Environmental issues along the United States-Mexico border: Drivers of change and responses of citizens and institutions

Diana Liverman, Robert G Varady, Octavio Chávez, Roberto Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The US-Mexico border region illustrates the challenges 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, BECC and CEC, 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-643
Number of pages37
JournalAnnual Review of Energy and the Environment
Volume24
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Fingerprint

social movement
environmental issue
political border
NAFTA
economic integration
groundwater pollution
border region
Conservation
democratization
economic conditions
decentralization
hazardous waste
cation exchange capacity
water pollution
nongovernmental organization
Groundwater pollution
environmental management
Economics
atmospheric pollution
Water pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Engineering

Cite this

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abstract = "The US-Mexico border region illustrates the challenges 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, BECC and CEC, 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.",
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