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US & Chile Agree on Environmental Cooperation

United States and Chile Agree on Work Program for Environmental Cooperation

The Governments of the United States of America and Chile have reached agreement on a work program that will advance environmental cooperation between the two countries in six areas in 2005 and 2006. An exchange of Diplomatic Notes commemorated the agreement on the work program, which is being carried out within a framework created by the United States-Chile Environmental Cooperation Agreement, signed by the two countries in June 2003.

The Environmental Cooperation Agreement, which is associated with the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement, encourages bilateral cooperation in environmental matters, establishing a lasting framework for cooperation between the two countries to promote sustainable development. The cooperative activities are set forth in a work program developed by a Joint Commission for Environmental Cooperation that was also established under this Agreement. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky, represents the United States on the Commission.

The work program anticipates cooperative activities in the following six areas: (1) capacity-building to improve enforcement and compliance with environmental laws and regulations; (2) encouraging sound environmental practices and technologies, particularly in the private sector; (3) promoting sustainable management of natural resources including wildlife and protected areas; (4) increasing/encouraging civil society participation in environmental decision-making; (5) improving environmental education; and (6) improving/enhancing/fostering information exchange on a range of issues, including environmental health, climate change, natural disasters, and public-private partnerships.

With its emphasis on good governance, including the promotion of the rule of law, public participation and transparency in environmental decision-making, the work program reinforces both countries’ commitment to democratic traditions, and to protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development in concert with strengthened trade relations.

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