On Tuesday 23 July 2019, at the Lloyd Best Institute of the Caribbean, 30 civil society organisations working on environmental management across Trinidad and Tobago participated in the People Protecting our Planet: National civil society workshop on the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is also known as the Escazú Agreement, which was adopted on March 4, 2018 in Escazú, Costa Rica.
The Escazú Agreement, the first environmental treaty for Latin American and the Caribbean, aims to guarantee the full and effective implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean of the rights of access to environmental information, public participation in the environmental decision-making process and access to justice in environmental matters. This will be achieved through the creation and strengthening of capacities and cooperation, contributing to the protection of the right of every person of present and future generations to live in a healthy environment and to sustainable development.
The national workshop People Protecting Our Planet was supported through grants from the European Union to CANARI and The Cropper Foundation. Participants shared their achievements and challenges with accessing environmental information and using mechanisms under the Environmental Commission. The need for more effective approaches to public participation in environmental issues was also discussed. Coming out of the workshop, the civil society organisations committed to work together to collectively advocate for good environmental governance. A collective advocacy campaign will be launched in August 2019 calling on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to urgently sign and ratify the Escazú Agreement.