Latin America and the Caribbean Adopts Its First Binding Regional Agreement to Protect Rights of Access in Environmental Matters

 Caption: Group photo of the delegates attending the Ninth Meeting of the Negotiating Committe of the Regional Agreement on Principle 10, in Costa Rica. Photo: ECLAC

Representatives of 24 Latin American and Caribbean countries who were gathered in San Jose, Costa Rica adopted the first binding regional agreement to protect the rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters (Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development), an unprecedented legal instrument for the region.

At the conclusion of the Ninth Meeting of the Negotiating Committee of the Regional Agreement on Principle 10, the government delegates, along with representatives of the public and experts from international bodies, agreed to the final text of the accord, which had been under negotiation since 2014 and which also enshrines the protection of human rights defenders in environmental matters.

The closing ceremony was led by Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís and Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the United Nations regional organization that acts as technical secretariat of this agreement. 

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