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The U.S.-Mexican Border Environment Cooperation Commission: Collected Perspectives on the First Two Years

Robert G. Varady, David Colnic, Robert Merideth, Terry Sprouse


This article assesses the first two years' activities of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), and synthesizes the invited commentary from several BECC observers along both sides of the border. As a framework for assessment, the paper delineates several key elements of BECC's design - namely, its binationality, openness to the public, and the existence of criteria for project certification - that give the institution the potential to promote innovative and sustainable solutions to border environmental degradation. The article then evaluates the commission's effectiveness in implementing these design components, concluding that, although BECC has stumbled occasionally in its first two years, it has made significant progress, demonstrating that it is capable of defining its agenda, implementing rules and procedures, devising certification criteria, and moving ahead to approve proposals.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229