Regional environmental governance: the NAFTA case

https://doi.org/10.17221/76/2012-AGRICECONCitation:Cihelková E. (2012): Regional environmental governance: the NAFTA case. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 58: 454-466.
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The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 elaborated the idea of sustainable development. A comprehensive document called the Agenda 21 provided an explanation how to achieve a sustainable economic development. Along the tools presented in the document, there emerged in practice a new regionalism which is based on the preferential trade agreements. Currently, regional agreements are of a more complex nature, so that they may include environmental cooperation, too. The aim of this paper is to illustrate, on the case of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a possible approach of regional agreements to environmental cooperation. The paper is divided into four sections. The first one summarizes a general approach to addressing environmental issues within the integration groupings. The second tries to answer the question of whether the NAFTA confirms the general approach to the regional environmental governance. The third deals with the meaning and the failure of the regional governance for the assessment of the cross-border impact of the NAFTA/NAAEC on the environment. The fourth and last section gives an answer to whether the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), as the environmental part of the NAFTA, is a good basis for the effective environmental governance in North America.    
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