Energy and Environment Program

Mexico-U.S. Border Dialogue

Co-sponsored by the Aspen Institute Program on Energy, the Environment and the Economy, and the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD), Mexico, participants in the Mexico-US Border Dialogue convened in Aspen in October 1999. With a focus on how to improve growth management throughout the border region, twenty-eight leaders participated, representing public, private, academic, and NGO sector interests. Using intentional, values-based dialogue in Aspen's roundtable format, and adopting a not-for-attribution rule to encourage candid discussion, the participants addressed the need to improve the region's environmental and institutional infrastructure, economy, and quality of life by offering recommendations for action. In April, 2000 they released their report, The Mexico-US Border Environment and Economy: A Call to Action to Make the Mexico-US Border Region a Model of Bi-National Cooperation for Sustainability in both English and Spanish. The Call to Action is also available in English and in Spanish.

The group calls on Presidents Zedillo and Clinton as well as the presidential candidates in both Mexico and the US to take major bi-national action necessary to ensure the environmental and economic health of the border region. The two principal recommendations in the group's call to action include the creation of a border advisor within each presidential office as well as establishing and funding a bi-national presidential council. Additional recommendations include: appropriating necessary funding to existing border entities and enforcement authorities; implementing market incentives; establishing accurate, fair and predictable polluter-pays and impact fees; enhancing the ability of municipal authorities; building capacity to enforce and assure compliance with municipal codes and rules of law; equitably re-distributing federal revenues back to state and local entities to help support necessary infrastructure.