About JPAC

Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC)

The importance of inclusive and diverse public participation in the development of environmental laws, regulations, procedures, policies, and practices has been at the center of CEC’s activities since its creation. This was one of the core objectives in the 1994 NAAEC, which had set a precedent by establishing a public, nongovernmental advisory group, the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC), as one of the three constituent bodies of the CEC, and this was reaffirmed in 2020 as part of the newly negotiated Environmental Cooperation Agreement.

JPAC’s role is to facilitate a constructive dialogue with the public (e.g., through public forums, webinars, and consultations) to ensure transparency in the activities of the CEC, and provide relevant, focused advice, to support the Council members in their current and future joint environmental cooperation objectives. JPAC members are volunteers who are designated by each of the Parties, and represent different segments of society, including nongovernmental organizations, academia, private sector, Indigenous Peoples, private citizens, and youth. They are independent individuals who provide diverse, rich perspectives to the Parties and the Secretariat. To learn more about the current JPAC members, you can consult their biographies here.

JPAC’s functions include:

  • Providing recommendations on any matter within the scope of the ECA through their Advice and letters to the Council.
  • Helping to promote and enhance public participation in implementing the ECA, in coordination with the Secretariat.
  • Supporting efforts to increase the visibility of the Commission’s initiatives through its networks.
  • Engaging and participating actively to enhance trilateral dialogue in JPAC meetings.
  • Participating as subject matter experts in the Commission's activities.

JPAC Public Forum

Each year, JPAC organizes public forums on different environmental topics of interest for the region. Public forums provide a unique opportunity for members of the public to meet and exchange ideas on how Canada, Mexico, and the United States can work together to conserve, protect, and enhance the North American environment in support of sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations.

Following public forums, JPAC submits a letter of advice to the Council, based on the results of the event. Their Advice can, for example, highlight issues of trilateral interest, showcase best practices that could be replicated at the trinational level, or provide recommendations on potential areas of work in the three countries.