Monday, October 16, 2017

Event - NAFTA's Environmental Side Agreement: Assessing the Past and Looking Towards the Future

 This open invitation event will take place on November 9, 2017 at the Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River, North Room, Michigan Avenue, 30 East Hubbard at State Street, Chicago, Illinois. People can also participate in this event online and in either English, French or Spanish.

As Canada, Mexico, and the United States continue with the process of re-evaluating and renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) will devote its fall 2017 public forum to an expert discussion on trade and the environment within the context of the role of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).

This event will bring together a select group of experts in trade and environment who have experience with the NAAEC, with other international trade/environment institutions, and with the environmental impacts of trade more generally. They will present their analyses of the NAAEC and the CEC— with emphasis on exploring what impact and efficiency these instruments have had in advancing the North American environmental agenda.

The forum will draw on the research reports conducted for the Ten Years of North American Environmental Cooperation (TRAC) and the results of the JPAC Regular Session 13-03: “20 Years of NAFTA and the NAAEC,” as well as the individual work of the invited experts, and any available updates on discussions regarding environmental concerns in the context of the renegotiation of NAFTA.

Provisional Agenda

8:00–9:00: Registration of participants

9:00–9:05: Opening and welcoming remarks, by Robert Varney, JPAC Chair

9:05–9:10: Welcoming remarks by César Rafael Chávez, CEC Executive Director

9:10–10:00: Keynote presentation by Edith Brown Weiss, Francis Cabell Brown Professor of International Law, Georgetown University Law Center (invited) Q&A period & discussion

10:00–10:15: Break

10:15–12:00:  Roundtable discussion 1 – The roles of the NAAEC and of the CEC: original intent and evolution over the last 23 years. This roundtable will include a discussion of the original intent behind the NAAEC and of the CEC, including an analysis of the evolution of CEC activities over the last two decades. Guiding questions: What was the rationale behind the drafting of the NAAEC? What are its core principles and elements? How have trilateral environmental cooperation and the CEC priority areas evolved over time? Moderator: Gustavo Alanís-Ortega, JPAC member. Expert speakers: Víctor Lichtinger, Coordinador General de Gabinete y Planeación, Gobierno de Michoacán, Daniel Magraw, Professorial Lecturer, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Roundtable discussion between invited experts, JPAC members and audience (in-person + online)

12:00–13:00:  Lunch

13:00–14:45: Roundtable discussion 2 – Assessing the impacts of the CEC and the NAAEC to date
This roundtable will address the role of the CEC and its constituent bodies in delivering the objectives of Article 1 of the NAAEC, and will consider the impacts of key CEC initiatives in North America. The roundtable will also look at other international agreements related to trade and the environment and propose potential actions that could facilitate the objectives of the NAAEC. Guiding questions: How have CEC activities delivered on the objectives of NAAEC Article 1? Are there potential actions that could improve the CEC’s capacity to deliver on these objectives? Are there lessons to be drawn from other environment and trade agreements? Are there ways to reconcile elements from more recent agreements with the CEC’s institutional context? What have been the CEC’s impacts on the North American environment, and on businesses and communities? Moderator: Felicia Marcus, JPAC member Expert speakers: Armand de Mestral, Professor emeritus, Jean Monnet Chair in the Law of International Economic Integration, McGill University Raquel Gutiérrez Nájera, Director, Instituto de Derecho Ambiental. Roundtable discussion between invited experts, JPAC members and audience (in-person + online)

14:45–15:00: Break

15:00–16:45: Roundtable discussion 3 – The road forward for the CEC and the NAAEC This roundtable will discuss how to strengthen and integrate the core objectives of the NAAEC into a revitalized NAFTA, including opportunities for a modernized CEC in the context of future trilateral cooperation on trade and environment. Guiding questions: In light of the ongoing NAFTA negotiations, how might the CEC’s institutions be modernized to maintain their relevance in the context of a new agreement? How can the public continue to be engaged on issues of trade and the environment? Moderator: Sabaa Khan, JPAC member Expert speakers: Konstantia Koutouki, Associate Professor, Université de Montréal Faculty of Law Roundtable discussion between invited experts, JPAC members and audience (in-person + online)

16:45–17:15: Wrap-up discussion with experts and members of the audience (in-person + online)

17:15–17:30: Concluding remarks by César Rafael Chávez, CEC Executive Director and Robert Varney, JPAC Chair Contact Marcela Orozco Liaison Officer (514) 350-4305

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Click here to register either online or in person. 

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