As environmental issues continue to be at the forefront of the North American integration process, the U.S. National Advisory Committee (NAC) provides a valuable avenue for public input. Arising from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the NAC is charged with providing advice on a broad range of environmental and economic issues. The committee helps shape U.S. policies that improve the environment and health conditions of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The NAC is composed of 12 members selected from environmental groups, business and academia.
The U.S. NAC was created in 1994 by executive order, as part of the United States Federal Implementation of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). Article 17 of the NAAEC authorizes the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to each convene a national advisory committee. Since its inception, the committee has proven to be a valuable asset in the development of U.S. policies on trade and environment. The committee produces letters of advice and reports on a periodic basis.
The NAC has been instrumental in advising the U.S. government on how to organize and lead the CEC. The committee contributes to the development of the CEC's Program Plan and Budget. The NAC also assists the U.S. in developing outcomes for the annual CEC Council meetings and serves as an integral partner in the tri-national efforts to further sustainable development in North America.
In North America, 425 million people share a rich natural environment ranging from tropical rain forests to deserts and wetlands, oceans and rivers. Since 1994, Canada, Mexico and the United States have collaborated in protecting North America's environment through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).
The North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation seeks to build bridges among the three countries to promote environmental collaboration. The NAAEC is the first international agreement to link environmental cooperation with trade relations and the first to embed public engagement at the heart of its operations. The NAAEC establishes the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) to facilitate effective cooperation on the conservation, protection, and enhancement of the North American environment.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation is an international organization created by Canada, Mexico, and the United States under the NAAEC. The CEC was established to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and to promote the effective enforcement of environmental law. The Council reinforces the environmental provisions of NAFTA. For more information visit the CEC website at www.cec.org.