POLICY CHALLENGES IN NORTH AMERICA’S
PACIFIC BORDER REGIONS: AN OVERVIEW
J.C. Day, James Loucky, and Donald K. Alper
Border regions, which were once peripheral to growth and development, are now primary areas for economic and social transformations, which in turn engender significant changes elsewhere within countries. The accelerated flows of people, products, and pollutants associated with global integration also make border regions particularly vulnerable to environmental degradation. In North America, increasing evidence of substantial environmental problems has provoked an upsurge of concern on both sides of the Canada–United States and Mexico–United States borders. Nonetheless, efforts to confront problems posed by growth and by past environmental neglect continue to be constrained by nation-centred policy processes, distinctive institutional structures, and lack of trained specialists capable of working across cultures.
Rising awareness of deepening environmental problems and of the complexities entailed in wise development decisions, particularly in high-growth border areas, has spurred recognition that new realities require innovative responses. Critical for effective environmental protection, restoration, and education is a sharing of information and efforts across borders. Currently, as with many maps, knowledge of environmental, social, and economic issues and of local and