Washington, DC - The Governments of the United States and Peru convened the third meeting of the Sub-Committee on Forest Sector Governance (Sub-Committee), the second meeting of the Environmental Affairs Council (EAC), and the first meeting of the Environmental Cooperation Commission (ECC) on April 27 and 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. The meetings focused on progress implementing the environmental provisions of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA), including its Annex on Forest Sector Governance (Annex), and the United States-Peru Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA).
The meetings were chaired by Amy Karpel, Director for Environment and Natural Resources, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; Tiffany Prather, Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of Environmental Policy, U.S. Department of State; Alvaro Diaz, from Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism; and Josefina del Prado, from Peru´s Ministry of Environment.
U.S. Government participants in the meeting included officials from the Department of State, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Peruvian Government participants included officials from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, the Interregional Amazon Council; and the Peruvian Embassy in Washington, DC.
The EAC reviewed the progress Peru and the United States have made in ensuring effective implementation of, and compliance with, the obligations under the Environment Chapter of the PTPA. Pursuant to the PTPA, the United States and Peru exchanged letters agreeing to request the Organization of American States (OAS) to house an independent secretariat to receive and consider submissions that a Party is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws, together with a letter to the OAS making that request. This submissions process is called for under the PTPA, and is an important mechanism to bring environmental problems to light and to ensure effective enforcement of each Party’s respective environmental laws.
The Sub-Committee discussed progress implementing the Annex. Peru and the United States discussed Peru’s efforts to pass a new forestry and wildlife law, including consultations with local communities. The United States reiterated the critical importance of Peru passing the new forestry law, and Peru reaffirmed its commitment to do so. The Parties also reviewed a program of on-going work to assist Peru in implementing its obligations under the Annex, including activities in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Forest Service related to the development of accurate inventories and yield calculations, tracking and information systems, forest management, and law enforcement. The Parties also discussed implementation of audit and verification procedures called for under the Annex.
The ECC discussed implementation of the ECA, in particular the status of cooperative activities under the 2009-2010 Work Program, which focuses on implementing the Annex. The ECC approved a Work Program for 2011-2014 that continues to focus on implementing the Annex, and agreed to work on a mechanism for measuring performance.
The Governments also held a public session for non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders. Opening remarks were delivered by Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Mark Linscott, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources; and Luis Miguel Valdivieso Montano, the Peruvian Ambassador to the United States. This session provided an opportunity for the public to participate in a discussion with government officials about implementation of the Environment Chapter, including the Annex, as well as the status of cooperative environmental activities.