We are Looking for Youth Champions for the Escazú Agreement

Photo source: Vitor Marinho

Are you passionate about protecting your environment? We are looking for young people from Latin America and the Caribbean who can help us support the ratification and implementation of the Escazú Agreement a groundbreaking environmental treaty.

The Escazú Agreement

The Escazú Agreement, adopted on March 4, 2018, is a groundbreaking environmental treaty that recognizes environmental rights in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Agreement is the first legally binding regional environmental treaty from Latin America and the Caribbean to ensure the rights to access environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making, and justice in environmental matters. The Agreement seeks to ensure and strengthen capacity and cooperation between governments, contributing to the protection of the right of each person of this and future generations to live in a healthy environment within the framework of sustainable development. It includes specific obligations to prevent harm against human rights defenders in environmental matters. It includes specific provisions to ensure the rights of people and groups in vulnerable situations, which relates to the commitment in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of leaving no one behind. The Agreement also offers an opportunity to reduce the number of socioenvironmental conflicts present in many countries in the region.

As of January 2020, 22 countries out of 33 in the region have signed the Agreement and five have ratified it — Guyana, Bolivia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Uruguay. The ratification process is in Congress in Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru. Eleven countries in the region must ratify the treaty in order to bring it into force and allow implementation to begin.

Champions of Escazú

That is where the Champions of Escazú come in. The Access Initiative seeks activists, academics, business leaders, civil society members, indigenous leaders, youth and other advocates who have a voice and commitment to the Escazú Agreement to come forward as Champions of this Agreement. The Champions will help spread the message about the Agreement's importance and aim, address the problem of a lack of environmental information and how this affects local communities, and encourage participation in environmental decision-making. We are seeking youth Champions to help us raise awareness of and encourage the ratification and full, effective implementation of the Escazú Agreement. We are working to increase the visibility of the Agreement and its provisions, identify financing opportunities, and champion solutions and the cooperative engagement of countries and people across the region.

The Champions of Escazú is an initiative of The Access Initiative (TAI) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC).

Find out more about the Champions of Escazú and submit your application now.