The secretariat assists the Council and related committees. The Secretariat also manages submissions on enforcement issues that allow North American residents to file a written complaint stating that one of the three countries is not effectively enforcing an environmental law. This process may lead to the development of a substantive protocol if the Secretariat deems it justified and is mandated by the Council. Each party must report on the state of its environment; Developing measures to prevent environmental emergencies; Promote environmental education, research and development; Assess the impact on the environment and promote the use of economic instruments. Canada contributes to the Submission to Matters process by taking into account and responding to citizens` contributions to environmental legislation in Canada, the United States and Mexico. The NAAEC requires that each contracting party ensure that its laws ensure a high level of environmental protection without lowering standards to attract investment. As a result, NAAEC has created an intergovernmental organization, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CCE), to support cooperation between NAFTA partners to address environmental issues of continental importance, including environmental challenges and opportunities that free trade offers across the continent. Canada has contributed to its environmental efforts to be included in the CEC`s annual reports (17 in total) to ensure compliance with the NAAEC. They are to be found with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. With naEC, Canada is demonstrating its commitment to addressing potential environmental impacts of North American trade. Trilateral research on environmental cooperation is in line with our highly integrated North American economy. This work supports the protection and promotion of Canadian environmental interests at the international level.
In particular, it supports the expected outcome that Canada`s relationships with other governments and partners in support of environmental priorities will be effectively managed. In July 2015, the Council approved the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, which sets out the CEC`s strategic priorities and objectives to address key regional environmental challenges and complement the work of each of our national and foreign governments. As part of this strategic plan, the semi-annual operational plans support these strategic priorities and objectives and facilitate cooperation projects. More information on these projects is available on the website of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. NAAEC supports the environmental provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by creating a level playing field to avoid trade distortions and promote environmental cooperation. The Court of Human Rights will strengthen and expand trilateral cooperation efforts to protect and preserve the environment and address emerging environmental challenges. One area of cooperation within the framework of the agreement is the strengthening of environmental policy; Reducing pollution and supporting strong, low-emission economies and resilience; Conservation and protection of biodiversity and habitats; Promoting sustainable management and exploitation of natural resources; promote green growth and sustainable development.