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    State of the North American Environment

    By Keith R | June 21, 2008

    Topics: Environmental Protection | No Comments »

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    The North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has just released a “state of the environment” (SOE) report entitled The North American Mosiac (English, Spanish, French). The CEC is the main vehicle for environmental cooperation between Canada, Mexico and the US, and as I stated in a prior post, like it or not, Mexico has tied its environmental policymaking to that of its two NAFTA partners.

    The last time the CEC issued a SOE was in 2002. The report will provide context to the next meeting of the Environment Ministers from the three nations, as well as the one-day conference next week on the future environmental agenda for the CEC.

    The report is only an overview, identifying key trends, issues and data gaps, but a useful “big picture” snapshot nonetheless. It is organized into four major sections:

    Air and Atmosphere
    Climate Change
    Ground-level Ozone
    Particulate Matter
    Stratospheric Ozone

    Biodiversity and Ecosystems
    Land Use
    Oceans and Coasts
    Invasive Species
    Species of Common Conservation Concern

    Acid Deposition
    Industrial Pollution and Waste
    Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxic Substances

    Water Quality
    Water Quantity and Use
    Shared Water Resources

    The report, like many CEC documents, is a bit measured and circumspect — no startling admissions or revelations here. Some of the points it makes:


    From the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC):

    New report looks at the state of the North American environment

    Fourteen key issues reviewed to identify challenges and opportunities for environmental cooperation in the NAFTA nations

    In its latest state of the environment report, released today, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) examines environmental issues facing the NAFTA partners.

    The 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 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.

    Today, this 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 26 June.

    “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,” said CEC Executive Director Adrián Vázquez-Gálvez.

    “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.”


    Desde la Comisión Norteamericana para la Cooperación Ambiental (CCA):

    Nuevo informe sobre el estado del medio ambiente en América del Norte

    Se examinan catorce temas fundamentales a fin de identificar retos y oportunidades para la cooperación ambiental entre las naciones del TLCAN

    En su más reciente informe sobre el estado del medio ambiente, dado a conocer el día de hoy, la Comisión para la Cooperación Ambiental (CCA) examina la problemática ambiental que los socios del TLCAN enfrentan.

    En este informe se abordan temas relativos al aire y la atmósfera, la biodiversidad y los ecosistemas, los contaminantes y el agua. Entre los temas específicos figuran el cambio climático, especies de preocupación —entre otras, la vaquita marina, en peligro crítico de extinción— y la calidad y cantidad del agua compartida por las naciones de América del Norte.

    El mosaico de América del Norte: panorama de los problemas ambientales más relevantes da seguimiento al informe de la CCA sobre el estado del medio ambiente correspondiente a 2002 y responde a la obligación de la Comisión de abordar periódicamente las condiciones ambientales en Canadá, Estados Unidos y México. Con la asesoría de expertos en la elaboración de informes ambientales de los tres países, este documento se basa en fuentes de información nacionales e internacionales a fin de ofrecer un amplio panorama del medio ambiente en América del Norte.

    El día de hoy se presentó el informe a los ministros federales de medio ambiente, o equivalentes, de Canadá, Estados Unidos y México con anticipación a su reunión anual, que se realizará en Ottawa, Canadá, el próximo 26 de junio.

    “A lo largo del año siguiente usaremos este informe, junto con otra información relevante, para que la ciudadanía, expertos en la materia y organismos gubernamentales participen en la evaluación de nuestros avances a la fecha y de futuras oportunidades de cooperación”, señaló el director ejecutivo de la CCA, Felipe Adrián Vázquez Gálvez.

    “Nos ayudará a identificar los retos ambientales centrales a los que se enfrenta América del Norte, así como las principales prioridades para la acción conjunta entre los tres países a fin de atender tales desafíos.”

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