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Summary Report

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
April 24-27, 2001


David Brackett, Canadian Wildlife Service, Co-Chair
Dr. Exequiel Ezcurra,Instituto Nacional de Ecología, Co-Chair
Marshall Jones, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Co-Chair
Karen Brown, Environment Canada
Greg Block, Commission for Environmental Cooperation
Carolina Caceres, Canadian Wildlife Service
Julie Gelfand, Canadian Nature Federation
Ole Hendrickson, Canadian Wildlife Service
Hans Hermann, Commission for Environmental Cooperation
Jurgen Hoth, Commission for Environmental Cooperation
Craig Larlee, CISE Secretariat
Cameron Mack, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Jenna Mackay-Alie, Environment Canada
David McGuinty, National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy

Howard Powles, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Darlene Smith, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Tara Wilkinson, Commission for Environmental Cooperation
Steve Wendt, Canadian Wildlife Service
Lisa Woodward, National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy
Lic. Javier Apellaniz, SEMARNAT
Dr. Fernando Clemente, Instituto Nacional de Ecología
Dr. Ernesto Enkerlin, CONANP
Fernando González, Instituto Nacional de Ecología
Mtra. Norma Munguía Aldaraca, PROFEPA
Dr. Rodrigo Medellin Legorreta, Instituto de Ecologia, UNAM
Jose Maria Reyes Gomez, INE
Jon Andrew, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Maria Araujo, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Dario Bard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Jim Devos, Arizona Game and Fish
Eileen Henniger, Environmental Protection Agency
Nancy Kaufman, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Sandra Morey, California Department of Fish and Game
Cathleen Short, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Melida Tajbakhsh, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Benito Perez, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Susan Leiberman, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Margarita Astralaga, RAMSAR

1. Country Updates: Canada

Greg Larlee  reported on the activities of the Canadian Information System for the Environment (CISE) taskforce established to look at the state of environmental information in Canada and make recommendations on the design and implementation on the development of a Canadian Information System for the Environment.

David McGuinty  provided an introduction to a selection of the activities of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), a team of civil society stakeholders who promote sustainable development and provide recommendations  on  a number of program topics such as Ecological Fiscal Reform, Conservation of Nature, and  Environment and Sustainable Development Indicators .

Ole Hendrickson reported on the National Capital Conference, where representatives from the biodiversity community met to develop a strategic plan outlining the steps needed to invest in and deliver on Canada’s biodiversity science and biological information capacity needs.

David Brackett reported on the outcomes from the Environment Ministers of the America’s meeting in Montreal.  He noted the support expressed for cooperative activity offered an opportunity to build on our activities under the Trilateral Committee and the potential for new partnerships with other countries in the Americas.

David Brackett reported on the Natural Legacy Agenda initiative of the Canadian federal government to develop a conceptual framework around the numerous activities occurring in various federal departments and other Canadian ecological initiatives.

2. Country Updates: United States

Marshall Jones reported on the process for and status of the appointment of Deputy and Assistant Secretaries and Bureau directors.

Marshall Jones outlined the initial policy directions and program changes of the new Administration, including new domestic and international programs.

Marshall Jones noted the key priorities include energy development, management of risks associated with fire and drought, the Endangered Species Act, National Wildlife Refuge System centennial (2003), and improving relationships with States.

3. Report from the U.S. State Wildlife Agencies

Reports on  current collaborative activities were provided by  the Arizona Game and Fish Department (Jim Devos),  the California Department of Fish and Game (Sandra Morey) and the  Texas Parks and Wildlife Department  (Maria Araujo).

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Cameron Mack) spoke on initiatives in the province of Ontario.

4. Country Updates: Mexico

Exequiel Ezcurra reported on the change of administration in Mexico and of the organization of the Secretariat of the Environment into three sub-Ministries (and the office of international affairs and public affairs) and 7 decentralized agencies.

Exequiel Ezcurra reported on the priorities in Mexico which include the Sea of Cortez, the Puebla to Panama Plan, and the Campaign for Forests and Water.  Other items include the construction of a new airport for Mexico City, the development of economic and policy instruments for the protection of environment through the National Institute of Ecology (INE), information technology and understanding the link between forest fire and atmospheric events.

Norma Munguia outlined the organization of the Office of the Attorney General of the Environment (PROFEPA).  Fernando Clemente (Director General of Wildlife) added comments on the organizational changes, including the roles of new offices, as they affected the delivery of wildlife programs.

Ernesto Enkerlin suggested this forum may be suitable for tri-national discussion and cooperation of protected areas, including the national style, the marine, the wildlife areas.  He reported on the activities of the Commission for National Protected Areas (CONAP).

Decision Item: The specific proposal from Mexico is to invite all protected areas agencies of Canada and the U.S. to participate in  the next meeting to open a discussion on incorporating protected areas in either a full partnership under the Trilateral or within the theme of wildlife.  The U.S. and Canada noted they will initiate discussion with their respective national parks agencies, in addition to the protected areas managed by the wildlife services, and would welcome such a discussion.

Action and Assignment: Mexico will work with Canada and the U.S. to consider how to best incorporate a discussion on protected areas and the Trilateral, to occur at the next meeting of the Trilateral.

Decision Item: In commenting on the report from Mexico  programs, David Brackett suggested a discussion on the concept of incentives in each country as a side event at the next meeting.  Exequiel Ezcurra added a group in Mexico is considering similar questions and it would be appropriate to bring them to  such a discussion.  Marshall Jones also supported this proposal.

Action and Assignment: Mexico will consider the possibilities of such an agenda item as it prepares the agenda of the next Trilateral meeting.

5. Update on the activities of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation, Biodiversity Program.

Greg Block commented on the evolution of the CEC and the importance of public participation and building public-private partnerships.  Hans Hermann outlined the development, structure and status of the CEC biodiversity strategy and the ongoing CEC initiatives.  The biodiversity strategy is now turned over to the parties, through the proposed biodiversity working group, to revise and prioritize the blueprint for NACEC action in biodiversity.  The Executive Table engaged in a discussion of the process for finalizing the strategy and forming the Biodiversity Working Group.

Action and Assignment: The Executive Table noted the draft strategy is available to the governments and the need to consider the composition of the Biodiversity Working Group.  The parties will carry out their review of the draft strategy and provide comment to the Biodiversity Working Group and the CEC. At this time the governments are not in a position to make specific recommendations for the Biodiversity Working Group but will consider the presentation when making their recommendations through national channels.


Steve Wendt summarized the NABCI discussion at the Migratory Birds and Wetlands Table.  Conclusions reached at the meeting include using the principles  established  in the June Ministerial statement.    The NABCI demonstration projects will likely be at a conceptual phase rather than implementation phase at the time of the June Ministerial meeting.  Canada and the United States have formed committees to review criteria for selecting demonstration projects, and Mexico will establish one. The Trilateral Committee should work on communication mechanisms for linking with the NABCI Tri-national Committee.  It was recommended that  NABCI National Committees agree on the criteria or process for  selecting demonstration projects.

Action and Assignment: Members agreed to request that NABCI National Committee take the necessary steps to expedite the demonstration project process.

Decision Item: Herb Raffaele introduced the suggestion for a NABCI Accord or Agreement signed at the highest level.  The benefit of drafting this agreement is to have the flexibility to take it to a hemispheric level.  The U.S. suggested creation of a committee to move forward with this with membership from each of the parties, and that they should give preliminary thought to the processes for forward movement.  All parties noted an internal review will still be necessary in developing final national positions.

Action and Assignment: Exequiel Ezcurra and David Brackett noted the importance of this issue and agreed on preliminary discussion on elements of an agreement.  Exequiel Ezcurra nominated Humberto Berlanga and Javier Apellaniz to work with the U.S. and Canadian counterparts on developing preliminary thoughts.  David Brackett added Art Martell, Canadian NABCI coordinator will be involved, as will others identified at an upcoming Canadian NABCI Committee conference call.  For the purpose of discussion at this meeting, S Wendt should be engaged.  Marshall Jones nominated Herb Raffaele and Jon Andrew, and said he would consult with the state co-Chair of the U.S. NABCI Committee.

7. CEC and the Trilateral

The Executive Table noted the need to continue to work with the CEC Biodiversity program and  look to them to be active participants in meetings of the Trilateral as appropriate to the agenda, but to understand the agencies of the trilateral remain the implementing bodies and thus good communication is necessary to be effective.

8. Sustainable Use

Decision Item:  The members considered the history and future of the Sustainable Use Working Table.  Exequiel Ezcurra noted the issue of sustainable use is an important Mexican priority.  The members then considered whether this subject is best dealt in a separate table or within existing tables and decided to handle the sustainable use issues within appropriate table.  The Executive Table further noted that if at a  future meeting there are a suite of issues in this area, the members are open to adapting the agenda to incorporate any additional necessary meetings

Crocodylus moreletii: Members of the CITES table informed the Executive Table of the decision agreed upon at the CITES Table regarding Crocodylus moreletii.  Marshall Jones noted the work undertaken in the U.S. when the issue was first brought to the attention of the Trilateral Committee.  Exequiel Ezcurra noted Mexico is aware of the past work in the U.S. and expressed their gratitude.  The Executive Table received information on the agreed exchange of biological information to facilitate a re-examination the state of the species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

9. Other Matters:  Transport of Eagle Feathers

Decision Item:  Nancy Kaufman briefly described the issue and results of the Tuesday April 24, 2001 meeting regarding the movement of eagle feathers across the U.S. border.  She noted the recommendations provided at the meeting and a proposed potential short term solution understanding further consultation within the countries will be necessary.

Action and Assignment: The Executive Table received the resolution from the meeting and recognized the importance of the issue.  They expressed their appreciation of the flexibility of the US in proposing a short term solution and appointed a task force to continue investigating solutions. Kathryn Bruce (Canada), Nancy Kaufman (United States) and Irene Pisante (Mexico) were named by the co-Chairs.

10. Other Matters: Invasive Species

The Executive Table considered how to reflect on the issue of invasive species at the Trilateral Committee.  The Executive Table may recommend to the Biodiversity Information Working Table to expand the mandate of their table and, specifically, to consider invasive species in their agenda at the next Trilateral.


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