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U.S.- Chile Environmental Cooperation

Assistant Secretary of State Kerri-Ann Jones (center right) and members of the the Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce discussed the environment in Santiago, Chile.

Meetings reaffirm strong commitment to work together for preservation and protection.

The U.S.-Chile Joint Commission for Environmental Cooperation and U.S.-Chile Environmental Affairs Council convened their 4th and 6th meetings, respectively, in Santiago on January 9th. These meetings, held under the auspices of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement and associated Environmental Cooperation Agreement, reaffirm the strong commitment of the United States and Chile to work together to preserve and protect the environment.

U.S. - Chile Environmental Cooperation
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U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones led a U.S. delegation comprised of representatives from the Department of State and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

The United States and Chile signed this Environmental Cooperation Agreement in 2003, recognizing the importance of protecting the environment while promoting sustainable development, and in concert with expanded bilateral trade and investment ties associated with the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Since 2004, the United States has dedicated more than $4 million to support trade-related projects in Chile under the FTA. Joint efforts have strengthened natural resource policies to improve planning and protected area management involving more than 6 million hectares of land; promoted public participation in environmental decision-making by reaching approximately 30,000 people through informational guides; and trained over 300 Chilean officials in natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and environmental enforcement.

The United States and Chile have focused on strengthening implementation and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. Both countries have encouraged development and adoption of sound environmental practices and technologies, particularly in business enterprises, such as working with farmers and processors to implement cleaner production practices in the Chilean olive oil sector that reduce their use of water, energy, and raw materials, limit their production of emissions and waste, and cut costs.

These efforts have already reduced CO2 emissions by almost 18 metric tons. The two countries have also trained over 300 people in natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and environmental enforcement.

The success of U.S.-Chile environmental cooperation demonstrates how increased trade and stronger environmental protection can complement each other and how these two nations are committed to working together to preserve and protect the environment through the Free Trade Agreement and Environmental Cooperation Agreement.