Objectives And Challenges

  • Provide support in areas of its technical expertise, to the political organs of the OAS and represent the General Secretariat in technical dialogues in the hemisphere and in intergovernmental environmental fora especially those of the United Nations.
  • Formulate and execute technical cooperation projects within its field of expertise, including follow up of the mandates of the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development.
  • Facilitate exchanges of information on sustainable development in the region and lay the foundation for participation by civil society in decision making on environmental management.
  • Assist countries and regions in preparing investment projects for consideration by regional and international financing mechanisms.
  • Support efforts to promote coordination and cooperation among bilateral and international agencies and non-governmental organizations in pursuit of the goals established by the member states of the OAS.      


Effective Institutions: Countries in the Hemisphere have distinct environmental management sectors and have gone through a renaissance of constitutional and legal reform and capacity building, but major gains are needed in accountability, incentives to the private sector for pollution control, cost recovery, enforcement and compliance. Environment is an important and measurable component in the marketplace. To apply thee measures to project evaluation, “best practices” of environmental assessment and economic analysis of environmental impact should be factored into the calculations of whether a project is sustainable. Environmental goods and services are no longer considered free goods. Decentralization and civil-society involvement are proven factors in building effective institutions.

Improved data for decision-making. Among the key challenges facing the Hemisphere is the need to increase statistical information and analysis on environmental conditions and sustainability indicators at the country-specific and regional levels. In the area of trade and integration, countries are seeking ways to ensure that the hemispheric trade agenda provides an opportunity to advance environmental standards, institutions, civil society networks and the private sector in assessing the social and environmental impacts of economic liberalization.