CEC Grants Aim to Address North American Environmental Challenges

16 February 2012: The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has awarded over US$1.3 million in grants to 18 projects that will support communities in Canada, Mexico and the US in their efforts to address environmental problems at the local level.

The grant awards, announced on 16 February 2012, in Washington DC, US, were selected from 500 proposals received as part of the CEC's new North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) programme.

The selected projects cover diverse North American eco-regions, from the subarctic tundra of Canada to the tropical forests of Mexico. The projects deal with a variety of issues, such as: effects of climate change on the Athabaskan Peoples in Canada; watershed restoration along the Dolores River in Colorado, US; citizen-powered air quality testing in Louisiana, US; promotion of clean cook stoves in Mexico; elimination of mercury in hospitals in Sonora, Mexico; Biocultural and Environmental Education and Training as a strategy for adaptation to climate change in response to limited water resources in communities in Mexico; building a sustainable coastal community, on Magdalena Island, Mexico; treating and recycling greywater for use in gardens in Malinalco, Mexico; promotion of solar ovens in Mexico; a model Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Land Degradation in developing countries (REDD) project in Mexico; and conversion of municipal solid wastes to biochar in North America.

NAPECA was created by the CEC Council in 2011 to foster innovative and model environmental initiatives at the community level in support of CEC priorities. The Council's call for proposals invited submissions from projects that promote healthy communities and ecosystems, encourage activities to address climate change through a transition to a low-carbon economy, and help in greening the economy. The projects were selected based on: their significance for addressing community and North American environmental issues; their technical and scientific approaches; their promotion of partnerships; and their plan to generate clear and tangible results. [CEC Press Release]