International Cooperation

EPA Efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) program provides environmental tools and information to build the capacity of LAC governments and civil society organizations to reduce environmental degradation and its impacts on public health, particularly vulnerable populations, and ecosystems.
 
LAC programs and activities in the Region support the work of our partners to build healthy communities by: 
  • strengthening their capacity to implement environmental laws, policies, and programs; 
  • advancing greater use of economic incentives; and
  • promoting public participation and transparency in environmental decision-making. 
These programs also support implementation of environmental cooperation mechanisms associated with Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). In addition, our efforts in the region support EPA’s six international priorities and benefit the environment and public health in the United States, as well as that of our partners.
 

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

 

Highlights

  • July 2013: EPA partnered with the City of Rio to host a workshop to share approaches and tools for participatory solid waste management in underserved areas.  
  • December 2013: The State of Maryland and State of Rio de Janeiro launched a partnership to strengthen the governance structure and regulatory framework for the Guanabara Bay.  Learn more about our work in Brazil.

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Brazil

Brazil’s size (the 5th largest country in the world and the largest in Latin America), large population, and high levels of economic growth and urbanization make its current and future environmental footprint the most significant in the Latin America and Caribbean region and one of the most significant in the world. EPA works with national and local environmental agencies in Brazil to exchange information on environmental management and risk reduction in areas of mutual interest. 
 

Chile

The Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Chile signed an Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA) on June 17, 2003. In so doing, the Governments recognized the importance of protecting the environment while promoting sustainable development in concert with the expanded bilateral trade and investment ties associated with the 2003 U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
 

Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)

The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) includes Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the United States. 
 
EPA works as an implementation partner with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on environmental capacity building within the CAFTA-DR region in accordance with the priorities outlined in the CAFTA-DR Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA). 
 

Other 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. 
 

Peru 

The Peru Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force on February 1, 2009. For more information, please visit: 

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Other Initiatives in the Region 

  • The first meeting of the South American Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (Red Sudamericana de Fiscalización y Cumplimiento Ambiental (REFCA)) 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.
  • EPA participated in the First Plenary Meeting of the U.S.-Colombia Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality (CAPREE). The Action Plan focuses on sharing best practices and implementing programs to address social barriers that affect Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities. The meeting convened U.S. and Colombian senior government officials, civil society, and private sector representatives to exchange best practices and create partnerships to promote racial and ethnic equality in Colombia and the U.S.  
  • 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.
  • EPA participates in the LAC water safety portal network—a group of stakeholders that promotes the widespread implementation of drinking water safety plans in the region. The network offers updated and critical information on water safety plans in Latin America and the Caribbean. 
  • At the Fifth Summit of the Americas (April 2009), President Obama invited all countries of the Western Hemisphere to deepen cooperation on energy and climate change, by launching the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. Learn more

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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