North American economic integration, principally through the North American Free Trade Agreement, is creating important changes in many aspects of Canadian-United States-Mexican relations. One of the important areas affected by these changes is the environment. Transboundary environmental issues are not new to North America, but NAFTA has created new conditions where a range of discrete phenomena can be treated as an integrated whole. A "paradigm shift, a new way of looking at things from a continental, or regional, perspective" has taken place. In Environmental Management on North America's Borders Richard Kiy and John Wirt have brought together a collection of timely studies written by experienced practitioners in border affairs that provide an introduction to the range of environmental issues on both borders and an understanding of the dynamics now transforming North America. Rather than examining only one border, or part of a border, at a time, this volume treats the two borders as one conceptual unit. Kiy and Wirth argue that the patterns of local participation and coalition-building are harbingers of an emerging North American community.
In addition to chapters by the editors examining the overall theme of transboundary environmental management in North America, three case studies explore environmental issues on the Canada-United States border and six chapters examine specific issues on the Mexico-United States border. A common thread running through these studies is the consideration of how cooperation and conflict affect the actions of citizens and governments as they manage transboundary environmental issues.
Environmental Management on North America's Borders will be a particularly useful volume in the fields of environmental management and North American border studies. It can also serve as an important overview of these issues for those interested in the environment, NAFTA, and the concept of continental or regional integration.
RICHARD KIY, director for environmental information systems of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), has previously served as a specialist on border affairs with the U.S. EPA.JOHN D. WIRT is Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies at Stanford University and president of the North American Institute.