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The United States has signed both the U.N. Declaration on Environment and Development, June 14, 1992, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.151/5/Rev.1 (1992), reprinted in 31 I.L.M. 876 (1992), (the Rio Declaration), and the Declaration of the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment, June 16, 1972, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.48/14/Rev.1 (1973), reprinted in 11 I.L.M. 1416 (1972), (the Stockholm Declaration). Both the Rio and Stockholm declarations are non-binding guidelines and principles, and thus did not require Senate ratification. However, certain portions of the Stockholm Declaration in particular may be binding on the U.S. and other nations as customary international law. The United States also signed Agenda 21, U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 (1992), the blueprint for achieving sustainable development in the 21st century adopted at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 (UNCED)


A Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Environmental Education between Environment Canada, the Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.) and SEDESOL (Mexico) was signed in September 1992. Its purpose is to promote, develop and implement joint environmental education in North America.

The United States has signed and ratified the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Dec. 17, 1992, reprinted in 32 I.L.M. 289 (1993), the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC or the NAFTA Environmental Supplemental Agreement), Sept. 13, 1993, reprinted in 32 I.L.M. 1480 (1993) 33 Int'l Env't Rep. 0101 (1994), and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC or the NAFTA Labor Supplemental Agreement) Sept. 13, 1993, reprinted in 32 I.L.M. 1500 (1993). The NAAEC established a mechanism for encouraging and monitoring environmental enforcement in the three NAFTA countries and established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). NAFTA and the supplemental agreements are implemented by the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Dec. 8, 1993, Pub.L. No. 103-182, 102 Stat. 2057.


The Mexico, Canada, U.S. Trinational Committee, represented by SEDESOL now SEMARNAP, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service, was created to develop strategies for the conservation, protection, and management of aquatic migratory birds and their habitats. Between 1989 and 1994 the Committee supported 29 wetlands conservation projects in Mexico totaling 1,328,178 US Dols. In 1991 Mexico was invited by the Central American presidents to participate, with observer status, in meetings of the Central American Commission on the Environment and Development. This led to the signing of an Accord on Cooperation in Environmental Matters between the Mexican Government (acting through SEDESOL) and the Commission. The Accord aims to promote cooperation in the areas of sustainable development strategies for the environment and the optimal utilization of regional resources. It also provided for exchange visits by Central American and Mexican scientists to study environmental management and technical support.

The Agreement on Cooperation for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment and Transboundary Problems, also known as the La Paz agreement, Aug. 14, 1983, U.S.-Mexico, T.I.A.S. No. 10827, entered into force February 16, 1984. The scope of the agreement and its annexes is limited to the area within 100 miles of each side of the U.S.- Mexico border. The annexes include: Annex I: Agreement of Cooperation for Solution of the Border Sanitation Problem at San Diego, California- Tijuana, Jul. 18, 1985, U.S.-Mexico, T.I.A.S. No. 11269 (entered into force July 18, 1985); Annex II: Agreement of Cooperation Regarding Pollution of the Environment along the Inland International Boundary by Discharges of Hazardous Substances, Jul. 18, 1985, U.S.-Mexico, T.I.A.S. No. 11269 (entered into force Nov. 29, 1985); Annex III: Agreement of Cooperation Regarding the Transboundary Shipment of Hazardous Wastes and Hazardous Substances, Nov. 12, 1986, U.S.-Mexico, T.I.A.S. No. 11269 (entered into force Jan. 29, 1987); Annex IV: Agreement of Cooperation Regarding Transboundary Air Pollution Caused by Copper Smelters along their Common Border, Jan. 29, 1987, U.S.-Mexico, T.I.A.S. No. 11269 (entered into force Jan. 29, 1987); and Annex V: Agreement of Cooperation Regarding International Transport of Urban Air Pollution, Oct. 3, 1989, U.S.-Mexico, T.I.A.S. No. 11269 (entered into force Aug. 22, 1990).

The Agreement Concerning the Establishment of a Border Environment Cooperation Commission and a North American Development Bank, with Annex (Mexico-U.S.) was signed at Washington D.C., and Mexico City, November 16 and 18, 1993 and entered into force January 1, 1994.

From Summary of Enviromental Law in the United States - CEC

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