to succeed, and persistence in finding and promoting solutions that protect the environment, support sustainable use and conserving our natural resources, and maximizing the socio-economic benefits of empowering our communities.
As we prepare to welcome a new Director General for the CEC, we extend our thanks to Mr. Richard A. Morgan for his invaluable services and contributions to the mission of the CEC during his three-year tenure as Director General of the CEC. We take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to him for his leadership, vision and tireless work on behalf of the CEC.
We look forward to continuing our work on regional environmental cooperation and will meet next year at the CEC Council session in British Columbia, Canada.
SOURCE Commission for Environmental Cooperation
For more information: Patrick Tonissen at [email protected] or Vedika Daswani to [email protected]