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The United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic held the sixth meeting of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) Environmental Affairs Council (EAC) today in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the State Department represented the United States at this meeting.
During the meeting, the CAFTA-DR Parties reaffirmed their strong commitment to work together to preserve and protect the environment through implementation of the CAFTA-DR Environment Chapter and the Environmental Cooperation Agreement. The success of the implementation of the Environment Chapter along with cooperative activities under CAFTA-DR demonstrates the importance of increased trade and stronger environmental protection.
The Council Members also met with members of the public. The Council Members shared progress on implementation of the Environment Chapter and on important results achieved on environmental cooperation and capacity building. The CAFTA-DR Secretariat for Environmental Matters gave a presentation during the public session regarding the enforcement of environmental laws under the CAFTA-DR Environment Chapter.
The CAFTA-DR entered into force for the United States and El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua during 2006, for the Dominican Republic on March 1, 2007, and for Costa Rica on January 1, 2009. To date, the United States has dedicated more than $77 million to support trade and environment capacity building through environmental cooperation in the CAFTA-DR region. CAFTA-DR environmental cooperation focuses on efforts to strengthen implementation and enforce environmental laws, protect biodiversity, increase market-based conservation, and improve private sector environmental performance.