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The 27th session of the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was held virtually.
The head of the Semarnat commented on the seven environmental transitions that the Government of the Fourth Transformation is preparing.
In the framework of the forthcoming entry into force of the Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ACA), parallel to the T-MEC, the highest environmental authorities in Mexico, the United States and Canada met virtually to celebrate the 27th session of the Council of the Commission for the Environmental Cooperation (CCA) with the objective of laying the foundations to strengthen trilateral collaboration in favour of environmental protection and the sustainable management of natural resources in North America.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada, Jonathan Wilkinson, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, and the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr. Víctor Manuel Toledo Manzur , who shared Mexico’s expectations and priorities regarding the Agreement.
The head of the Semarnat pointed out that our country works in the social and environmental restoration of the different regions of the country, for which it is essential to promote actions that allow moving from agro-industrial systems to agroecological systems for the production of healthy food, the elimination of pesticides and transgenics. He emphasized the close relationship between the current health crisis and the environmental crisis, aggravated by extensive monocultures and overcrowding in poultry and pig farms, sources of new viruses and bacteria.
In this context, he highlighted that the environmental sector promotes transition policies in the following areas: 1) Forests, agroecology and fishing, 2) Water, 3) Energy, 4) Bioculturality, 5) Urban and industrial centers, 6) Education, and 7) Citizenship, justice and environmental governance , which will allow progress in the ecological transformation required by the country.
Likewise, Toledo Manzur explained that Semarnat promotes the idea of conservation beyond biodiversity, also considering the cultures of the native peoples.
In order to share Mexico’s experience in “clean technologies for resilient communities”, the main topic of the session, María Amparo Martínez Arroyo, general director of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), presented a success story in Mexico regarding the use of eco-technologies for adaptation, which includes rainwater harvesting systems and solar panels, as well as radio communication equipment to transmit climate and health alerts.
For his part, Rodolfo Godínez Rosales, head of the Coordinating Unit for International Affairs and alternate representative of the CEC Council for Mexico, commented that the ACA is directly linked to the protection of various human rights, including a healthy environment, to health and life, as well as effective compliance with the law through cooperation and synergistic work among the countries of the region.
On the issue of resilient communities, he mentioned that the first level of government that must act is the municipal one, so the response capacity of this authority must be strengthened.
At the conclusion of the event, the three countries adopted the CEC Strategic Plan 2021-2025, which will implement, through the cooperation programs that emerge, the provisions contained in the ACA and Chapter 24 on the environment of the T- MEC through six priority areas: 1) Clean air, water and soil, 2) Prevent and reduce marine pollution, 3) Circular economy and sustainable management of minerals, 4) Ecosystems and shared species, 5) Resilient economies and communities, and 6) Effective implementation of environmental legislation.
The 27th session of the CEC Council included a session of the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC), which has five Mexican members, within the framework of which a round table discussion on the ACA, Chapter 24 of the T-MEC, was held. and the Commission’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025.
Likewise, the winners of the Youth Challenge for Environmental Innovation 2020 were announced , which in the case of Mexico corresponded to Karime Guillén, Marco Alemán, Minerva Valier and Valeria García, students of the Bachelor of Biotechnology at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico. Her project, called NoPlastic, consists of a 100% biodegradable and compostable bioplastic, made from inedible nopal, residues and organic additives with characteristics that promote ecological consumption.