The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a multi-party initiative to support improved governance in commodity-rich countries by verifying and fully publishing corporate payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining. Colombia is a candidate for EITI membership and has secured funding to improve its legal framework, as well as technical, environmental and social standards for transparent and non-discretionary tendering in strategic mineral protection areas. Canada is a donor to the World Bank`s Global Extractive Program Support (EGPS), which supports the implementation of EITI and the governance of natural resources. Colombia`s participation in the EITI process will improve the government`s transparency, which is necessary for both OECD membership and the peace process. The Building Extractive Sector Governance development project will also help build on the recommendations of the EITI process by helping to improve cooperation with multiple stakeholders and increase transparency. (see Appendix 19) It is a seven-year, $17 million program, funded by Global Affairs Canada and managed by the Conference Board of Canada, to help our free trade partners maximize the opportunities and benefits of their free trade agreements with Canada, including related labour and environmental agreements, helping to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development. Bilateral Dialogue: To strengthen environmental policy, the Canada-Colombia environmental agreement provides a framework in which important environmental issues of common interest to Canada and Colombia can be addressed through the creation of an environmental committee. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection meets if necessary. The last meeting of the Environment Committee was held on 4 March 2015 in the Colombian city of Bogota. During the meeting, Canadian and Colombian officials discussed key institutional commitments and arrangements required under the environmental agreement, engaged in a political dialogue on environmental priorities, reviewed cooperation and began setting priorities for future cooperation activities.
Canada and Colombia continue to jointly monitor the implementation of the environmental agreement. Marginal Note: Interpretation in accordance with agreements No party can encourage trade or investment by weakening or reducing the level of protection of their respective environmental laws. Given that CCOFTA is the only free trade agreement to which Canada is a part and which contains such a provision, civil society sees this as an opportunity to set a constructive precedent for the duty of care with respect to trade and investment agreements.