Chilean Civil Society Organizations met to discuss and offer proposals to the Government to minimize the deficiencies in the right to participate in the Environmental Impact Assessment System. This workshop was held within the framework of the Fifth Negotiation of the P10 Agreement to be held in Chile from November 21st - 25th.
The Workshop was held on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Law Faculty of the Universidad de Chile, where students and organizations participated along with Andrea Sanhueza (Elected Representative of the Public for the Convention on Principle 10), Paula Fuentes (Environmental Lawyer) and Valentina Durán and María Nora González, Professors from the Specialized Clinic in Environmental Law and Conflict Resolution at the Universidad de Chile.
After Professor Durán welcomed and explained the objectives of the workshop, Ms. Sanhueza presented the negotiation process, highlighting that it represents a political opportunity to ask the Chilean State for specific improvements in the rights to information and public participation in environmental issues.
On the other hand, Ms. Fuentes presented a comparative view of the 17 Latin American countries on the consecration of the rights of information and participation in systems of evaluation on environmental impact. One of the most striking results is that Chile, along with Honduras and Nicaragua, has the lowest level of recognition of the right to citizen participation among Latin American countries.
Finally, students from the Environmental Clinic presented a comparative analysis of the provisions of the agreement, the Chilean regulations and the proposals that emerged from the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Evaluation of the Environmental Impact Assessment System.
This was an opportunity to study the gaps and chances that this future agreement represents for the State of Chile, regarding rights of access and environmental participation. Additionally, it was an occasion to formulate proposals through dialogue and exchange ideas, which will be presented in the future, to the Chilean government.