The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in June 1992, issued numerous documents, including the Rio Declaration that reaffirmed the right to the environment and the state obligations to guarantee it, principle 10 highlights and promotes the rights of access to information, justice in environmental matters and citizen participation, and in 2012, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, work began on the Regional Agreement. This agreement has been adopted after two years of preparation and four years of negotiations, which included the active participation of the public in Escazú, Costa Rica, on March 4, 2018.
The Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Participation and Justice in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, known as the “Escazú Agreement”, is the first regional treaty on environmental matters for Latin America and the Caribbean that is established as a tool that aims to guarantee the effective implementation of the rights of access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decisions and access to justice.
The Agreement protects the right of each person, of present and future generations, to live in a healthy environment and to sustainable development, not in a declarative manner, but by regulating the implementation and enforcement of rights and establishing for each State Party obligations that must and need to be assumed to achieve the desired objectives, with their corresponding accountability.
It establishes for the first time, at a global level, guarantees for the protection of environmental human rights defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean region with alarming negative rates in terms of security, protection of personal integrity and life, also seeking to protect and integrate the environmental and cultural heritage of indigenous peoples.
Today, more than two years after the adoption of the Agreement, it is still pending ratification by a large number of countries, which is why we consider from the Ibero-American Association of Law, Culture and Environment, AIDCA and its Institute of Environmental Law, Dr. Mario F. Valls, which is a great opportunity to strengthen the rights of access to information in the region, work for their effective implementation and execution, establishing the necessary guarantees for the protection of the personal integrity of human rights defenders in matters environmental.
The serious environmental and climate crisis that the region and the world are going through, force us to duplicate efforts, for which the Escazú Agreement is an essential tool for the protection of the environment, the fight against climate change and the reduction of conflicts. socio-environmental.
For the reasons given, from AIDCA, the undersigned, we urge the States of Latin America and the Caribbean, which have not yet done so, to ratify/adhere and proceed to give parliamentary process to the Escazú Agreement, leaving our institution at the disposal of each of them, in order to provide the necessary collaboration and information.
Sign the AIDCA Declaration urging the States to ratify/adhere to the Escazú Agreement, by completing the following form