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In the Plan of Action of Guadalajara, Mexico, (2013) the signatory countries of the Declaration agreed to establish a Regional Public Mechanism. The main objectives of this Mechanism are to keep all those interested in the process informed and facilitate their involvement; to coordinate public participation in international meetings; and to contribute to the transparency of the process. The Mechanism may also serve as a complement for participation actions carried out at the national level.  Robust systems on transparency, accountability, participatory consultative processes and systems for handling grievances and protests are still needed across the region. The process has achieved more than 2,000 legal and natural persons registered in the Regional Public Mechanism created by ECLAC. Significant support is needed to broaden engagement in this political process from the public in all participating countries in the region and to develop a strong negotiation and communications strategy to support the achievement of a legally binding instrument that will raise standards in the region for access rights, opening of civic space and the protection of environmental defenders.

At the Fourth Meeting of the Focal Points of the Signatory Countries of the Declaration on the Application of Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean, held on 4 to 6 November 2014, the signatory countries adopted the Santiago Decision in which they agreed to invite the public to designate two representatives to maintain a continuous dialogue with the Presiding Officers. To honour the aforementioned commitment set forth in the Santiago Decision, two representatives of the public and four alternates were elected on the basis of the proposals received from the public on the modalities of the election of such representatives.

 

Election of the Regional Public Mechanism representatives was held in March 2015. Two main and four alternate representatives were elected, 3 women and 3 men from Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Jamaica, Mexico and Saint Lucia. Their period ends in March 2017. 

 

ECLAC, civil society groups and the governments of Chile and Costa Rica participated in the Fifth Meeting of the Parties of the Aarhus Convention in June 2014. The LAC process gained political support from the Aarhus Parties. It received a strong support from the UN Human Rights experts through a declaration signed in October 2015 requesting governments to agree on a legally binding instrument with robust provisions on access rights. Negotiations started in Panama last October 2015 (27th-29th) with the significant participation of the public. 30 representatives of NGO’s from 18 countries participated in the meeting. 

The primary function of the representatives is to serve as liaison and maintain continuous dialogue with the Presiding Officers for the Regional Agreement on Principle 10.  Being a representative of the public also involves educating and communicating with the public and fundraising to support the involvement of the public in this regional process; communicating with the public to inform them about the regional process and to channel the public comments, proposals and observations to the Steering Committee and the Negotiating Committee.  

Regional Public Mechanism

Danielle Andrade

Danielle Andrade is a Jamaican Attorney-at-Law and one of the elected representatives of the public for this regional agreement. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Law from Queen Mary, University of London.  She was previously Legal Director of the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), a non-profit, environmental, nongovernmental organization, a post she held for nine years. Her areas of expertise include environmental policy, litigation, advocacy, legislative review and drafting and environmental law education. Her experience in implementing projects, organizing and facilitating workshops and engaging civil society have helped her to perform in her role as a representative of the public in this process and will also assist in the coordination of project activities (workshop facilitation, coordination of negotiation and advocacy strategy, assistance to Caribbean groups to implement the small grants under the project, participate in the negotiations for the regional agreement; and conducting research on best practices on access rights in the Caribbean).

dandrade.law@gmail.com

Andrea Sanhueza

Political scientist and social worker with a Masters in environment. She has worked over 25 years on democracy, transparency, access to information and public participation at the global, regional and local levels. Founder member of the Access Initiative. She has written guidelines for designing strategies for information and public participation for various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

andreasanhuezae@gmail.com

Karetta Crooks Charles

Since 2009, Karetta Crooks Charles has been the Communications and Advocacy Officer of the Saint Lucia National Trust, a non-governmental membership organization mandated to conserve Saint Lucia’s natural and cultural heritage. This Jamaican national holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication from the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication, University of the West Indies and a Certificate in Advocacy and Citizen Engagement from the Coady International Institute, Canada.  Over the years she has coordinated numerous citizen participatory initiatives and used a variety of creative tools to raise public awareness on conservation matters. Karetta has been working on the LAC P10 process since 2013.

karetta.charles@gmail.com

Andrés Napoli

Lawyer. Master in Environmental Law (País Vasco University, Spain). Since 2013 he has served as Executive Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation (FARN), a 30 years old environmental NGO in Argentina working towards sustainable development and environmental protection. Between 2006 and 2010 he was Director of the Riachuelo Area in FARN and has been a representative of the NGO within the Chartered Body set up by the National Supreme Court of Justice for the civic control of the clean-up plan of the Matanza-Riachuelo basin.

He teaches undergraduate and graduate students at University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Del Litoral University (UNL), Buenos Aires Technological Intitute (ITBA), among others. He has written several publications on access to public information, public participation and access to justice in Argentina. 

anapoli@farn.org.ar

Tomás Severino

Director of Cultura Ecológica. In the process of the Regional Convention on Principle 10, has promoted the initiative since 2010. Studies International Relations at the Universidad Autónoma de Centro América, UACA, in Costa Rica, also taken postgradute studies in the same field at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM. Has a Diploma in Law and Environmental Management, currently teaches in two Diplomas, one on legislation and other environmental indicators; Has participated in various national and international processes related to environmental governace. Over the past 15 years has worked in the Access rights analysis and advocacy in Latin America and the Caribbean.

tseverino@culturaecologica.org.mx

Natalia Gómez

Lawyer graduated from the Universidad del Rosario in Bogota and specialist in constitutional law at the National University of Colombia. She was part of the public interest law clinic and Research group on Human Rights at the Universdad del Rosario. She has worked with Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad since 2013 where she currently leads the area of citizenship, access to information and participation in environmental matters. 

nataliagomez@ambienteysociedad.org.co

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MEET THE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PUBLIC

They were elected in March 2015 and their period is for two years.

Latin American and Caribbean Countries - LAC P10

 The Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters