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International Cooperation

EPA Efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean

Our efforts in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) provide environmental tools and information to build the capacity of LAC governments and civil society organizations to help build healthy communities.  We work to reduce environmental degradation and its impacts on public health, by supporting our partners as they implement environmental laws, policies, and programs, and engage the public in environmental decision-making. These activities also support implementation of environmental cooperation mechanisms associated with Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). 
 

Learn more about our work in Latin America and the Caribbean:

On this page:

On other pages:

EPA Participation in the Latin American Network for Environmental Enforcement and Compliance (REDLAFICA)

September 2018: EPA participated in the annual meeting  of the Latin American Network for Environmental Enforcement and Compliance Exit(REDLAFICA, formerly REDSUFICA), held in Washington, D.C. REDLAFICA members discussed activities implemented in the last year (2017-2018) as well as a preliminary list of activities to be implemented in 2019. Planned work may include activities in the following priority areas: enforcement and compliance in the mining, fisheries and forestry sectors; contaminated sites; coordination among agencies that oversee issues; and updating the REDLAFICA website. During the meeting, they also reaffirmed their strategic plan and named Costa Rica as the new Chair for the Network (2018-2019). 

November 2017: The Fifth meeting of the South American Environmental Enforcement and Compliance Network (REDSUFICA) was held in Brasilia, Brazil on November 28, 2017. At the meeting, the network reviewed and approved its bylaws, and discussed and approved the network's strategic plan for 2018-2020. Led by Brazil, representatives from new members Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica joined representatives of existing member countries Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and Argentina in participating. Based on the new membership, the name of the Network was changed to the Latin American Environmental Enforcement and Compliance Network (REDLAFICA). Chairmanship for the next year passed to Argentina. 

September 2017: A criminal environmental enforcement course, organized by EPA, was delivered in partnership with Department of Justice experts to representatives of the South American Network for Environmental Enforcement and Compliance (REDSUFICA in Spanish).  Hosted by Brazil’s Institute for Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), the course included participants from Brazilian organizations as well as representatives from the other 6 REDSUFICA members (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru).  The course provided information, case studies, and best practices on the following topics: goals of environmental enforcement, elements of proof, environmental crime scene management, interviewing techniques.

November 2013: The first meeting of the South American Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (Red Sudamericana de Fiscalización y Cumplimiento Ambiental (REDSUFICA)) was held in Santiago, Chile, November 5 – 6, 2013.  Senior level participants from the environmental enforcement authorities from Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador agreed to form a network to strengthen cooperation among themselves and other countries in the region to improve enforcement and strengthen compliance with environmental laws to ensure high levels of protection.

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Selected Free Trade Agreements

Colombia 

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) was approved by Congress in October 2011 and entered into force on May 15, 2012. More information is available from the U.S. Trade Representative:
The U.S.–Colombia Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA) complements the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and was signed on April 19, 2013. View the text of the agreement (from the U.S. Department of State):
The U.S. and Colombia also signed a 2014-2017 work program that defines goals and objectives and areas of cooperation that reflect national priorities for each Government. View the text of the agreement here. (PDF)

Panama 

The U.S.-Panama Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (ECA) was signed by the U.S. and Panama on May 2012. The ECA recognizes the U.S. and Panama’s commitment to expanding cooperation on environmental matters. 
 
As a complement to the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (also known as TPA), the ECA establishes a framework for bilateral cooperation to protect the environment and promote sustainable development in concert with the U.S.-Panama trade and investment relationship. 
 

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Other Work in the Region

  • EPA collaborated with the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Exit in the identification of EMA’s air quality management program priorities.  Examples of EPA participation under this collaboration include: the organization of and participation in a technical scoping mission to help assess Trinidad and Tobago’s air quality management institutional and technical capabilities, as well as a study tour of a small group of EMA’s technical staff to the U.S. to learn about air quality management program key elements. In addition, EPA designed a template with the essential elements for a regional air quality center of excellence.

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Contacts

For additional information on EPA's work with Latin America and the Caribbean, contact:
Cam Hill-Macon
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2650R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-6408