May 19, 2005
The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Montreal has just released an independent report prepared by the Tulane University Environmental Law Institute on the performance of the Joint Public Advisory Committee formed as part of NAFTA in 1994 to facilitate dialogue between citizens and senior environmental officials on issues relating to the trade agreement.
The report, authored by Institute Director Eric Dannenmaier with research support from Tulane Law School students finds that the committee is a "unique and unparalleled public body" that has been "an innovative debate facilitator and point of entry for the public, providing public access to information about environmental issues involving the NAFTA."
The advisory committee was formed in response to public criticism of the proposed NAFTA agreement, and was meant to help address concerns about the environmental impact of increased cross-border trade among Canada, Mexico and the US. The report, which was prepared as part of an official 10-year review into the effectiveness of the NAFTA environmental agreement, concludes that citizen input into the trade agreement "has been facilitated through public meetings, research reports, publications, and the creation and maintenance of an impressive online public record that includes a running dialogue with NAFTA Parties."
More information, and a copy of the report, can be obtained at