2015-2017 United States - Chile Work Program for Environmental Cooperation

Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
August 13, 2015


The Joint Commission for Environmental Cooperation (JCEC), established pursuant to the “United States-Chile Environmental Cooperation Agreement” between the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Chile (hereafter the Governments), hereby defines a Work Program through 2017 that establishes specific goals and objectives and areas for cooperation that reflect national priorities for each Government.


On June 17, 2003, the Governments signed an Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA). In so doing, the Governments recognized the importance of protecting the environment while promoting sustainable development in conjunction with expanded bilateral trade and investment ties under the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The ECA established a Joint Commission for Environmental Cooperation (JCEC), which is charged with developing and implementing environmental cooperation work programs. In 2015 – 2017, the Governments intend to build upon previous environmental cooperation work and to intensify focus on certain priorities, such as combating wildlife trafficking and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Work Plan Goals

The JCEC recognizes that, through implementation of this Work Program, the Governments are striving to achieve the following long-term goals:

  • Compliance with obligations in the Environment Chapter of the FTA;
  • Protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources;
  • Environmental education and transparency and public participation in environmental decision-making; and
  • A culture of environmental protection and compliance with environmental laws through, among other things, the promotion of economic opportunities, voluntary measures to enhance environmental performance, and job creation.

Priority Areas for Cooperation

This Work Program focuses on the following priority areas, with the following corresponding general objectives.

A. Strengthening effective implementation and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations.

Objectives: To strengthen effective implementation and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations by exchanging information and experiences on environmental legal and regulatory regimes, and by supporting development of enforcement and compliance policies, tools and practices, including sharing information on approaches to environmental monitoring.

Potential Activities:

1. Exchange information and best practices on approaches to effective environmental regulation for pollution control, fresh water evaluation and monitoring (including wetlands), wastewater treatment, management of hazardous and solid wastes and toxic chemicals, and natural resource management.

2. Share information on effective enforcement and compliance with environmental laws and regulations (inspection, investigations, and prosecutions), including on wildlife trafficking; facilitate information exchanges and sharing of best practices regarding adjudication of environmental laws and regulations.

3. Support national and regional efforts to strengthen compliance with environmental laws, including by supporting the National Environmental Enforcement Network and the South American Network for Environmental Enforcement and Compliance.

4. Exchange information and best practices on the issuance of operating permits for and on evaluating and mitigating the environmental impacts of industrial facilities.

5. Exchange information and best practices on management of mercury in light of relevant multilateral environmental agreements, such as the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

B. Promoting conservation and the sustainable and inclusive management of natural resources, including biodiversity and ecosystem services, protected wild areas, and other ecologically important ecosystems.

Objectives: To promote and encourage (1) the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, including plants, animals, and habitats; (2) the sustainable use and management of natural resources; and (3) the effective management of terrestrial and marine protected areas and other ecologically important ecosystems.

Potential Activities:

1. Exchange information and best practices in investigating and prosecuting wildlife trafficking cases; facilitate linkages with regional wildlife enforcement bodies and networks.

2. Promote best practices for conservation of living marine resources, including those related to combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, including through the implementation of port state measures (as referenced in the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing); and cooperate on regional surveillance activities to combat IUU fishing.

3. Exchange information and best practices on implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

4. Share approaches to remote sensing of forest activities and technologies for timber tracking and prevention of illegal timber trade.

5. Share information and best practices related to reducing the environmental impacts of mining.

6. Exchange best practices in marine and terrestrial protected area management, including for developing management plans for multiple-use protected areas, staff capacity building, and staff exchange.

7. Support the “Protected Area Partners” programs and sister parks and refuges agreements to foster cooperation in the long-term protection of natural and cultural heritage between marine and/or terrestrial protected areas.

8. Exchange information and best practices relating to the environmental aspects of aquaculture, including data exchange, information on new regulations, and enhanced disease detection and response measures.

9. Support the Fourth International Marine Protected Area Congress to be held in Chile in 2017.

C. Promoting environmental education, transparency, and civil society participation in environmental decision-making and enforcement.

Objectives: To share experiences on (1) involving the public in decision-making regarding environmental matters; (2) enhancing openness and transparency in regulatory and program implementation; and (3) implementing environmental education strategies and programs.

Potential Activities:

1. Facilitate information exchanges at national and regional levels for promoting inclusive public participation in environmental decision-making and enforcement.

2. Share experiences in working with Indigenous and local communities to improve park and protected area management, and biodiversity and habitat conservation while managing economic benefits from related natural resources.

3. Support public awareness campaigns and programs to educate communities and youth on environmental issues, including on the importance of CITES implementation, combating wildlife trafficking, and marine conservation.

D. Encouraging development of low emissions technology, improving resilience to large-scale disasters, and encouraging the adoption of sound environmental practices and technologies.

Objectives: To encourage investment in clean and efficient energy, partner to strengthen resilience to large-scale disasters, and work with private enterprises to develop and adopt green technologies.

Potential Activities:

1. Exchange information on new technologies for measuring and mitigating vehicle emissions and provide technical support in the implementation of emissions control programs.

2. Exchange information related to emergency preparedness and systems for early warning and emergency management in response to natural and human-caused disasters.

3. Work nationally and regionally to promote the adoption of cleaner production practices and techniques in institutions, including small and medium enterprises and encourage the development of sound environmental practices and technologies in the private sector.

4. Cooperate regionally on technologies to monitor air quality and policies to address air pollution and its adverse health consequences.

5. Exchange information on sea ice monitoring and charting capabilities to increase safety at sea and promote the health of the marine environment through reduced accidents, oil spills, and other impacts of sea ice.


The objectives and potential activities set forth in this plan may be updated and modified by future consultations between the Governments, and the implementation of activities is contingent upon the availability of funding and other resources.

Benchmarks, Monitoring, and Evaluation

The Governments recognize that a variety of government agencies and civil society groups may be involved in implementing the programs and projects under this Work Program, and that the agency or group that leads implementation for a particular program or project should be responsible for public participation, information disclosure, and performance tracking related to that program or project.

As the Governments more narrowly define cooperative programs, projects, and activities under this Work Program, the Governments intend to identify performance indicators and benchmarks to measure appropriately the progress made in accomplishing or otherwise furthering the goals and objectives of such programs, projects and activities and intend further to facilitate public reporting of that progress. To the degree that the Governments use independent sources of monitoring data and evaluation to assess progress, they intend to collaborate with those other sources in identifying suitable performance indicators and benchmarks.

The Governments intend to consider input from relevant local, regional and international organizations regarding cooperation under this Work Program. The Governments also plan to encourage public participation in setting goals and implementing environmental collaboration, and plan to make information on activities carried out under this Work Program available to the public.




Judith G. Garber 

Acting Assistant Secretary of State


Waldemar Coutts 

Director, Environment & Maritime Affairs