Environmental Issues Along the U.S. Mexico Border: Drivers of Changes and the Response of Citizens and Institutions
|Environmental Issues Along the U.S. Mexico Border: Drivers of Changes and the Response of Citizens and Institutions
|Year of Publication
|Liverman, D, Varady, R, Chavez, O, Sanchez, R
|Annual Review of Energy and Environment
The US-Mexico border region illustrates the challenge of binational environmental management in the context of a harsh physical environment, rapid growth, and economic integration. Transboundary and shared resources and conflicts include limited surface water supplies, depletion of groundwater, air and water pollution, hazardous waste, and conservation of important natural ecosystems. Public policy responses to environmental problems on the border include binational institutions such as the IBWC (International Boundary and Water Commission), BECC (Border Environment Cooperation Commission) and CEC (Montreal-based Commission for Environmental Cooperation), the latter two established in response to environmental concerns about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Environmental social movements and nongovernmental organizations have also become important agents in the region. These new institutions and social movements are especially interesting on the Mexican side of the border where political and economic conditions have often limited environmental enforcement and conservation, and where recent policy changes also include changes in land and water law, political democratization, and government decentralization.