Environmental Rule of Law Meeting opens in Jamaica

More than 100 high-level officials including judges, prosecutors, parliamentarians, experts from international organizations, academics, students, and representatives of civil society and the private sector are meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica, for the first Inter-American Congress on the Environmental Rule of Law.

The two-day meeting opened on Monday and seeks to promote the development and strengthening of environmental legislation, policies and institutions as foundations of democracy and sustainable development in the Americas.

The event is organized by the Organisation of American States (OAS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Union for Conservation of Natural Resources (IUCN) and theCaribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), according to a press release from the OAS.

At the opening ceremony, OAS Assistant Secretary-General, Albert Ramdin expressed the hope that the meeting “will carefully and respectfully consider the evidence, facts and opinions to make the commitment to invest in the design and adoption of the policies, laws and regulations necessary to protect the well-being of the people and their environment.”

During the meeting participants will analyse the different perspectives and emerging trends on environmental law in the region, in order to respond to the need to intensify Inter-American efforts to identify inclusive responses to the challenges related to environmental law and governance.

The event will include presentations by recognized authorities, presidents of the highest courts of justice of the Americas, parliamentarians and experts in the subject matter from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, on the following themes: the prevention and management of conflicts surrounding shared natural resources; environmental compliance and enforcement; rights of access: information, justice and process; and legal frameworks for the management of water resources, trade, investment and the environment, among other issues.

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