Context of the Conference
On June 15 in Detroit, Michigan, United States governors and premiers of Canadian provinces made public the first “regional strategy” designed to increase shipping in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence river. This strategy proposes an integrated vision of the maritime system of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence and calls for better coordination of decisions between different jurisdictions and cooperation.
It plan to double marine trade, reduce the environmental footprint of the transport network in the region and support its industrial core. The strategy is expected to boost the regional economy by 5 000 billion US $ and create jobs in all regions.
The Conference of Governors and Premiers of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence (Conference) is a North American organization created in 1983 to encourage and facilitate environmentally responsible economic development in this region. Its action aims to promote regional cooperation agreements on issues of common interest, including the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes, water management, control of invasive species, international trade and the economic development the development of the maritime economy and tourism.
The work of the Conference concerns environmental protection and also economic development. In 2009, in order to highlight environnemental priorities, President Barack Obama launched a restoration program with a fund of US $ 2 billion.
The nine key environmental priorities are the follwing:
- Ensure the region’s prosperity by growing the economy and creating jobs through the efficient use of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River maritime system.
- Maintain and continuously improve a world-class regional transportation network with an integrated maritime system.
- Establish a regional framework for achieving shared objectives, launching collaborative initiatives and leveraging funding opportunities for the maritime transportation system.
- Improve the efficiency, competitiveness and resiliency of maritime transportation and the region’s multimodal