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P4 Environment Co-op Agreement - Key Outcomes 3

ENVIRONMENT COOPERATION AGREEMENT
AMONG THE PARTIES TO THE
TRANS-PACIFIC STRATEGIC ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

KEY OUTCOMES

JUNE 2005

Objectives - The binding Agreement is aimed at encouraging sound environmental practices and improving the capacity of each country to address environmental matters through cooperation and dialogue.

Key undertakings

In support of these objectives, the partners:
- reaffirm their commitment to pursue high levels of environmental protection and to fulfil their respective multilateral environment commitments;
- shall endeavour to ensure their environmental laws, regulations, policies and practices are in harmony with relevant international obligations;
- shall respect the sovereign right of each country to set, administer and enforce its own environmental laws, regulations and policies according to its priorities;
- agree it is inappropriate to set or use their environmental laws, regulations, policies and practices for trade protectionist purposes;
- agree it is inappropriate to relax or fail to enforce or administer their environmental laws and regulations to encourage trade and investment;
- shall promote public awareness of their environmental laws, regulations, policies and practices domestically.

How will the agreement work?

- Cooperative activities will play an important role in the operation of the Agreement. The partners will encourage and facilitate collaborative research, exchange of information and exchange of environmental experts. As a first step the countries will soon be exchanging a list of their areas of interest and expertise.

There are also mechanisms for resolving any issues that may arise:
- each country will designate a national contact point for environmental matters. The countries will meet within one year at senior officials level to discuss cooperation activities, review the implementation of the Agreement and address any issues.
- if an issue arises the parties will seek to resolve it through dialogue, consultation and cooperation.
- a party may request consultations, which shall take place within six months of the request. If consultations fail to resolve the matter, a Party may request a special meeting of the interested parties. The issue may also be referred to a special meeting of the Trans-Pacific SEP Commission. The Commission may include Ministers.
- the special meeting shall produce a report, which the interested parties will implement as soon as practicable.

Public participation

- Each Party may invite their non-government sector or relevant organisations to take part in the cooperation activities.
- The Parties may decide to invite relevant experts or organisations to provide information to meetings of the Parties.
- Each party may also consult with its public and/or non-government sectors over matters relating to the operation of the Agreement by whatever means it considers appropriate.

ENDS

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