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The Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (Escazú Agreement) was adopted in Escazú, Costa Rica, on 4 March 2018, and entered into force on 22 April 2021.
The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Escazú Agreement took place on April 20 to 22, 2022 at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago. At the meeting, the States Parties approved a Political Declaration in which they reaffirmed the treaty as a driving force for sustainable development and a fundamental governance tool for better public policies in the region. Likewise, they adopted six decisions, among them, the rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties, including the modalities for significant participation of the public (article 15.4a) and the rules relating to the structure and functions of the Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance (article 18.1). In addition, the Conference elected the Presiding Officers and agreed to hold an extraordinary meeting in 2023 in Argentina and an ordinary meeting in 2024.
At the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Escazú Agreement, extraordinary, the States Parties approved a Political Declaration (Declaration of Buenos Aires), which highlighted the importance of access rights in environmental matters to promote the human rights and sustainable development, emphasized the need for support to implement the Agreement, celebrated the creation of a Voluntary Contributions Fund, and the countries committed to continue working on key issues that will be addressed at the Third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 3). Likewise, they adopted Decision II/1, which elected the members of the Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance, a subsidiary body of the Conference of the Parties which purpose is to promote implementation and support the Parties in the implementation of the Agreement.
The objective of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Escazú Agreement will be the consideration and approval of the Action Plan on Human Rights Defenders in Environmental Matters prepared by the coordinators of the ad hoc Working Group composed of Chile, Ecuador and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Likewise, reports from the Secretariat, Presiding Officers, Committee to Support Implementation and Compliance and national implementation routes will be presented, and any other matter that the Parties decide will be discussed.
In turn, in order to advance in the discussion of the topics that will be the subject of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties, a virtual preparatory meeting will take place on 4 March 2024 (Pre-COP).