Environmental Policy in North America: Approaches, Capacity, and the Management of Transboundary Issues, Robert G. Healy, Debora L. VanNijnatten and Marcela López-Vallejo
“The general conclusion of this book can be summed up by saying that what we have now is not a functioning continental environmental management system, but many institutional building blocks and a reservoir of good will” (p. 184). This quotation offers a concise summary of this book, in which authors from three countries provide an introduction to the environmental policy architecture in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The authors provide an economic, institutional, and ecological sketch of each nation before providing more detail on the relevant components of their environmental policy agencies, laws, and regulations. Perhaps the central shared characteristic of the three countries is the lack of sufficient environmental capacity. For Canada and the United States, this is due to budget cuts and increasing partisanship over environmental issues, while in Mexico, it is due primarily to its comparative lack of fiscal resources.
Successful transboundary environmental governance, the authors argue, is based on strong communication and networks, mutual understanding and learning, and shared resources. There are
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