Capacity-Building Programs Under CAFTA-DR
The United States signed the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) in August 2004 with five Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) and the Dominican Republic. As a global partner in trade and the environment, Central America and the Dominican Republic represent a priority region for U.S. environmental cooperation. Recognizing the importance of protecting the environment while promoting sustainable development, the Governments negotiated an associated Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA), which is the basis for our environmental cooperation. EPA implements this ECA through an action plan developed in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State, and the CAFTA-DR countries.
Presently, EPA is providing technical assistance under CAFTA-DR in the areas of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Wastewater Regulations, and Urban Air Quality Management.
Past EPA’s efforts in the CAFTA-DR countries have included technical capacity assistance in the following areas:
- Harmonization of Environmental Regulations
- Policies and Procedures (Wastewater)
- Environmental Law Enforcement
- Environmental Management Systems
- Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
- Hazardous Substances and Sound Management of Chemicals
- Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management (SAICM)
- Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry (PRTR)
- Urban Air Quality Management
- Land Use/Land Cover Mapping
- Green Customs
Explore our CAFTA-DR work in the following sections:
- Agreements and Relevant Documents
- Key Partners
- Learn More About the Western Hemisphere and the Caribbean
- April 2012: EPA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), El Salvador ; the Central America Commission on Development and Environment (CCAD) , USAID and Battelle Institute (Grantee) presented a two day workshop on Air Quality Communication to share experiences, techniques and tools on providing technical data to the general public ina way that is systematic and easy to understand. MARN is expected to launch the first air quality index in the nation and in the region within the next 6-8 months. This activity was part of the urban air quality management program under the CAFTA-DR agreement.
- October 2011: A sub-regional air quality forecasting workshop was held in San Jose, Costa Rica, targeted to Costa Rica and El Salvador as regional leaders, with the goal of developing potential technical resources on air quality monitoring in the region.
- October 2011: Technical review guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessement in the mining, energy and tourism sectors were completed. These guidelines will help ensure that proposed projects successfully identify, prevent and/or mitigate potential adverse impacts, and enhance potential beneficial impacts throughout the life of a project.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA):
To strengthen environmental impact assessment preparation and EIA reviews for effective decision-making, EPA partners with the CAFTA-DR countries' Ministries of Environment and their EIA Directors in:
- individual country consultations activities;
- training on Principles of Environmental Assessment Review; and
- strengthening and/or harmonizing review criteria for priority sectors.
To develop a comprehensive urban air quality management program, EPA works with the CAFTA-DR countries Ministries of Environment and the Central America Commission for Development and Environment (CCAD) to provide technical assistance in:
- air quality monitoring;
- air quality management training;
- air quality forecasting; technical exchange;
- public access to air quality information and
- other tools to raise air quality awareness and facilitate public participation.
Wastewater Model Regulation:
EPA provides technical assistance to the CAFTA-DR countries in the development of a regional model wastewater regulation, as part of the Harmonization of Environmental Regulations, Policies and Procedures program.
All countries have begun implementation of at least two of 11 basic elements to implement a wastewater management program, and have been provided with tools to establish wastewater discharge parameters for key industrial sectors in the region.
In addition, EPA has trained wastewater labs in the region on ISO 17025 Water Quality Standards, leading to the selection of a regional and four national Reference Labs. EPA is also completing a manual on appropriate wastewater treatment for the region.
- CAFTA-DR Free Trade Agreement
- FTA Chapter 17: Environment; Environmental Cooperation Agreement (PDF)
Additional Resources and Information:
- US Trade Representative: About the CAFTA-DR -- Full Text
- State Department: CAFTA-DR Environment Chapter
- USAID: Environment and Global Climate Change
- CCAD: CAFTA-DR (In Spanish)
Back to:Latin America and the Caribbean
For additional information on EPA's work with Latin America and the Caribbean, contact:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460