Around the Region

Good U.S.-Mexican water policy news for a change

When it comes to water issues, welcome news has not exactly abounded in the U.S.-Mexican border region over the past year. Consider the recent U.S. government’s announcement that because of severe drought, it will decrease deliveries in the region of Colorado River water in 2023. And don’t forget the rupture of aged sewer infrastructure that prompted the municipal water utility of El Paso, Texas to discharge raw sewage into the Rio Grande from August 2021 to January 2022. (See "Grassroots water advocacy growing in Mexico", and "Colorado River water cut in store for Mexico, too"—this issue.) But on the western end of the border there was an important piece of good news. On Aug. 18, officials announced the enactment of a Mexican-U.S. agreement that is expected to dramatically upgrade wastewater treatment in the Tijuana River Valley of Tijuana and neighboring San Diego. (See "Settlement boosts Tijuana River...

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In some ways, Bolsonaro and Lula platforms appear similar

With right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and leftist challenger Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva the widely acknowledged frontrunners in this year’s race for the Brazilian presidency, one might expect a clash of diametrically opposed environmental visions. In some respects, that is indeed the case in the 12-person contest, which involves a first round of balloting on Oct. 2 and, if no candidate receives more than half of the ballots cast, a runoff between the first- and second-place finishers on Oct. 30. Lula, who served two terms as president, from Jan. 1, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2011, has made environmental protection a central issue in his campaign. He has promised to halt illegal mining and logging in the Amazon, protect indigenous lands and promote reforestation of biomes. Among the planks in his campaign platform are pledges to “fight environmental crime promoted by militias, land grabbers, loggers and any economic...

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Push planned to showcase Mercosur green credentials

During Uruguay’s current stint in the presidency of Mercosur, South America’s largest trading bloc, it plans to propose that Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay highlight their efforts on climate protection and other environmental priorities. Though the six-month role typically involves promoting Mercosur trade abroad, the administration of Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou wants to see the four Mercosur partners jointly promote awareness of their work on climate-change mitigation and other environmental issues. “We believe that Mercosur has a great deficit when it comes to image and communication regarding the environment and sustainable development,” Francisco Bustillo, Uruguay’s foreign minister, said at an Aug. 3 meeting of the Uruguayan Senate’s International Affairs Commission. “This deficit causes repercussions both at home and also abroad, where Mercosur often is the target of disproportionate and unjust criticism, the result of the disinformation that exists.” Uruguay plans to propose that Mercosur publicize the work...

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