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  • Congress session to approve participation in the Escazu Agreement, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept 27, 2020.

    Congress session to approve participation in the Escazu Agreement, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept 27, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @hemisferiosinfo

Published 28 September 2020
Opinion

The Escazu Agreement is the world's first international treaty to contain specific provisions on protecting environmental defenders.

Argentina’s Congress Sunday approved the country’s attachment to the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters (the Escazu Agreement).

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The project, which had been approved last August 13th in the Senate, was validated by the Congress with 240 positive votes, 4 negative votes, and 2 abstentions.

The Escazu Agreement is the world's first international treaty to contain specific provisions on protecting environmental defenders. It also calls for the creation of capacities to live in a healthy environment.

Argentina became the tenth out of the 33 Latin American countries to ratify the Escazu Agreement, and only one more state is needed for it to come into force.

Lawmaker Eduardo Valdes pointed out that his country is recognizing a historic demand from its communities, which request higher levels of commitment from the government and call for transparency in the provision of environmental information.

"Caring for the environment is a challenge for humanity. To register changes we must conceive ourselves as part of the environment without harming it as it is our common home," he said.

Lawmaker Brenda Austin positively qualified the treaty's objective to fight against the persecution suffered by environmental defenders as Latin America holds the negative record of being the region where most murders of environmental leaders occurred in 2019.

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