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Mexico's President Fox to open IDB seminar on balancing economic growth and environmental protection

Mexican President Vicente Fox will inaugurate on Monday, February 17 a two-day seminar organized by the Inter-American Development Bank’s Japan Program and Mexico’s Environment and Natural Resources Department (SEMARNAT) to analyze Japanese and Latin American experiences in balancing economic growth with environmental protection.

IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias and Mexico’s Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Víctor Lichtinger will also take part in the inauguration of the event, which is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. at the Hotel Nikko in Mexico City. Former Japanese prime minister Ryutaro Hashimoto will deliver a keynote address on Japan’s efforts to reconcile rapid economic growth with sound environmental management practices.

The seminar will bring together top officials of environment ministries and regulating agencies from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Japan; academics, researchers, and leaders of environmental groups and non governmental organizations.

Participants will examine cases where development was successfully coupled with sound environmental practices as well as failed attempts to pursue rapid growth at any cost. Other panels will analyze different incentives and mechanisms to make governments and the private sector consider the environment in their planning; the results of the decentralization of environmental oversight and enforcement responsibilities; ways to maximize civil society and private sector participation in the sustainable management of natural resources; and case studies of environmental challenges faced by cities in Japan and Latin America.

The Japan Program was created in 1999 by the Japanese government and the IDB to build stronger ties among Asian and Latin American and Caribbean countries by promoting partnerships for economic and social development.

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