Hybrid event

Participate from wherever you are


Learn and Network

Engage in environmental discussions and meet North American leaders

About the Event

#CEC30, the 30th annual Session of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Council and Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) Public Forum, will bring together the top environmental officials from Canada, Mexico and the United States, as well as Indigenous groups and local communities, youth, experts, and the public at large. The event will be a hybrid meeting format and will take place in Victoria, Canada, and online, on 28 and 29 June 2023, with the theme “Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation.”

This year, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, will host his Council counterparts, Iván Rico López, Under Secretary for Environmental and Natural Resources of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico (Semarnat) and United States Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe.

This Council Session will reinforce trilateral commitments to preserve, protect and enhance the North American environment, and establish shared priorities and action for environmental cooperation in North America. The Session will also promote dialogue and knowledge-sharing among a diverse and intergenerational group of stakeholders. #CEC30 will also feature an exhibition and networking space, highlighting current and future CEC efforts.

The JPAC Public Forum, on Indigenous Approaches to Climate Adaptation, will serve as a platform to showcase climate adaptation stories from Indigenous communities in the three countries and discussions of the critical role of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in shaping effective climate adaptation policies and planning efforts. During the event, Indigenous Peoples, youth, interested participants and the public will be invited to join the exchange of knowledge as panelists present their experiences and unique perspectives on climate change and highlight case studies where Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous perspectives were integrated into climate adaptation initiatives.

Participation in the 2023 CEC Council Session and Joint Public Advisory Committee forum is open to the public and free of charge. However, virtual registration is encouraged since in-person participation is limited. Simultaneous interpretation and live streaming will be available in English, French and Spanish.

Participants are invited to register for the hybrid event here. Registrants will also be invited to join the conversation by submitting questions and comments for the public sessions via, using #CEC30 as the event code.

For more information about CEC initiatives and news, we encourage you to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media.


The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement parallel to the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous People, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations. Find out more at: .

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.


Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of North America 30th Regular Session of the CEC Council and Session of the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC)

Fairmont Empress
721 Government Street
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
V8W 1W5
(Hybrid Event)


Registration of Public Participants (Palm Court, Fairmont Empress)

JPAC Public Forum on Indigenous Approaches to Climate Adaptation

Climate change is impacting communities across North America, giving way to increased events such as flooding, coastal erosion, drought, fires, and heat waves, to name a few. For Indigenous communities, climate change also poses serious threats to their traditional way of life, including to their food, modes of transportation, cultural ways, and sacred sites. As North American communities face the reality of increasing climate variability, reducing vulnerability and building local resilience has become a shared priority for all three countries.

This JPAC hybrid forum will serve as a platform to showcase climate adaptation stories from Indigenous communities in the three countries and discuss the critical role of Indigenous Knowledge and perspectives in shaping effective climate adaptation policies and planning efforts.

Location: Crystal Ballroom, Fairmont Empress


Welcoming Ceremony


Opening Remarks

Octaviana V. Trujillo
JPAC Chair


Welcoming Remarks

Jorge Daniel Taillant,
CEC Executive Director


Keynote Presentation

Miles G. Richardson
Chair, University of Victoria, National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development




Session 1: Climate Adaptation in North America: Learning from Indigenous Communities

This session will bring together Indigenous community leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States to showcase climate adaptation stories in the three countries. Invited speakers will share their experience and unique perspectives on climate change, how it is impacting their communities, and how they approach climate adaptation to build community resilience.

Canada: Eli Enns
President and CEO, IISAAK OLAM Foundation

Mexico: Paulina Garrido Bonilla
Representative, the Tosepan Union of Cooperatives

United States: Frankie Myers
Vice Chairman, Yurok Tribe (virtual)

Moderator: Kathy Hodgson-Smith
TEKEG Facilitator


Lunch [Provided] Upper Pavilion, Conference Centre


Session 2: Integrating TEK and Indigenous Perspectives into Climate Adaptation Policy and Planning

During this session, invited speakers will discuss the critical role of Indigenous Knowledge and perspectives in shaping effective climate adaptation policies and planning efforts. The session will highlight case studies where Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous perspectives were integrated into climate adaptation initiatives to enhance their effectiveness and promote greater resilience to climate change impacts.

Canada: Noreen Plain Eagle
Manager, Piikani Nation Lands Department

Mexico: María Lorena Soto Pinto
Researcher, Southern Border College (ECOSUR)

United States: Lorraine Eiler
Legislative Representative, San Lucy District, Tohono O'odham Nation

Moderator: Felicia Marcus
JPAC member


Report from the National and Governmental Advisory Committee Representatives

Andy Carey
US National Advisory Committee Chair

Marina Brock
Advisory Committee Chair (virtual)


Overview of SEM Process

Paolo Solano
Director, Legal Affairs and Submissions on Enforcement Matters Unit


Closing Remarks

Octaviana V. Trujillo
JPAC Chair

For registered in- person participants only


Visit to the CEC Exhibition, and Networking Space – Palm Court, Fairmont Empress


Travel to the Wawaditla Mungo Martin House 475 Belleville St., Victoria, BC V8V 2P8 Participants will head to the Wawaditla Mungo Martin House at 18:30.


Traditional Ceremony Wawaditla Mungo Martin House, 475 Belleville St., Victoria, BC V8V 2P8


Welcoming Reception and Official Opening of the 30th Regular Session of the Council – Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville St., Victoria


Registration of Public Participants (Palm Court, Fairmont Empress)

CEC Panel on Nature-Based Solutions, Environmental Justice and
Climate Adaptation in Urban Environments

Panel Format:

Keynote presentation followed by moderated panel discussion and questions/comments taken from the public, with brief responses and discussion by the experts.

Panel Focus Topic:

The global consensus and current push to accelerate climate action, including transitioning to zero-carbon economies by reducing potent greenhouse gases, to protecting and conserving natural resources which act as critical carbon sinks, to introducing nature-based solutions to promote natural cooling and build community and ecosystem resilience to the impacts of climate change, to promoting environmental justice, and to generate the financing needed for climate action to improve resilience and capacity to adapt to climate change are largely derived and occurring at an international and national level. Yet many of the actions that are needed to thwart climate change must take place at the very local level, through actions advanced by subnational governments, including states, provinces, cities and local communities.

In North America, 80% of people live in urban areas, making urban environments the space and framework through which much of today’s climate change, and responses to it, plays out. Innovative local solutions and actions to tackle climate change are happening in our cities across North America.

This session explores North American challenges and responses to climate change in the urban environment and responds to the North American Environmental Cooperation Agreement’s (ECA) mandate to facilitate partnerships, linkages and other new channels for the development and transfer of knowledge and technologies with national and subnational governments to promote the development and exchange of best practices and environmental information.

The session will gather experts from the three countries working on climate action in urban settings, offering moderated discussion and public commentary on:

  • Key issues to consider, before city officials and urban communities to align with and adopt emerging global, national and state climate policy and targets, including regulatory, financial, administrative, social and economic challenges and opportunities;
  • Examples of effective policies, strategies, programs and city management approaches to promote climate adaptation and resilience;
  • The use of nature-based solutions to reduce emissions, promote cooling and energy efficiency, and to build community resilience to climate impacts;
  • Ecosystem restoration as a vehicle to reestablish connection and identify between urban dwellers and the natural environment;
  • Priorities and actions to address environmental justice and promote social equity
  • Discussion on Developing Regional, North American Approaches to Climate Adaptation in Urban Areas.

Location: Crystal Ballroom, Fairmont Empress

Moderator: Evan Lloyd
(Former Deputy Minister Government Communications and Public Engagement, Government of British Columbia and former CEC Executive Director)


Welcoming remarks and introduction of session scope and objectives

Opening remarks and setting the stage for a state-of-the-art discussion on urban dimensions of climate change adaptation in North America, briefly summarizing the key dimensions of the climate emergency and its evolving relevance to local level action, seeking input from invited experts and the public on ways the CEC can advance climate action in urban environments in the North American region that strengthen resilience and promote climate adaptation.

Jorge Daniel Taillant
CEC Executive Director


Presentation on the current status, challenges and opportunities for climate adaptation in urban environments

Doug Smith
Deputy General Manager, Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability, City of Vancouver


Panel discussion with lead responses by invited experts intermixed with questions/comments from the public (in-person and online)

Main discussion themes:

Theme I: Municipal policy and management

Theme II: Nature-based solutions for GHG emissions, energy efficiency and cooling

Theme III: Environmental justice and community engagement

Theme IV: Opportunities for a cooperative North American agenda

Jacqueline Patterson
Executive Director, Chisholm Legacy Project, Washington, DC, United States

Deborah Carlson
Attorney, West Coast Environmental Law, British Columbia, Canada

Javier Garduño Arredondo
Lead, Latin America and the Caribbean, Red Global de Ciudades Resilientes (Resilient Cities Network)

Mario Duarte, Director,
Cultura Ambiental y Asuntos Internacionales, Secretaría de Medio Ambiente, Mexico City

Matt Holmes
Co-coordinator, California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC), United States California Air Resources Board-CARB


Conclusions by the Moderator, Evan Lloyd

The moderator will provide a brief summary of discussions, closing the sessions and sharing highlights of the session with the Ministers during the Council Public Session in the afternoon.

Moderator, Evan Lloyd
CEC Executive Director

Council Public Meeting
Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation

In accordance with the Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (ECA) Article 3(4), the CEC Council shall hold public meetings in the course of all regular sessions. These public meetings have been held since 1995 and represent a unique opportunity for North American citizens to engage with senior environmental officials and learn about North American environmental collaboration in the context of free trade as well as share their views with the Council. This year’s public meeting will focus on “Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation.”

Location: Crystal Ballroom, Fairmont Empress


Welcoming remarks by Jorge Daniel Taillant , CEC Executive Director

Jorge Daniel Taillant
CEC Executive Director


Introduction and presentation of video on CEC’s accomplishments by Jorge Daniel Taillant, CEC Executive Director

Jorge Daniel Taillant,
CEC Executive Director


Dialogue with the Council on Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation

During this session, Council members and invited experts will participate in a public dialogue on Indigenous and Urban Approaches to Climate Adaptation.

This dialogue will be moderated by Lisa Helps , former two-year term Mayor of Victoria, who will facilitate the expert dialogue and questions and answers with public participants.

The following invited experts will also participate in the dialogue with the Council on the theme: Skw’akw’as (Sunshine Lillian ) (Canada), Jamie Donatuto (US), and José Inés Loria Palma (Mexico).


Youth Innovation Challenge Winners

The 2023 Youth Innovation Challenge invited North American youth, aged 18 to 30, to propose innovative solutions that address and respond to critical issues related to water. This 7th annual challenge, under the theme "Water Solutions for Sustainable Development," encouraged dynamic and creative young leaders to participate in actions, innovation, and transformation on issues relating to water. Winners will be announced during this session and will be invited to present their innovative solutions to the Council and the public.


Council Announcements


Council Session Closing

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you need to fill out our registration form to gain access to the event. Please fill in the registration form and indicate if you will join online.
Participants are kindly invited to register via to gain access to the virtual event platform, agenda and further information on modalities for participation. The information provided will allow us to learn more about our audience for the event. If you indicate this preference, the CEC might contact you to share information about other CEC events or efforts (such as call for proposals, grant opportunities, etc.).
Yes, the vFairs platform is compatible with all commonly used devices and browsers. You can join from your computer or through the mobile app.
Yes, this event is completely free of charge.
This platform will be available for 30 days after the conclusion of the Council session. We may make updates and changes to the platform periodically, so make sure to keep checking back.
The sessions will include simultaneous interpretation services in English, Spanish and French.
All public sessions will be recorded and available for viewing on the CEC website and YouTube channel after the event.
Over the course of the two-day session, you will be able to engage with North America’s top environment officials and other leaders in dialogues on pressing regional and global environmental issues and witness how the CEC facilitates effective cooperation and public participation to conserve, protect, and enhance the North American environment. You will also be able to network with professionals and peers in real-time, as well as discuss issues and ideas that focus on topics of mutual concern.
No. You do not need to download or install any software to participate in a virtual conference. You only need to have access to the Internet.
It is not required for participation. However, there may be opportunities for video chatting with other participants, in which case you may want to have a functional webcam and microphone.
Your login information is the email address provided at the time of registration. To login, simply use those details.
You can attend the event but will need to indicate your in person participation at the time of registration.
Your participation is valuable to us and we encourage you to attend the meeting in-person, if possible. However, due to budget constraints and the environmental impacts associated with events involving large geographical-scale participation, there will not be any financial support available for in-person participation. Instead, we are encouraging those who cannot attend in person to take advantage of the hybrid format of the event by participating, asking questions, and sharing comments virtually through our online tools. Thank you for joining this collaborative effort to create more sustainable events!
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For in-person attendance, we encourage you to visit the meeting venue websites to obtain complete information about accessibility, including ramp and elevator access, parking and transportation, and other accessibility infrastructure at the building.
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