United States and Peru Hold Environmental Meetings
The Governments of the United States and Peru convened the third meeting of the Sub-Committee on Forest Sector Governance (Sub-Committee), the second meeting of the Environmental Affairs Council (EAC), and the first meeting of the Environmental Cooperation Commission (ECC) on April 27 and 28 in Washington, D.C. The Sub-Committee discussed progress implementing the Annex on Forest Sector Governance (Annex) of the Environment Chapter of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA). Peru and the United States discussed Peru's efforts to pass a new forestry and wildlife law, including its consultation process with local communities. The United States reiterated the critical importance of Peru passing the new forestry law, and Peru reaffirmed its commitment to do so.
The EAC reviewed the progress Peru and the United States have made ensuring effective implementation of, and compliance with, the obligations under the Environment Chapter of the PTPA. Pursuant to the PTPA, the United States and Peru exchanged letters agreeing to request the Organization of American States (OAS) to house an independent secretariat to receive and consider submissions that a Party is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws, together with a letter to the OAS making that request. This submissions process is called for under the PTPA, and is an important mechanism to bring environmental problems to light and to ensure effective enforcement of each Party's respective environmental laws.
The ECC discussed implementation of the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in particular the status of cooperative activities under the 2009-2010 Work Program, which focuses on implementing the Annex. The ECC approved a Work Program for 2011-2014 that continues to focus on implementing the Annex, and agreed to work on a mechanism for measuring performance. The Governments also held a public session, providing interested stakeholders with the opportunity to raise issues and ask questions about implementation efforts.