Sunday, September 28, 2008

Policiy Recommendations for Enhancing Economic Development in the Sonora-Arizona Border Region

PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENHANCING ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE ARIZONA-SONORA BORDER TAKING AS EXAMPLE THE TEXAS EXPERIENCE WITH MEXICAN BORDER STATES

(Draft Paper (please dont quote) compiled by Bernardo Mendez-Lugo, Mexican Deputy Consul in Tucson, comments: consulmendez@yahoo.com or 520-882-5595 ext 115

Building Security and Prosperity in the US-Mexican Border Arizona-Sonora

This draft paper is based in the framework of an existing Document of the Texas experience and proposals for the Texas Border Region and cooperation with Mexican Border states produced by the Texas State Comptroller. As the Texas Report, this unofficial Arizona Report traces some historical trends along with current developments in broad public policy arenas including economic development, education, transportation, housing, health, environment, crime, and immigration. In addition to looking at how government and the private sector contribute to growth and change in the region, the report concludes by examining the governing structures available to the region's residents to help direct and manage their future.

In the course of these discussions a number of avenues for new or better public involvement became evident, touching on several common cross-cutting themes.

Higher-Wage Jobs through better regional development

The overarching need in the region is to raise incomes through the promotion of local and regional economic development of both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border. This will require both fostering the growth of higher-wage jobs and the training of the workforce to fill these positions as well as produce an economic policy to attract private investment and to enable especific incentives for relocations of corporations and new business and family business. These efforts need to build on strategic industries for which the region has some natural advantages such as in serving a growing population or particular niche markets in U.S.-Mexico trade.

Importantly, the federal and state governments should move to recognize the need to increase incomes in this region and begin to extend to the entire region the tools to attract and develop new jobs:

The federal government should extend the empowerment zone designation and funding to all Arizona Border counties.

The Arizona-Sonora Commission should recognize the goal of raising per-capita income in the Border region as part of a new Strategic Economic Development Plan for the Arizona-Sonora Border region in coordination with the Mexican government at its three levels, federal, state and municipal.

The Arizona-Mexico Commission and its role in the Arizona-Sonora Border Development

The Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) is about connecting communities and changing business through advocacy, trade, networking and information. We are Arizona's premiere cross-border nonprofit organization.

The AMC is mission-driven and chaired by Arizona's governor, and our membership champions Arizona's relationship with Mexico through grassroots policy development and binational partnership initiatives in Arizona’s and Mexico’s public and private sectors.

Mission

The AMC’s mission is to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for residents of Arizona by promoting a strong, cooperative relationship with Mexico and Latin America through advocacy, trade, networking and information.

Members

AMC membership consists of public and private sector leaders from throughout Arizona. By serving on a committee of choice and working with our sister organization, the Comisión Sonora-Arizona (CSA) in Mexico, members contribute to the exchange of ideas and information through cross-border communication and collaboration, capitalize on international networking, participate in the facilitation of bilateral initiatives and contribute to the incubation of cross-border projects.

Service

We promote a strong, cooperative relationship with Mexico; facilitate the movement of goods, services, people and information through Mexico and Latin America; and encourage security and sustainable development within our border communities.

Strategic Plan

The plan consists in an initial proposal of several strategic initiatives and strives to advance our mission beyond the activities traditionally conducted within the bi-national committee structure; advance the Governor’s overall trade and development agenda; and secure more federal and foundation funding for Arizona priority projects.

• The Border Infrastructure Initiative aims to develop the Arizona Border Infrastructure Project (BIP) with an online database to be a single source of information for Arizona’s border infrastructure projects to help stakeholders track project status and identify funding paths.

• The Government Affairs Initiative allows the AMC to border community and infrastructure projects to funding resources. The initiative includes:

1) the Arizona Grants Access Tool and Experts Source (AzGATES) database that defines national public and private funding sources and

2) a communications strategy to educate our congressional delegation and state legislature on priorities for Arizona’s border.

• The Inter-American Initiative identifies high-priority markets in Mexico and Latin America, and creates a multi-dimensional long-term strategy designed to open up those markets for the State of Arizona and Arizona business and academic communities.

• The Membership Initiative ensures the long-term organizational and financial viability of the AMC through membership value development and marketing communications.

Arizona-Mexico Commission | Office of the Governor | 1700 W. Washington #180 | Phoenix, Ariz. 85007 Ph: (602) 542-1345 | www.azmc.org | info@amc.org

Regional Development Policies for both sides of the Border Sonora-Arizona

Other actions can help retain and grow high-skilled jobs in other sectors of the region's economy. Specifically:

· Within the Arizona Border counties, the U.S. Department of Defense should provide a special weighting in its assessment process of the impacts of base closings to reflect the extreme importance of high-skill, high-wage defense jobs to the Arizona-Sonora Border region. It is fair to recognize that the Defense Contract Management Agency has already several Mexican suppliers in the Nogales and Agua Prieta regions. It is important to underline that this Agency works within the US Department of Defense and is the Department contract manager, responsible for ensuring Federal acquisition programs (systems, supplies and services) and has 291,000 prime contracts in the US and 26 countries currently valued 950 billion US dollars. Mexico should increase the quantity and quality of suppliers for the DCMA.

The Arizona Legislature should require all state agencies to develop a plan for increasing their presence in the region, and to include the plans in every five-year strategic plan.

Particularly promising for the growth of high-skilled jobs in the Border region is increasing health care services. The region needs additional health care workers, and this industry includes many highly-skilled and highly-paid professionals. The Border Binational Health Program can be a key partner for increasing health services in both side of the border.

· State law should be amended to create the Border Health Institute, a center for Border health services coordination, education, and research serving the South of Arizona and Northern Sonora.

U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission

Arizona Delegation

Office of Border Health

The U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission (USMBHC) works toward political changes by creating awareness about the U.S. Mexico border, its people, and its environment.

It educates others about the unique challenges at the border through outreach efforts, data collection and analysis, and joint collaborative efforts with public and private partners in the border health community.

The USMBHC serves as a rallying point for shared concerns about the U.S.-Mexico border and as a catalyst for action to develop plans directed toward solving specific health related problems.

The primary goal of the USMBHC Arizona Delegation is to work toward strengthening and supporting current binational public health projects and programs along the Arizona-Sonora border which supports the Commission’s mission of providing international leadership to optimize health and quality of life along the United States-Mexico border. In collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services Office of Border Health, the Secretaria de Salud de Sonora, the USMBHC Arizona and Sonora Delegation Outreach Offices target activities on the following strategic directions and principals:

· Impacting border health access/Leadership

· Impacting border health research or data collection/Focus

· Impacting border health promotion/Venue

In addition to the strategic directions and principles, the USMBHC has identified outlets to achieve these directions and goals:

Health Promotion, Communication and Outreach

· Research

· Local Initiatives

Impacting Border Health Access

Through health promotion, communication and outreach, the USMBHC seeks to impact border health access and promote and provide international leadership along the border. Along the Arizona-Sonora border, our efforts to address border health access are the following:

Binational Health Councils

The USMBHC Arizona and Sonora Delegation Outreach Offices support meetings and program developments within the binational councils (COBINAS) including workforce development, and actively participate in the activities carried out by the three local COBINAS of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora/Yuma County; Ambos Nogales; and Noreste de Sonora/Cochise County, Arizona and the trinational health council of the Tohono O’Odham Nation/West Pima County/Sasabe and Sonoita, Sonora

Health and Research Forums

The goal of the health forums is to provide binational discussion to address public health issues and problems that affect the Arizona-Sonora border populations. The forums will provide a wide range of information regarding specific regional disparities, models of excellence in addressing these needs, current research along the Arizona-Sonora Border region, the effects of migration on public health, and the current status of TB and HIV/AIDS on the border.

The proposed Arizona-Sonora Border Health Initiative (BHI) would be a partnership among existing Border health education institutions and service providers located in southern Arizona and northern Sonora.. The BHI would concentrate on pressing border issues, including Mexican-American and Mexican and environmental health.

The Arizona-Sonora Border region faces some of the most dire health conditions in the Western world. In the past, Arizona has repeatedly shown a commitment to improving health conditions in the Border area. However, the region's health care institutions developed over the years through separate agencies and systems. Enhanced coordination--especially with institutions in Sonora, Mexico and Arizona--could dramatically improve the effectiveness of both states's efforts.

Member agencies would include University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Arizona Health Sciences Center at Tucson, University of Arizona Medical Center, Pima Community College, Santa Cruz Community College, Cochise County Colleges, Yuma College, Pima Community College, and health service providers in southern Arizona, Universidad de Sonora, Colegio de Sonora and Medical institututions in northern Sonora.

The BHI would be ideally suited to coordinate health activities between southern Arizona and northern Sonora.

· The Legislatures of Arizona and Sonora should convene a symposium of medical doctors, biomedicine researchers and nurses, Arizona Department of Health, Arizona Department of Economic Development, hospitals, university health centers, and county health officials to determine the best ways to identify and serve border cities health needs at Border health care facilities. Any epidemic health emergency should be detected and take actions before any contagious disease spread along the border and become a health risk for the whole state of Arizona and beyond.

· The Arizona Higher Education Coordinating Board should review medical training needs in the Border region and make recommendations to the Legislature addressing any deficiencies.

These two actions will help identify and tap new markets for health care in the region. In addition, the growth of the health care industry will be promoted by improving access to health care insurance. It is feasible to grow a wide plan for health services for American Senior Citizens in Mexico as well as assisting living that will have great impact in employment for Mexicans health professionals and lower costs for American retired people. Sonora Sierra region and beach places can be optimal for keeping in good health American Senior Citizens providing jobs for Mexicans and less expensive assisting living with good quality. It’s worth mentioning that some Arizona artists, among them Mexican-American artists with Sonoran ancestry, are already involved in the consolidation of the Centro de las Artes de Huachineras, Sonora, a small high Sierra town that it is ideal for a wider development for assisting living and retiring place for “US baby boomers”.

Study on Health Alert: Arizona Influenza Pandemic Response Plan

Arizona has many facets: an international border, numerous Indian Nations, diverse and rich cultures, a rural vs. urban health care divide, a collaborative emergency response structure, and both a strong sense of community and rugged individualism. Understanding and appropriately addressing these facets will allow Arizona to be as prepared as possible for the unthinkable

In Arizona, an influenza pandemic would result in numerous persons ill with influenza. The number of persons hospitalized would exceed the capacity of these institutions. Additionally, the number of deaths due to influenza like illness (ILI) would rise above regular influenza season rates. The Arizona Influenza Pandemic Response Plan was developed to promote an effective and coordinated response, from the interpandemic period through the end of the pandemic period.

Infection Control - The ability to limit transmission of the influenza virus already exists in the health care settings – the appropriate and thorough application of infection control measures.

Clinical Guidelines - Early identification and appropriate medical intervention are essential for patients who present with suspect pandemic influenza symptoms.

Vaccine and Antiviral Distribution and Use - During a pandemic, vaccines and antivirals may or not be effective or available, will likely be in short supply and will have to be allocated on a priority basis.

Community and Travel-Related Disease Control - Public health interventions, such as quarantine and social distancing, will be necessary during a pandemic to slow the transmission of disease in the community.

Public Health Communications - Response officials will need to provide accurate and timely coordinated messages to the public leading up to, and during, a pandemic; an informed public is an asset to the overall response.

Workforce Support - Response agencies and organizations need to ensure the safety and well being of response personnel to ensure and sustained and effective response

Influenza Pandemic Information Management - Information management is the central nervous system of a complex response system, and a pandemic presents many needs for capturing, analyzing and sharing information.

Guidance for County and Tribal Health Departments - This guidance is designed to help spotlight important planning and response activities that are necessary at the local health department level. A Pilot Program can be explored with the Tohono Od’dham Nation that has a wide number of Health problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Introduction and Background

Influenza pandemics struck three times in the 20th century causing varying degrees of increased illness and death over annual influenza outbreaks. Of particular note is the 1918 Pandemic, oft referred to as the Spanish Flu, where upwards of 50 million people died around the world and untold number of illnesses along with catastrophic disruption to society as a whole. It is likely that another influenza pandemic will occur sometime in the future. The State of Arizona needs to be prepared for such an event.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “An influenza pandemic (or global pandemic) occurs when a new influenza virus subtype appears, against which no one is immune.” In past pandemics, influenza viruses have spread worldwide within months, and are expected to spread even more quickly given modern travel patterns.

There may be as little as one to six months warning before outbreaks begin in the United States. Outbreaks are expected to occur simultaneously, preventing shifts in resources that commonly occur in other natural disasters. An influenza pandemic is considered to be a high-probability event, and some experts consider it to be inevitable. It is important to mention that in early May 2008 an important outbreak of measles has started in Arizona and much attention and preparedness is urgent to avoid pandemic situations. According to the Arizona Daily Star on May 4th 2008 about 2,100 people took advantage of free measles shots offered Saturday at three clinics put on by the Pima County Health Department as it deals with the second-largest measles outbreak in the nation.

Through the Arizona Association of Counties and League of Arizona Cities and Towns and Local Business Chambers should be explored the establishment of pilot programs in selected Border sites to increase private health insurance coverage for small business employees. Contracts should be done directly with one or more provider networks to cover enrollees and to develop one or more local pools of small business employees whose employers are unable to offer health coverage because they cannot meet minimum participation requirements.

The Legislature should give county governments statutory authority to assume risk for purposes of implementing these pilot tests, as well as any other statutory changes that are needed.

Case Study: Mexican migrants in the US have higher rate of HIV Infection when going back to Mexico due to high risk behaviors

by Eliza Barclay

(September 2005) Both Mexicans who migrate to the United States for work as well as many Mexican migrants returning home are increasingly engaging in high–risk behaviors that put these groups at heightened vulnerability to HIV infection—especially since they are often outside the reach of conventional HIV prevention programs.

Two new studies from the California–Mexico AIDS Initiative—a joint program coordinated by the Mexican Secretariat of Health and the University of California Office of the President—show rising rates of HIV infection among Mexican migrants within Mexico and in California. The studies found that 0.6 percent of Mexican migrants tested in California and 1.1 percent of adult rural migrants surveyed in Mexico were infected with HIV, with the latter figure more than three times higher than the infection rate reported for the general Mexican population ages 15 to 49.1

While the sampling for both studies focused on people in high–risk venues such as bars, researchers are still concerned about the figures. "Based on the information we now have about migrants' sexual behavior, it appears that there is a greater possibility that the number of cases of AIDS will grow," says Dr. Carlos Magis, director of research at Mexico 's National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS (CENSIDA). "This new information highlights the need to invest in prevention services for communities in the United States and in Mexico."

Migrants Report Substantial Levels of High-Risk Behaviors

Previous research has shown that Mexican migrants in California display high–risk behaviors and are potentially vulnerable to an HIV epidemic. In a 2004 study of 71 male participants representative of Mexican migrant communities, researchers at the University of California 's University Wide AIDS Research Program (UARP) found no HIV infections. But the researchers did find substantial levels of behaviors that put people at risk of contracting the virus, according to UARP epidemiologist Melissa Sanchez. (UARP and CENSIDA administered the two new studies.)

About 10 percent of the men in the study reported sex with males, while 11 percent received money for sexual favors and 51 percent had used at least one illegal drug in the 12 months prior to the survey. Fifty–eight percent of the migrants reported unprotected vaginal sex in their last instance of intercourse with casual partners, while 85 percent reported unprotected vaginal sex with steady partners.

The migrants also reported that 25 percent of their sex partners were sex workers. And 20 percent of those surveyed reported sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol in their last instance of intercourse. Finally, chlamydia trachomatis—a sexually transmitted infection (STI)—was also detected among 3.2 percent of the migrants surveyed who were living and working in California. (Those people with STIs have been clinically proven to be at elevated risk of contracting HIV.)

Increased Vulnerability Among Originating Communities

As Sanchez and other UARP researchers track the behavior of migrants in California, Magis and his colleagues are studying migrants in five Mexican states with high migration rates: Oaxaca, Michoacan, Zacatecas, Jalisco, and Mexico state. Their findings indicate that, while HIV/AIDS has not yet become prevalent among the general Mexican population in these states, there has been an increase in AIDS cases associated with drug use in cities along the border with the United States, as well as an emerging pattern of increased heterosexual transmission.2

Earlier studies confirm these findings. According to a 1998 report by two researchers at the Colegio de Mexico, migrants tend to change their sexual practices because of their transient lifestyles and exposure to U.S. culture.3 For example, the number of sexual partners can increase among men as they travel from place to place. Loneliness, isolation, lack of women, and entrance to a more permissive society can also mean that male migrants have sex with male partners and/or with prostitutes who are regularly intravenous drug users.

In 2000, 12.7 percent of all AIDS cases registered in Mexico involved people who had previously lived in the United States.4 And according to a 2004 report prepared by Magis and other Mexican researchers, the majority of migrants' high–risk sexual behavior occurs when they are in the United States, where the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is greater—0.6 percent of the total population versus 0.3 percent in Mexico.5

Magis says CENSIDA is particularly concerned about the spread of HIV/AIDS in rural Mexican areas. Health services are scarce in many of Mexico's rural communities, and the available services are not equipped to handle the specific treatment and prevention required with HIV/AIDS.6 According to the 2004 report, the proportion of people with AIDS who had lived in the United States was higher among people living in rural areas (less than 5,000 inhabitants) than in urban areas (more than 500,000 residents). The two states with the highest rates of HIV/AIDS cases whose population has a pattern of residence in the United States are Michoacan and Jalisco, both with rates greater than 20 percent.7

The Challenge of Prevention and Treatment for Migrants

Authorities on both sides of the border have found that tracking, reaching, and treating migrants with HIV/AIDS or who are at risk of contracting the disease is exceedingly difficult. The population is mobile, and services and outreach strategies vary widely between and within the two countries.

"We try to reach them once they return to Mexico, but the policies are always changing in the other places where these migrants are," Magis says. "These migrants might work in California, but they may cross the border in Arizona through the desert. California and Arizona's policies are different from each other and different from ours, which reduces the overall effectiveness."

According to Charlene Doria–Ortiz, executive director of the Center for Health Policy Development in San Antonio, migrants with HIV/AIDS are at a disadvantage when treatment protocol varies between states in terms of what medications are provided.

"When migrants come in for treatment or services—if they come in, since many of them are afraid that using the health care system could get them deported if their status is in question—they may not know exactly what kind of treatment they had somewhere else, which can make it hard for practitioners to resume effective treatment," says Doria–Ortiz. She adds that some states' resources for public health are depleted more quickly than those in other states, making it harder for those former states—particularly Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas—to maintain outreach and prevention programs.

Magis adds that other factors also increase migrants' chances of contracting HIV/AIDS. "They don't speak the language, their migratory status hinders their access to health services, they think that health services are only available to legal immigrants, and they develop drug and alcohol addictions while they are away from home and isolated," he says of these populations.

Beginning to Address the Problem on Both Sides of the Border

Despite these challenges, health authorities on both sides of the border have begun to address the issue and find ways to combat the problem. For instance, the Border Planning and Evaluation Group (BPEG) at the University of Texas–El Paso (UTEP) is working with health care providers and capacity building programs to find solutions in treatment and prevention in Texas.

"The solutions have been few and far between over the last 10 years," said Rebeca Ramos, a public health specialist with BPEG. "We focus on building capacity among health care providers and alternative outreach programs, including peer–led programs."

The Promovisión Program—a collaborative effort between UTEP, the United States–Mexico Border Health Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—uses Spanish–speaking community health workers (called Promotores) to act as liaisons between HIV/AIDS patients, at–risk migrants, immigrants, and health care providers.

And in Mexico, the National Institute of Migration has begun to show AIDS education videos on buses to migrants traveling to or in and around the border. Many other outreach programs operate at a local level there, such as the Bi–National AIDS Advocacy Project (PROCABI) in Tijuana, which provides antiretroviral drug treatments and other services to AIDS patients in the Tijuana–San Diego border zone.

Magis and other researchers believe that prevention services would be most effective if offered in the United States. "The prevention should be offered where the risk exists because there you can catch it before it happens," he says. But other experts such as Doria–Ortiz believe that cross–border coordination is equally important.

"What we need is something like the empowerment zones that have been developed for economic development purposes by the federal government in the United States—but for public health along the border," Doria–Ortiz said. "Right now there is very little coordination on surveillance, measuring, prevention efforts, and treatment interventions, and neither country can provide much in the way of services."


Eliza Barclay is a freelance journalist based in Mexico City.


References

  1. A summary of the two studies is available at the University Wide AIDS Research Program website (http://uarp.ucop.edu), accessed on Aug. 24, 2005.
  2. Carlos Magis–Rodríguez et al., "HIV/AIDS Risk Factors for Injection Drug Users in Tijuana," BC Revista Salud Fronteriza 2 (1997): 31–4.
  3. Carlos Magis–Rodríguez, Enrique Bravo–Garcia, and Pilar el Rivera, "AIDS in Mexico in the year 2000," in The Mexican Response to AIDS: Best Practices, ed. Patricia Uribe and Carlos Magis–Rodríguez (Mexico City: National Council for the Prevention and Control of AIDS, AIDS Angles Series, 2000): 13–26.
  4. Carlos Magis–Rodríguez et al., "Migration and AIDS in Mexico: An Overview Based on Recent Evidence," Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 37, Supplement 4 (2004): 1–11.
  5. Magis–Rodríguez et al., "Migration and AIDS in Mexico: An Overview Based on Recent Evidence."
  6. V.N. Salgado de Snyder, "Migracion, sexualidad y SIDA en mujeres de origen rural: Sus Implicationes Psicosociales" (Migration, Sexuality and AIDS Among Women of Rural Origin: Psychosocial Implications), in Sexualities in Mexico: Some Approximations From the Social Science Perspective, ed. I. Szasz and S. Lerner (Mexico City: El Colegio de Mexico, 1998): 155–71.
  7. Magis–Rodríguez et al., "Migration and AIDS in Mexico: An Overview Based on Recent Evidence."

Better chances of Economic Development with Better Workforce Skills

The goal of increasing the number of higher-wage jobs in the Border region will quickly collide with the reality of the Border's workforce unless significant efforts are made to upgrade workforce skills. These efforts must be directed not only at today's workers, but at tomorrow's as well. This means developing our youth into the workforce of tomorrow through improvements in public education, providing appropriate higher educational facilities and experiences for those coming out of the public school system, and addressing the continuing problem of upgrading the skills of those currently in the workforce. Crucial to these efforts at all stages--public education, higher education and worker training--is improving the level of Border workforce trainers' skills. The University of Arizona has already taken steps to develop strong presence in Santa Cruz County.

· State law should be enhanced to help Arizona school districts, including Border districts, with facilities needs by dedicating more money out of each annual tobacco payment to Arizonas' existing Instructional Facilities Allotment (IFA) program, in which the state joins with local districts in repaying bond debt. Arizona is moving toward filing its own suit against Tobacco industry, lawyers in the state Attorney General's Office said. Each suit is filed individually in state courts. Arizona's portion of the frozen tobacco funds is $11.8 million, or 12 percent of the $96.9 million the state expected in 2006. In Arizona, all tobacco settlement money goes to the state's health care program for the impoverished, as required by Proposition 204, a ballot measure passed in 2000. A share of this money between health care programs and educational programs should be done

The extension of this program would benefit all Arizona districts requiring additional facilities assistance, but a special, enhanced program could meet the extraordinary needs of school districts that are both high-growth and low-wealth. The enhanced program also would apply to all areas of the state, but it would be invaluable along the border. Using the tobacco settlement funds for school facilities would go a long way toward getting Border children out of portable buildings and into permanent ones. Other source of money can be the Casino gambling activity in the south region of Arizona as well as especial tax on alcoholic beverages to enhance border towns education.

At a minimum, an effort should be made to recognize that the high growth and low property wealth in the Border region prevent access to the revenue necessary to build facilities, and assistance should be made available in this regard to districts in the Border region.

This would not affect funds from the settlement proposed to be used for health care purposes.

· State law should be amended to enhance and expande Arizona Community and Technical Colleges in Nogales, Yuma and Douglas similar to the facilities at some public and private campuses in, Tucson, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Prescott.

Phoenix and Tucson, with the fastest growing labor force in the region, have a greater demand for skills training than it can supply. Community and Technical Colleges's mission provides an ideal fit for the growth of new occupations and innovative skills in the region and promote relocation of new graduates to work at least one year in the border region.

· State law should be amended to create a state grant fund for facilities and equipment of community and technical colleges in border counties.

A special program to provide facilities funding could be developed, using the South Arizona/Border Initiative as a precedent. This initiative can be key to respond to enhance higher education in South Arizona, provided substantial funds to create new acedemic programs and expand Technical Colleges in the Border region. Colleges should be authorized to issue tuition revenue bonds to fund expanded facilities. Under the proposal for a new fund, the formula could base state assistance--for equity purposes--on the amount of local property wealth per-capita available for each district and take into account enrollment levels, unemployment and per-capita incomes. This formula would recognize that some districts have greater property wealth and are better able to provide for these needs using local revenue.

In applying for funds, the local district would demonstrate: how the funds would be used, the local demand for education and training, and partnerships with local businesses to meet training and educational needs.

· State law should be amended to require public university regents and presidents to improve educator preparation programs and coordinate these plans with the State Board of Educator Certification's (SBEC) intervention and assistance strategy.

· All colleges of education at Arizona universities should develop or provide review courses using both pre- and post-test methodology for students about to take the Examination for the Certification of Educators in Arizona (ExCET).

Stricter accountability measures imposed by the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) on educator preparation will take effect in September 2010. That month, SBEC plans to place universities with too many students failing to pass the state's teacher certification exam on "Accredited--Under Review" status.

The Board plans to send intervention teams composed of faculty volunteers to recommend improvements and provide technical assistance to help universities improve student scores rather than risk loss of accreditation or even the possible elimination of approved teacher educator programs.

The regents of Arizona's public universities, working with individual university presidents, should develop action plans spelling out how the institutions will improve student performance on theExCET. The Partnership for Arizona Public Schools--a liaison office in the Arizona Education Agency established by the University of Arizona System--is developing a plan to work with the system's institutions and improve test performance, which could serve as an early model for assistance.

College and university administrators faced with unacceptably poor performance on the state's teacher certification exam should advise their academic deans to devise pre-tests that identify student weaknesses and prepare them for passing the certification exam on their first try.

Offering test preview classes in a university is not without precedent. Accounting Faculty in Arizona universities regularly develop and offer review classes for students who take the national certified public accountants examination. Arizona State University is developing a program that uses the university's student education profiles to identify weaknesses in students' preparation, which can be applied when students are being advised.

Similar approaches would be to buy practice ExCET exams, administer a pre-test, provide workshops to improve identified weaknesses, and test again to assess improvements. The SBEC has developed practice tests for elementary comprehensive, elementary and secondary professional development, and secondary history and math, with additional tests planned. Universities that want to use the practice tests pay for them on a sliding scale, based on their ability to pay and the number of teacher candidates taking the practice tests. Students preparing for the ExCET exams in this manner improved their test scores significantly.

· Improve funding for adult education programs and basic workplace literacy training.

State funding for basic education can support training for just over 400,000 adults statewide. The Border in both sides alone has 100,000 adults in need of literacy training--a third of the Border's workforce and a fourth of total statewide need. Competency in basic reading and math is essential before a worker can benefit from, or in many cases enter, vocational training to improve job skills.

ARIZONA HIGHER EDUCATION PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS

Name

City (State)

Type

American Indian College

Phoenix (AZ)

Private

Argosy University/Phoenix

Phoenix (AZ)

Private

Arizona School of Health Sciences

Mesa (AZ)

Private

Arizona State University

Tempe (AZ)

Public

Arizona State University East

Mesa (AZ)

Public

Arizona State University West

Phoenix (AZ)

Public

Arizona Western College

Yuma (AZ)

Community college

The Art Institute of Phoenix

Phoenix (AZ)

Private

Central Arizona College

Coolidge (AZ)

Community college

Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Chandler (AZ)

Community College

Chaparral College

Tucson (AZ)

Community College

Cochise Community College

Douglas (AZ)

Community College

Coconino Community College

Flagstaff (AZ)

Community College

Dine College

Tsaile (AZ)

Community College

Eastern Arizona College

Thatcher (AZ)

Community College

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Prescott (AZ)

Private

Estrella Mountain Community College

Avondale (AZ)

Community College

Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture

Scottsdale (AZ)

Private

GateWay Community College

Phoenix (AZ)

Community College

Glendale Community College

Glendale (AZ)

Community College

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix (AZ)

Private

International Baptist College

Tempe (AZ)

Private

Mesa Community College

Mesa (AZ)

Community College

Midwestern University

Glendale (AZ)

Private

Mohave Community College

Kingman (AZ)

Community College

Northcentral University

Prescott (AZ)

Private

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff (AZ)

Public

Northland Pioneer College

Flagstaff (AZ)

Community College

Paradise Valley Community College

Phoenix (AZ)

Community College

Long Technical College

Phoenix (AZ)

Private

Phoenix College

Phoenix (AZ)

Community College

Phoenix Seminary

Phoenix (AZ)

Private

PimaCommunity College

Tucson (AZ)

Community College

Prescott College

Prescott (AZ)

Private

Rio Salado College

Tempe (AZ)

Community College

Scottsdale Community College

Scottsdale (AZ)

Community College

Scottsdale Culinary Institute

Scottsdale (AZ)

Private

South Mountain Community College

Phoenix (AZ)

Community College

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

Tempe (AZ)

Private

Southwestern College

Phoenix (AZ)

Private

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Glendale (AZ)

Private

Tohono O'odham Community College

Sells (AZ)

Community College

University of Advancing Technology

Tempe (AZ)

Private

University of Arizona

Tucson (AZ)

Public

Western Bible College of the Assemblies of God

Phoenix (AZ)

Private

Western International University

Phoenix (AZ)

Private

Yavapai College

Prescott

Community

· Congress should amend the North American Free Trade Agreement-Trade Adjustment Assistance (NAFTA-TAA) act relaxing inflexible requirements linking benefits and training. Lacking this, Arizona leaders should secure waivers that will transform NAFTA-TAA into an effective program for the Border.

The U.S. Department of Labor has failed to recognize the unique situation in the Border and to adapt its programs accordingly. The NAFTA-TAA program does not meet the most critical needs of displaced workers in the Border because it does not allow them the time to assess their skills needs and find the most appropriate training to move them back into the workforce.

Over 75 percent of the displaced workers need long term training to bring their literacy skills to a level that then allows them to move into more specific skills training.

How to Apply for North American Free Trade Agreement-Trade Adjustment Assistance (NAFTA-TAA: The case of Arizona (I will add the information)

MENT ISTANCE (TAA) PROGRAMS
E/C.19/2008/CRP. 1 5 February 2008 English

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Seventh session

New York, 21 April - 2 May 2008

FINAL REPORT OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ BORDER SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS II, SAN XAVIER DISTRICT, TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION. ARIZONA, NOVEMBER 7-10, 2007

1. We, the representatives, delegates and traditional authorities of Indigenous Peoples and organizations from 19 Indigenous Nations, from throughout Sacred Turtle Island, the land currently known as the Americas, have come together at the Indigenous Peoples Border Summit of the Americas II with the following stated objectives:

(a) To provide the opportunity for Indigenous Peoples’ of the border regions to exchange experiences and information about how the international borders impact their respective communities.

(b) Create a way to unite Indigenous Peoples’ to address and resolve issues of mutual concern affecting our traditional homelands, cultural and ceremonial practices, sacred sites, treaty rights, health, and way of life.

(c) Build awareness and educate all peoples about the impacts of policies and practices being carried out along the borders.

2. We extend our deep appreciation to the Indigenous Peoples of the Tohono O’odham Nation and the San Xavier Community, for their hospitality and generosity in hosting the various delegations attending this Summit.

3. We express our appreciation to the organizers of this event for this historic opportunity to bring together many of the Indigenous Peoples and Nations who are affected by these same situations, to share information, develop common strategies and express our solidarity for each other in this way.

4. We endorse and reaffirm the Declaration of San Xavier from the Border Summit of the Americas, at the Tohono O’odham Nation on September 29-October 1, 2006.

5. We express our appreciation for the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 6th session, and the North America Regional Caucus Preparatory meeting for that session, which both recognized the importance of the First Border Summit in 2006, and encouraged the organization of this 2nd Summit to continue and strengthen these vital discussions.

6. We express our collective outrage for the extreme levels of suffering and inhumanity, including many deaths and massive disruption of way of life, that have been presented to this Summit as well as what we have witnessed in our visit to the border areas during the Summit as a result of brutal and racist US policies being enforced on the Tohono O’odham traditional homelands and elsewhere along the US/Mexico border.

7. We also recognize that many of our inherent, sacred and fundamental human rights, including our cultural rights and freedom of religion, self-determination and sovereignty, environmental integrity, land and water rights, bio-diversity of our homelands, equal protection under the law, Treaty Rights, Free Prior Informed Consent, Right to Mobility, Right to Food and Food Sovereignty, Right to Health, Right to Life, Rights of the Child and Right to Development among others, are being violated by current border and “immigration” policies of various settler governments.

8. We recognize and applaud the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of

Indigenous Peoples which affirms and recognizes a full range of our human rights, including article 36 which affirms:

(i). Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders. (ii). States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.

9. We also strongly affirm the message expressed by many of the Indigenous delegates at this gathering: to be sovereign, and to be recognized as sovereign we must act sovereign and assert our sovereignty in this and all other matters.

10. We therefore present this report with the intention of proposing, developing and strengthening real and effective solutions to this critical issue:

We call upon the United Nations and the International community:

11. To end international policies which support economic globalization, “free-trade agreements”, destruction of traditional food systems and traditional land-based economies, and land and natural resource appropriation which result in the forced relocation, forced migration and forced removal of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, Guatemala and other countries, and cause Indigenous Peoples to leave their homelands and seek economic support for their families in other countries.

12. To ensure that the UN human rights system pressures States to provide protection and take action to prevent the violence, abuse and imprisonment of Indigenous woman and children along the borders who often bear the worse effects of current policies; to also implement immediate and urgent measures and provide oversight to end the physical, physiological and sexual violence that is currently being perpetrated against them with impunity as a result of their migrant status, whether it is being carried out by employers, human traffickers, private contractors and/or government agents.

13. To implement International Laws and mechanism to prohibit the practice by the US and other States of the production, storage, export and use of banned and toxic pesticides and other chemicals on the lands of Indigenous Peoples.

14. To provide protection under its mechanism addressing Human Rights Defenders to review and monitor all laws and policies which criminalize humanitarian aid to immigrating persons and provide protection for those carrying out these humanitarian acts.

15. To call upon the United Nations Permanent Forum 7th Session to recognize and take into consideration this Report and its recommendations and to transmit them to the United Nations system to ensure their implementation.

16. To establish as a priority by the Human Rights Council, it’s committees, subsidiary bodies, Special Rapporteurs; the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and other Treaty monitoring bodies; the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; and all other appropriate UN bodies and mechanisms to monitor the compliance to international Human Rights obligation of the U.S., Mexico, Canada and all other States in the creation and implementation of Border and immigration policies in particular those affecting Indigenous Peoples.

17. To call upon the CERD to specifically examine U.S. immigration laws, policies and practices as a form of racially based persecution and racial discrimination.

We call upon State/Country Governments and Federal Agencies:

18. To fully honor, implement, and uphold the Treaties, Agreements and Constructive Arrangements which were freely concluded with Indigenous Peoples and First Nations, in accordance with their original spirit and intent as understood by the respective Indigenous Peoples’;

19. To fully implement, honor and respect the rights to land, natural resources and Selfdetermination, which includes the right to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development, for Indigenous Peoples in their traditional home lands.

20. To immediately initiate effective consultations with impacted indigenous peoples’ who are divided by borders for the development of respectful guidelines relating to border crossings by those indigenous peoples’ which ensure the recognition of each indigenous nation as culturally distinct and politically unique autonomous peoples and uphold their rights to move freely and maintain relationships within their homelands.

21. To respect and facilitate the use of Indigenous Nations/tribal passports, identifications, and immigration documents for travel across imposed borders, specifically tribes along settler borders between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

22. To end to the militarization of the U.S./Mexico border along all Tribal and Indian Nation lands, and an end to military and law-enforcement activity and occupation in Indigenous Peoples’ lands everywhere, without their free, prior informed consent.

23. To end forced assimilation perpetuated by immigration policies which categorize of Indigenous Peoples as “white” or “Hispanic/Latino” while they are in the process immigrating, acquiring residency and/or naturalization in the U.S. or other countries.

24. To end the production and export of pesticides which have been banned for use in the U.S.A and other countries, and to accept full legal accountability for the health and environmental impacts of such chemicals that have contaminated Indigenous peoples, their health, lands, waters, traditional subsistence food systems and sacred sites.

25. To end to the continual violation of the Native American Freedom of Religion Act and the destruction, desecration and denial of access for Indigenous Peoples to their sacred sites and cultural objects along the border areas, and to enforce all cultural, religious freedom and environmental protection laws and polices for federal agencies operating in these regions.

26. To provide protection for and end the intimidation of Indigenous and other peoples providing humanitarian aid along and within tribal lands to Indigenous and other displaced migrant peoples crossing the borders and to call for an immediate end to the criminalization of such expressions of basic human caring and assistance.

27. To end to the ongoing environmental contamination, eco-system destruction and waste dumping on Indigenous and tribal lands along the border by the military, border patrols and private contractors doing business with federal agencies.

28. To ensure that the US Border patrol and other federal agencies operating on or near Indigenous Peoples’ lands are held fully and legally accountable for restoration, reparations and/or remediation of any damages or harm they have caused to peoples, ecosystems and places, in full consultation with the affected persons and Peoples,

29. To reinstate the Sovereign rights of Indigenous Peoples whose rights and status have been terminated through colonialist rule of law and daily practices of forced assimilation in all countries.

30. To ensure respect for Indigenous Peoples’ land and resource rights in their own homelands in all countries as the most effective way to address immigration issues and Indigenous Peoples’ human rights concerns overall.

31. To implement humane immigration policies that fully respect the inherent human rights of all Peoples and persons and fully comply with States’ obligations under International Human Rights Law.

We call upon Indigenous Peoples’ and Nations:

32. To create and use Indian Nations/tribal passports, identifications, and immigration documents for travel across imposed borders, specifically tribes along settler borders along Mexico and the U.S. and the U.S. and Canada, and to fully reinstate their traditional border crossing rights and abilities.

33. To encourage and promote cultural and traditional knowledge exchange among Indigenous Peoples across borders in order to strengthen our ties and to restore our traditional life ways and practices.

34. To recognize each other fully as Sovereign Peoples and Nations.

35. To acknowledge the intersection of Indigenous sovereignty and respect for our sacred mother the earth as a basis for maintaining and reestablishing the necessary social, political, spiritual, cultural and economic strength of the women of our nations.

36. To examine, review and amend as needed, all tribal government policies regarding the treatment of migrants traveling through their Nations’ lands to insure they are consistent with both creator given traditional laws and International Human Rights standards, in particular those whose lands are in the border regions.

37. To refuse to accept the use, storage or transport of toxic contaminants or wastes on their lands, including those which have been transported across borders.

NGO’s and Supportive Groups:

38. To join with Indigenous Peoples to call upon the International Community, State governments and their agencies to implement this Report and its recommendations, and to continue to defend the human and sovereign rights of Indigenous Peoples throughout the Americas and all regions of the world.

Conclusion:

39. The participants in this Summit request that the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), as well as other Indigenous Peoples’ organizations continue to submit and present the information provided during this summit including this Declaration to appropriate international bodies including the CERD, HRC and UNPFII Sessions in 2008, as well as to disseminate this information widely in order to create awareness support for this critical human rights issue.

40. We also request that the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues accept this Declaration at it’s 7th session in May 2008 and propose to all bodies and agencies of the United Nations System, as well as U.N. member States that they incorporate it into their respective plans of action and policies, including the plan of action for the 2nd International Decade of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples and the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

Adopted by consensus of the Participants in the Indigenous Peoples Border Summit of the Americas II on November 10th, 2007, San Xavier, Tohono O’odham Nation

EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND LEGISLATION CHANGES TO BE DONE

State law should be amended so that school districts with low-performing schools employ aggressive measures to increase academic achievement.

Experience and research have shown that methods such as open enrollment--as has been the practice in some School District--reorganization of school leadership and staff, and monetary incentives for campus improvement are successful approaches for turning around low-performing schools. Students in low-performing schools along the border deserve an aggressive approach to ensuring that they are educated in a quality learning environment.

· Both the written and oral usage and comprehension portions of the Examination for the Certification of Educators in Arizona (ExCET) for bilingual educators who will be teaching Spanish-speaking students should include sections administered in Spanish to better assess knowledge of Spanish grammar and Spanish reading ability.

Nearly all of the current ExCET exam for bilingual teachers of Spanish involves demonstrating proficiency in instructional methods. Oral comprehension is measured by a separate test, the Arizona Oral Proficiency Test. None of the ExCET test currently focuses on proper Spanish grammar, reading or writing.

· A study should be conducted to identify best practices in bilingual education, and the findings should be disseminated to all Border school districts.

The federally funded Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, which has explored opportunities for joint U.S.-Mexico endeavors in public education, has expressed a willingness to survey best practices along the border.

Maintaining Growth

Although the highest priority in the Border is to upgrade both worker skills and the number of skilled jobs available, solving the region's long run unemployment problems also involves fostering the growth in industries which have historical roots and strength in the region to absorb the growing labor force. Instead of "writing off" some of these jobs as casualties of international competition, the region needs to seek niche markets to preserve, and even expand, job opportunities.

The Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments

The state of Arizona is committed to maintaining a body of educators capable of enhancing student achievement and meeting the demands and expectations of the state’s dynamic and diverse society. In November 1997, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted rules regarding the evaluation of educators applying for state certifications.

The rules require that applicants for teacher certification pass a test of subject knowledge. Candidates for teacher certification must also pass a test of professional knowledge. The Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA) were designed to ensure that each certified teacher has the necessary knowledge to teach in Arizona public schools. Legislation also requires that applicants for administrator certification take the appropriate test for the Superintendent, Principal, or Supervisor certifi­cate.

The AEPA address areas covered by the Arizona Academic Standards, the Arizona Professional Teaching Standards, and the Arizona Professional Adminis­trative Standards. The tests are criterion referenced and objective based. A criterion-referenced test is designed to measure a candidate’s knowledge in relation to an established standard of performance (a criterion) rather than in relation to the performance of other candidates.

The explicit purpose of these tests is to help identify candidates for certification who have demonstrated the level of professional knowledge and skills judged to be important for Arizona educators. The purpose of the Basic Skills test is to provide an assessment that may be used by Arizona educator preparation programs for the purpose of assessing the basic skills of students in educator preparation programs.

A set of objectives was developed for each test field to serve as the basis for test content. The test objectives reflect certification standards, curriculum materials, and content of educator preparation programs in Arizona. The objectives are broad, conceptual statements written in language that reflects the skills, knowledge, and understanding that an entry-level educator needs to practice effectively in Arizona schools.

Each test is composed of questions that measure a candidate’s mastery of these test objectives. Each objective consists of two major parts: the objective statement, which broadly defines the subject matter that an entry-level educator needs to know, and the descriptive statement, which provides examples of the types of knowledge and skills covered by the test objective. The objectives for each field can be found on the AEPA Web site by selecting “Test Objectives.”

A content validation survey, involving randomly selected Arizona school personnel as well as Arizona college and university faculty members, was conducted for each set of test objectives. Each survey participant reviewed the objectives for his or her field to ensure that the objectives selected for the tests are important to the job of an Arizona educator and reflect the knowledge and skills that teachers and administrators use in Arizona public schools. The test questions and exercises are matched to specific objectives that were verified as valid by panels of Arizona educators. More information at: www.aepa.nesinc.com

Some Proposals to Enhance Arizona-Sonora Border Economic Development

· The U.S. Department of Agriculture should work with agricultural processing firms to develop a plan for increased agricultural product inspections along the border. The goal of this program is to ensure the safety of agricultural products from Mexico. The U.S. president could designate areas in the region as part of a special zone for processing Mexican foodstuffs to ensure a safe and continuing flow of Mexican products into the U.S. market. Nogales Port of Entry is the main US gate of entrance of Mexican fresh produce through Mariposa and especial funding is urgently needed in order to enhance the capacity and secure handling of millions of fresh produce tons coming every day from Mexico.

· Mexican Fresh Produce Confederation of Agricultural Associations of Sinaloa (CAADES) is a key player in Nogales Customs procedures for Mexican Winter fresh produce to be imported to the US by Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona.

One of the results of the increasing internationalization of the Arizona-Mexico marketplace is a shift of some agricultural production southward, especially after the enacting of the employers sanction law that started to operate on January 1st 2008. Not Only Arizona producers but also California growers are starting to invest and harvest their production in Mexico due to the lack of labor in both states.

But, preserving this trade into the future is important. Food safety is an increasing concern to U.S. consumers and more agricultural inspections of imported foodstuffs would not only serve to reassure these consumers of safety, but it could add another assurance of quality. If such inspections occurred in the Border region, this would also prove an ideal point to further process some of the imported foodstuffs. Complying with the US Anti-BioTerrorism Law is a key factor for better safety for the the US and makes easy the importing of fresh produce or animal food stocks.

· The Arizona Department of Economic Development should convene a summit with High Tech and similar industrial activities leaders in Arizona to identify niche production markets that can be developed in the Arizona-Sonora Border region.

Although it may not be possible to preserve all the jobs in the traditional industries along the border, some parts of the production may be best suited to higher valued-added processes such as Bio-Tech, Aerospace and other kind of high tech industries that have unique connections to the US consumer market, making their retention in the region more feasible. Before current producers leave the region entirely, these niche markets deserve to be explored.

For example, in the summer of 2005 Hastings Rod Manufacturing based in San Diego, California, a leading North American manufacturer of Graphite and composite fishing rods announced its relocation to Yuma, Arizona with the support and advise of The Arizona Department of Economic Development. Many more of these kind of relocations are needed in the border region of Arizona

· The Arizona Department of Economic Development should fund a feasibility study of Major League Baseball spring training and other viable sports in the south of Arizona. This study should consider both short-term economics and longer term development effects that baseball or soccer training camps would have on tourism.

· The permanent home for artifacts from indigenous people in The Tohono Nation and Mexican indigenous people as well as Border historical sites as well as National Parks should be protected and enhance infrastructure and better facilities to support the development of tourism.

Tourism is an important job-generator in the Border region whose growth should be fostered. New possibilities which would add to the region's increasing set of attractions should be carefully investigated. Just to mention few of them, The Father Kino Missions in Northern Sonora, Sierra towns and hunting places, Sonora Desert spots as Pinacate National Park in Sonora, beach destinations and Colonial cities combined with the Southern Arizona places of attraction in the Tohono Nation and Natural Reserves, National and State Parks as Saguaro National Monument are part already of “Two Nation Vacation” a Program promoted by the Tucson Metropolitan Convention Visitors Bureau.

One show Case: The Pinacate National Park in Northern Sonora, Mexico

Pinacate National Park is located at aproximately 45 kilometers Northeast from Puerto Peñasco in the cost of Sonora, Mexico. This impressive place is located in the great Sonoran Desert, whose dunes extend toward the State of Arizona.

"The Pinacate" is a precious jewel which presently is an ecological reserve. This majestic area comprises mountains and volcanoes, dunes and washes, and seasonal lands which survive just on scarcely any water. Furthermore, this area is rich in archaeological findings of the so-called San Dieguito culture that inhabited the region approximately 12 thousand years ago.

Contrary to what could be thought, there is a great wealth of wild animal and plant species at "El Pinacate", despite that rainfall is scarce and unpredictible. Different types of cacti and other plants dominate the landscape, in which animals live hidden under the sand dunes and the soil.

Therefore, once you have visited this spot, you will always want to come back and why not? ... spend several nights together with the inhabitants of a unique place in Mexico. It is worthwhile mentioning that American astronauts visited the "Pinacate" before going to the Moon with the purpose of getting acquainted with situations similar to those they could encounter on Earth's satellite, since the "Pinacate's" landscapes have a tremendous resemblance to those of the Moon.

Need to Promote Arizona-Sonora Borderlands

Click for Detailed MapThe region that spans the border of Arizona and Sonora is one of the largest, most diverse, and intact arid landscapes in North America. The region's life giving waters – the Gulf of California; the lower Colorado River; and the Colorado's delta and major cross-border tributaries – are distinct and ecologically important counterpoints to the Sonoran Desert that surrounds them. Together, the arid lands and sustaining waterways of the borderlands form a system that is home to a myriad of unique plants, animals, people, and habitats.

The borderlands region lies firmly within the embrace of the Sonoran Desert, which is one of North America's four major desert systems. North America's deserts include the Great Basin, Mohave, Chihuahua, and Sonoran. Strikingly, although all four deserts are arid landscapes, they are distinctly different as the result of varying temperature and precipitation patterns.

As surprising as it may sound, the Sonoran Desert is lush in comparison to the world's other deserts. The diversity of plant and animal life in the Sonoran Desert is a result of its subtropical location, geologic history, and bi-seasonal rainfall pattern. From December to March moisture carried from the Pacific Ocean falls as gentle rain throughout the Sonoran Desert. The region's famous summer monsoon season runs from early July to mid-September, when wet tropical air and intense heat can result in violent, localized thunderstorms.

Though rain falls from the sky above the desert during two seasons of the year, average rainfall in the borderlands region ranges between 0 and 12 inches per year (0 to 40 cm/yr). The region receives the lowest amount of precipitation in North America. By comparison, the eastern coast of the United States gets about 40 inches of moisture per year (100 cm/yr).

Natural Features, Parks, and Monuments

The Arizona-Sonora borderlands contains a large concentration of protected areas that are located on both sides of the US-Mexico border, several of which are featured here:

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1939 for the conservation of natural wildlife resources, including the endangered Sonoran pronghorn and lesser long-nosed bats, desert bighorns, lizards, rattlesnakes, and desert tortoises. The refuge encompasses over 860,000 acres of some of the most pristine tracts of Sonoran Desert remaining, making it the third largest refuge in the nation. The 1990 Arizona Wilderness Act designated over 90 percent of the refuge wilderness.

Cabeza Prieta, Spanish for "dark head," refers to a lava-topped, granite peak in a remote mountain range in the western corner of the refuge. This rugged landscape is home to as many as 391 plant species and more than 300 species of wildlife. Visitors to Cabeza Prieta can enjoy plentiful hiking, photography, wildlife observation, and primitive camping opportunities. Visitors, however, are asked to avoid lingering near water holes, as wildlife depend on them for survival

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was established by Presidential Proclamation by Franklin Roosevelt on April 23, 1937, to protect the rare Organ Pipe Cactus and 26 other cacti species. The uniqueness and importance of this landscape is attested to by the rarity of the Organ Pipe Cactus itself, and the even more rare Senita Cactus, both of which are found nowhere else in the US. Encompassing approximately 330,000 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert, the Monument was established as a Biosphere Reserve in 1976.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is home to an extraordinary range of animals that have adapted themselves to the region's extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, and infrequent rainfall. Six varieties of rattlesnakes, as well as Gila Monsters and scorpions, can be found at Organ Pipe. Other residents include the roadrunner, western diamondback rattlesnake, red-tailed hawk, coyote, cactus wren, javelina, desert tortoise, Gila monster, Gila woodpecker and white-winged dove.

Reserva de La Biosfera El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar

E-mail Josh SchachterOn the basis of the Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente, this area just south of the Arizona - Sonora border was declared a biosphere reserve in 1993 because of the need to conserve a significant portion of the Sonoran Desert.

La Sierra de El Rosario and the volcanic shield are the two core zones of the reserve. Together they cover almost 40% of the reserve’s 714,557 hectares, thereby helping to conserve a number of volcanic formations such as 10 maars, more than 400 cinder cones, lava flows, and the Santa Clara volcano itself. El Pinacate experienced intense extrusive vulcanism four million years ago. Activity continued for approximately 2 million years and resulted in the extensive volcanic shield.

The Jesuit priest Francisco Eusebio Kino was the first to recognize the volcanic origin of El Pinacate and was responsible for naming the Santa Clara Volcano. El Pinacate has a cultural history dating back approximately 20,000 years according to archaeological dating of artifacts. The San Dieguito complex and its rock-based artifacts found in the volcanic soil have bbeen documented as the earliest signs of human occupation in the area. Other cultures subsequently appeared in El Pinacate region such as the Amaragosa group, the Hia’ Ced O’odham (the Sand People or Pimas Altos), and the present day population of Tohono O’odham that reside on both sides of the international border.

The reserve also contains the largest field of active, stabilized sand dunes in North America. El Gran Desierto de Altar covers approximately 5,000 square miles.

The Pinacate, which is 30 kilometers north of Puerto Penasco, is an ecological reserve comprised of 28,600 hectares of land. One of the most beautiful and isolated desert landscapes, the reserve features majestic mountains, hundreds of volcanic cinder cones and lava flows, sand dunes, and washes. The landscape of the area leaves the visitor feeling as though they may have landed on the surface of the moon. In fact, astronauts visited the Pinacate to familiarize themselves with a lunar-type landscape before heading for the moon.

Reserva de la Biosfera Alto Golfo de California y Delta del Río Colorado

The Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta Biosphere Reserve is one of the richest coastal ecosystems worldwide. This is due to its high productivity and great biodiversity, the presence of a great number of land and marine species exclusive for the region, as well as others that are endangered or threatened.

The reserve was established in June 1993 and includes an area of 934,756 hectares with a “core zone” mainly within the river delta and a surrounding “buffer zone”. The main objective is to achieve present and future conservation, sustainable use and integrity of the terrestrial and marine wildlife in their natural ecosystems as well as promote the social development of the local communities and users of the natural resources.

The core zone is where most of the protection activities taker place and the buffer zone where the productive activities are carried out/ The conservation of natural resources is important, because it will allow and orderly utilization of the natural resources that may have economic and biological importance for the region. As a Biosphere Reserve, this area will strengthen the sustainable economic activities of the region promoting the economic welfare of the local inhabitants through the rational use of the resources

The People

The ecological diversity of the Sonoran Desert is mirrored in its human inhabitants. Stretching from northwestern Mexico into the southwestern United States, the The People of the Sonoran Desertregion is shared by Hispanic, Anglo, and Native American peoples. Historically, humans have inhabited this part of the Sonoran Desert for thousands of years. Ancestral inhabitants include the Hohokam, Patayan, Pinacatenos, and Arcnenos. The later two are clans of the Tohono (desert) and Hia-Ced (sand) O'odham, once known as the Pipage.

Contemporary borderlands residents live mostly in the cities, towns, and villages of southwestern Arizona, the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, and northwestern Sonora, Mexico. More inforamtion at: www.laruta.org

Relieving Congestion in the Border Customs: better technologies for trade facilitation without putting on risk the security policies

In several areas of life along the border, physical facilities are strained to the limit and beyond. As demonstrated by the long lines of trucks sitting at border crossing points, this is true of many parts of the region's transportation system. There is a similar lack of capacity in the affordable housing market as well. To address these needs:

· The U.S and Mexico governments should require U.S and Mexico Customs facilities at major international border crossings to be open around the clock to ease congestion.

Possibly requiring a treaty or other agreement with the Mexican government, such a step would alleviate multiple rush hours at border crossings, which contribute to costly delays and detours.

Staffing patterns for federal customs officials could also be improved. Hours, manpower, and the distribution of staff are all factors. From Douglas to Nogales especially at Mariposa Port of Entry, trucks are already backed up on the U.S. side. Key factors appear to be the limited hours of U.S and Mexican Customs offices and a shortfall of needed staff. From the point of view of Arizona Tourism to Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point, Sonora) the Lukeville, Arizona Port of Entry is totally insufficient for handling the entry of US Visitors into the US after they visit Rocky Point. The waiting time to check into the US can be up to 8 hours during the weekend return to the US of American residents.

A 24-hour customs operation would alleviate the traffic gridlock between 3 and 9 p.m. A federal agreement between the U.S. officials and Mexican officials would need to be reached. According to Nogales customs brokers, it is the Mexican side that is unwilling to open the customs operations 24 hours. Both sides need to find a middle course that will benefit trade as a whole.

· The U.S and the Mexican governments should implement and promote technology improvements at U.S.-Mexico border crossings to ease U.S. Customs inspections and reduce traffic congestion.

Automated Export System Post-departure Authorized Special Status equipment is available. U.S. Customs officials could promote this new technology to importers/exporters and trucking companies. Benefits include one-stop export filing, the savings inherent in a paperless system, and the improved accuracy of trade statistics. However, more commitment is needed in the Mexican side, not only of Mexican Customs authorities but also Mexican private companies that can obtain the US Registration of Certified Export Companies of Low Risk (CTPAT), many of these companies are based in Sonora and Sinaloa and little effort has been done to follow the rules for registration according to US Authorities.

· A need to provide for one-stop border inspection stations on the Arizona-Mexico border, improving state and federal tax collections and traffic flow, while enhancing safety inspections.

As in California, one-stop multi-agency border inspection facilities on major arteries of commercial trucking would benefit federal, state, and municipal agencies with the statutory responsibility to regulate commercial vehicle traffic at the border.

In California, the inspection stations at Otay Mesa and Calexico allow commercial vehicle motor carriers from Mexico to purchase insurance and file appropriate paperwork, register vehicles, and buy fuel permits. Vehicles are inspected for compliance with federal and state regulations, and taxes and tariffs are collected on freight. California, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office, has the nation's most rigorous border state truck inspection program.

Planning of the inspection facilities should meet state and local government needs. Where possible, land should be purchased for a facility that accommodates all relevant agencies, especially since more than 65 percent of all Mexican truck traffic entering the U.S. crosses through Arizona point of entry. California, with two state-of-the-art inspection stations, handles only 24 percent of Mexican truck traffic.

The availability of ample land at a reasonable cost near the border crossing may be an Arizona challenge. California had enough space to build the facilities with a race track-type structure in part because the border cities were rural without significant growth-related crowding.

An Arizona alternative might be to build one-stop facilities that would accommodate all agencies responsible for regulating commercial vehicle traffic away from the border. Some 90 percent of trucks enter the U.S. at seven of the 23 crossing points for commercial trucks. Six of them are in Arizona (Nogales, Naco, Douglas, Sasabe, Lukeville and San Luis). Facilities could be limited to the major commercial vehicle crossings.

· State law should be amended to require the Arizona Department of Transportation (AxDOT) to encourage private investment in transportation infrastructure in the Arizona-Mexico Border region and Mexican Federal Authorities should help Sonora government to enhance budget for building better infrastructure in the Mexica Border region.

It must be explore the posibility to build a privately funded toll road around Nogales to Interstate 19, that will demonstrates the possibilities of private sector investment in Border infrastructure, future opportunities merit state encouragement. California, for instance, has entered into a franchise agreement with a private consortium to build and operate a major highway giving access to the Otay Mesa port of entry at the California-Baja California border. Same effort has to be done in Sonora border region.

AxDOT should spur private investment in transportation infrastructure along the border by identifying the best possible projects for public-private partnerships. Projects with a high probability of providing enough return of revenue to pay for themselves should be targeted. AxDOT should, within the planning process, place a priority on Border projects with some private funding. These private entities could staff facilities in accordance with state and federal specifications for training and knowledge in license and weight inspection and safety.

State law should be amended to direct the Arizona Department of Housing/Arizona Housing Finance Authority to implement a program promoting for-profit construction of homes that are affordable to Border workers.

ADH/AHFA and the Affordable Housing Corporation should be instructed to develop and operate a builder incentive partnership with Texas builders. The partnership would make it profitable for builders to construct homes in the $30,000 to $50,000 range that Border workers need, by minimizing the builder's risk and incorporating reasonable profits.

The builder incentive partnership would feature a guaranteed purchase ("assured take-out") agreement with a "cost-plus" profit structure. ADH/AHFA should guarantee a percentage of the purchase price for a certain number of homes at specific prices in the $30,000 to $50,000 range. The cost-plus structure would provide the profit incentive builders need to work in the lowest end of the market, while the guaranteed purchase arrangement would minimize the builder's risk.

The homes purchased through the builder incentive partnership should conform to a set of quality and design criteria developed by ADH/AHFA. The houses should be laid out to accommodate room and amenity additions easily if families want to add on in future years. In short, the houses should be classic "starter" homes, built to appreciate in value but flexible enough to be the only home a family ever needs to own.

Builders would continue to market their product to buyers as they do currently. Qualifying buyers would meet typical "first-time home buyer" criteria, with income eligibility tightened and locally structured to ensure that the homes go to low-wage workers.

ADH/AHFA could assume title to any homes that did not yet have qualified buyers within 30 days of completion, and sell them to individuals, non-profits, or local housing agencies. Alternatively, the state could simply put up the guarantee fund and have cooperative agreements with local agencies and non-profits to buy the unsold units. In any case, the builder's warranty should convey to the first owner-occupant.

ADH/AHFA should continue to make down-payment assistance available to individuals purchasing homes through the builder incentive partnership and ADH/AHFA should work together to identify sources of funds that would be appropriate for the partnership. The agencies should consider issuing taxable bonds and using market-rate financing. Because the new homes would be truly affordable, buyers would not need low-interest loans.

Most buyers in the program should try to go through traditional lenders. ASAHC, in its role as lender of last resort, should develop an alternative financing program for buyers who, while they have stable income, can't obtain conventional loans because of lack of credit history or other problems that many low-wage workers face.

· State law should be amended to direct the Arizona Department of Housing (ADH/AHFA) to establish an owner-builder interim construction loan program in partnership with construction supply companies.

The state should work with one or more construction supply companies to administer an interim construction loan for owner-builders. ADH/AHFA should guarantee a percentage of the value of loans made through the program.

Along with administering the loan, the supplier would agree to provide technical assistance to the owner-builder and to facilitate the inspection process or to perform inspections for projects outside city limits. ADH/AHFA should develop the program in consultation with local building inspectors so that the program can include an incremental inspection process. The interim construction loan should be available to those individuals and families who need to expand or rehabilitate homes, as well as those who are starting from scratch.

ADH should work with non-profit groups that have already begun testing rehabilitation loans and "self-help" owner-construction approaches. Local groups and housing agencies could also put up loan guarantee pools using their own funds if they chose.

As part of the owner-builder loan program, ADH should refinance or facilitate refinancing of lots purchased through contract for deed where the buyer wants to apply for an owner-builder loan.

Guaranteeing owner-builder loans would improve the quality of owner-built homes, decrease the cost of financing, and ensure that the end result is a valuable piece of real estate in which the builder has money equity, not just "sweat equity."

· State law should be amended to direct the Arizona Department of Housing and Finance Authority (ADH/AHFA) to find ways of improving the profitability of serving low-income home buyers in the state's bond programs.

Serving low-income buyers would be more profitable for lenders and real estate agents if the profit margin on low-value sales was higher than usual, or if the amount of time necessary to serve a low-income family was reduced. The former goal could be accomplished by targeting payments to those involved in the real estate transaction while some of the administrative burden of serving low-income households could be addressed by non-profit organizations and home-buyer assistance programs. ADH/AHFA should evaluate both approaches and report to the Bond Review Board and the Legislature on the effectiveness of incentives in improving service for low-income clients.

· State law should be amended directing the Arizona General Land Office and the Arizona Department of Housing to identify state-owned property, including lots and structures, that could be used effectively for affordable housing.

The two agencies should estimate the total value of state property that could be used effectively for affordable housing, the total value of housing that could be built on the identified state property, alternative uses of the property, and property tax implications of using state property for affordable housing.

National Problems on Arizona Soil

Federal and state agencies must accept some responsibility for the problems facing the Arizona Border region. Certainly the trade adjustment issues of NAFTA, such as the loss of jobs in import-competing industries and any subsequent retraining needs, stem from national policies designed to aid U.S. and Mexican consumers and producers. Unfortunately, the bulk of the adjustment problems in the regional industry and in the congestion from increased traffic are played out not on a national stage, but in the Border region.

Washington can and should address many Border problems, or even helped create, through federal trade and immigration policies. Among practical steps:

· The federal government should establish a Border Regional Commission for Arizona-Sonora borderlands. This Commission would have a national voice in Washington, D.C., for the Border region, while the state government of Arizona would remain responsible for developing its own plan for lifting per-capita income in the region and for directing federal funds to important projects.

As a good example, in establishing the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965, the federal government recognized the need for intervention in one poverty-plagued part of the nation. In some ways, this type of intervention and other examples of federal recognition of regional economic problems resemble a domestic "Marshall Plan." Indeed, goals later established to help the Appalachian region improve its living standard could be adopted wholesale by the Border counties not only of Arizona, but also the three other U.S. states bordering Mexico.

This Commission should be established with the goal of helping the Border region raise itself out of poverty. Like the Appalachian Regional Commission, each state should be responsible for developing its own plan and Commission actions should only be the result of unanimous consent by the governors of the four states.

· The U.S. government should fund high-tech X-ray capabilities at all major land and seaports of entry to minimize drug smuggling.

As suggested by the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce in Texas, additional X-ray inspections complement other anti-smuggling activities. In particular, such an effort could be assisted by a voluntary group of businesses people that may be interested in helping for reducing international drug smuggling.

· The state should encourage U.S. Department of Justice officials to find adequate, stable funding sources to reimburse Arizona Border counties for costs incurred to house and prosecute federal drug suspects and other county border expenses related to influx of new comers and temporary residents that demand public services as health .

Some years ago, the Santa Cruz and Pima Counties’ district attorney estimated the local cost of jailing and prosecuting federal drug suspects, federal officials began reimbursing Border counties for the costs of jailing the federal offenders. The federal government also hired additional prosecutors to address drug cases. But there was no guarantee the reimbursements or additional prosecutorial assistance would continue.

Furthermore, increased enforcement in the Border region as a result of additional customs and Border Patrol officers has increased apprehensions of drug smugglers and undocumented workers. Since the Southern District of Arizona does not have a federal detention center, the number of federal detainees in county jails will increase. The number of drug case prosecutions may also rise.

Federal Government Owes Arizona at Least $71 Million for expenses in undocumented inmates during year 2004, if a calculation of a conservative number is done for the period 2004-2008, the amount owed will be around 350 million dollars.

Janet Napolitano has asked the federal government to pay Arizona what it is owed for incarceration of inmates – the “criminal aliens” – who are housed in Arizona’s prison system. These are inmates who arrived in the country illegally, then committed a crime in Arizona. Under federal law (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program or SCAAP), those inmates should be held in federal prisons, or the state must be reimbursed the cost of keeping them in state prisons.

The average daily cost of holding an inmate in an Arizona prison in 2004 was approximately $53.44 per day; during that same year, the state housed an average daily population of 3,642 illegal immigrant inmates.

Arizona is entitled to federal reimbursement of $71 million dollars for that period; yet the state was actually only paid $6.8 million – a total of $64 million less than the actual costs of housing the inmates.

“This is just wrong,” said Governor Napolitano. “Arizona has held up its end of the bargain, and has taken these criminals off the streets. Yet, the federal government has abandoned its job by refusing to pay for them.” ,

Governor Napolitano sent two invoices to the Federal government. The first is for $40,602,376.00 – the amount due to the state for holding SCAAP inmates between July 1 and December 31, 2004. The second bills $77.3 million for inmates held between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004.

In this 2004 letter, Governor Napolitano writes, “If you cannot, or will not, pay these costs, then I hereby make formal demand that the federal government take custody of the undocumented criminal aliens in our state prisons and incarcerate them. Please note that, among other things, we will continue to submit invoices to your office until this matter is satisfactorily resolved.”

Federal authorities regulate commerce, trade, and narcotics interdiction along the border with local collaboration and cooperation. A stable federal funding source for continuing local and federal prosecutorial collaboration would ensure that cooperation not only continues, but expands.

· State law should be amended to change drug sentencing laws so they make trafficking drugs in large quantities a crime for which the for life imprisonment penalty is a possible sentence.

Drug smugglers continue to see the border as a wide-open door through which to ship drugs into the U.S. Only in three weeks of April 2008, the U.S. Customs Service in Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales discovered more than 3.5 tons of drugs and in the last six months around 14 tons of contraband merchandises have been seized by the US Customs in Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales.

A 1994 crime bill in Texas made trafficking in large quantities of drugs a federal crime punishable by death. However, Arizona should not add the death penalty as a sentencing alternative to use against major drug traffickers.

· State law should be amended to increase manpower and funding to the Arizona Department of Public Safety (ADPS) Narcotics Service and allow the service to replace vehicles sooner.

DPS reports that drug traffickers have become more brazen and are storing their smuggled goods in residential neighborhoods. Keeping up with the drug traffickers' activities requires around-the-clock vigilance and investigation. Enforcement of narcotics laws is dangerous work--armed encounters are frequent--and requires that officers have safe and dependable equipment. Some of the automobiles used by the officers have excessive mileage on them and are often in the shop.

The Arizona asset forfeiture law allows DPS to use confiscated automobiles in their drug operations. However, DPS maintains that confiscated autos are not always a dependable source of vehicles. Furthermore, DPS autos are driven until they have 70,000 to 90,000 miles on them, and pick-ups are driven until they have 100,000 miles. Narcotics officers often work drug operations with federal drug enforcement officers. In some instances, DPS officers take the lead. Yet, the pay of DPS officers is less than the federal officers with whom they work.

Improve Cooperation

While many instances of cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico, or among states and local governments were noted in this report, more needs to be done. There is no ongoing connection between either the executive branch or the legislative branch of Arizona government with our neighboring state, Sonora, Mexico. Focus group participants decried the lack of coordinated economic planning among the cities and counties in the Arizona border region. Even at the local level, agreements to form cooperative workforce boards have not been forthcoming in some cases.

To remedy these problems:

· State law should be amended to enhance the Office of Arizona-Mexico Relations in the Arizona Governor's Office.

An Office of Arizona-Mexico Relations (OA-MR), (reinforcing the role of the Arizona-Mexico Commission) in the Governor's Office would establish more formal and sustained lines of communication between the governments of Arizona and the state of Sonora, Mexico, The OA-MR should develop economic and cultural relations between Arizona and Mexico by working with public and private sector organizations to initiate, coordinate, and implement projects that improve the quality of life on the border.

An important function of the OA-MR should be to develop innovative ways for funding development in the Border region, such as attracting U.S. aid programs for Mexico and working for the creation of a Border Regional Commission, patterned after the Appalachian Regional Commission. In addition, the OA-MR should be the central source of all information pertaining to Arizona-Mexico initiatives.

· The Arizona Legislature should initiate sessions with the state legislature of Sonora to establish communications between these legislative bodies and begin discussions on issues pertinent to the region.

Arizona and Sonora, Mexico face common challenges to infrastructure, environment, and health along the border. While collaboration on common issues between the U.S. and Mexican governments has been part of the area's governing tradition, collaboration between the states' legislative bodies is less frequent.

One goal of these sessions would be to establish a multilevel governmental framework through which both states could initiate, coordinate, and complete projects to develop the Border region and improve the quality of life for residents in both countries.

· Form operational local workforce development boards and promote cooperation among boards representing different parts of the Border Region.

The Arizona Workforce Commission's (AWC) difficulties in implementing the massive reforms that created the agency and the local boards, and the reluctance of local officials to shift their focus to regional concerns are two fundamental factors that keep some boards from forming and from becoming quickly operational. The key reason to form a local board is to get input from business. Unless there are strategic local conversations with businesses who can provide the jobs to workers, then job training programs will have difficulty succeeding--a prime purpose behind reforms enacted in 1995. While formation of a local workforce development board is not required, if a region fails to do so, it forfeits local control of the programs administered by AWC.

Because the Border counties are divided into workforce regions, efforts to develop a coordinated strategy for combating unemployment and improving economic development may be stymied. Leaders of each of the boards should form a special group to draw up solutions for the entire region. By coming together to address the unique needs of Border workers, local workforce board leaders can create an even more powerful force in Phoenix. The Arizona Workforce Commission should designate staff to support and assist this Border working group and provide it with the research and technical assistance the group needs to succeed in its mission.

· State law should be amended to require the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to negotiate streamlined safety and operating standards between Arizona and Mexico, reducing barriers to efficient free trade without hindering safety.

U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) goals foster a "compliance mind set" among the NAFTA countries to achieve continuous improvement in adhering to U.S. truck safety standards. AxDOT should develop an assessment program to determine the extent to which Mexican operators understand their obligations and U.S. truck safety expectations.

Working with the Department of Public Safety (DPS), AxDOT officials should conduct a continuing education campaign on U.S. safety standards by giving training seminars and leaflets to Mexican trucking companies and drivers. In Texas, a 1993-95 pilot project for greater inspection presence at the border by USDOT provided nearly $300,000 to train 285 Mexican truck inspectors in a two-week certification course offered in Texas. By 1996, about 50 of the trained inspectors in Texas were still employed by the Mexican truck inspection agency.

The Pilot Truck Program to allow a good sample of Mexican trucks into Arizona is also working since early 2008. A wider project toward truck inspector training in Mexico should be implemented, to overcome flaws in the pilot project, future training could focus on Mexico's federal highway patrol officers, described by USDOT as working for the most stable agency in Mexico.

If more federal funds are provided for training and DPS officers aid in continued training classes for Mexican Federal Highway officers, the streamlining effect of compliance with U.S. safety regulations will increase because the compliance mind set will start in Mexico and continue into Arizona. This training should continue to be provided by DPS officers until Mexican highway patrol officers can conduct the inspection program in Mexico. USDOT should also be involved in funding because the program benefits both the U.S. and Mexico. A resulting willingness to enforce safety regulations on the Mexican side of the border could decrease infrastructure damage and increase safety on both sides of the border. Pima College in Tucson has obtained a grant for training Arizona workers and technicians related to transportation and logistics, An effort has to be done for including Sonoran Transportation drivers and logistics personnel. Accepting the pressure of US interest groups to stop or delay the Truck Pilot Program between Mexico and the USA will harm binational trade, the NAFTA rules agreements and finally will diminish the US companies competitiveness nationally and internationally.

· Remove barriers to binational exchanges of information on disease and epidemiological reporting through the exchange of laboratory/diagnostic and computer equipment.

The U.S.-Mexico Border Health Association and the Border Governors' Conference should ask the federal governments of the U.S. and Mexico to commission a comprehensive analysis of federal laws inhibiting the cross-border exchange of equipment and personnel for technical assistance and capacity building. The framework of the Global Customs Initiative and the active role of the USTDA towards Mexican Customs and steady training of Mexican officials can be a useful and reliable way to enhance Mexican Customs and Security policies to benefit both countries. An Arizona legislative committee should conduct an interim study of state laws inhibiting cross-border cooperation following the 2008 session. The University of Arizona has inaugurated in July 2008 a Center of Border Studies and National Security headed by economist Elyse Golob. However, more efforts have to be done to enhance studies on Trade facilitation instead of focusing mainly in national security and border control.

Binational Water Quality Monitoring Activities Along the Arizona-Sonora Border Region, by Mario Castaneda, Water Border Technical Coordinator, Water Quality Division, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. 3033 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012. Phone: (602) 207-4409

Abstract

Water pollution is one of the principal environmental and public health problems facing the U.S./Mexico Border area. Deficiencies in the treatment of wastewater, the disposal of untreated effluent, and the inadequate operation and maintenance of treatment plants result in health risks to border communities. In some cases raw or insufficiently treated wastewater flows to surface and groundwater sources in urban and rural areas. In addition, potential contamination to groundwater from point sources exists in the area due to the increased industrial activity on both sides of the border. Groundwater is the major drinking water source for most border communities. Binational efforts are being undertaken under the U.S./Mexico Border 21 program to address these concerns. This binational program has also identified surface water and groundwater quality monitoring as an objective to characterize and determine the status of and changes in water resources in the border area.

Also, it has identified the need to collect and analyze water quality data using standard sampling methodologies on both sides of the border. This paper describes the efforts that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has undertaken in participating on binational water quality projects in the Arizona-Sonora border. Two different approaches for binational cooperation on water quality monitoring will be presented. Water quality data collected and analyzed by both countries using commonly agreed sampling methodologies and data quality objectives will be presented and discussed.

Introduction

The growth of population and industry in Mexico’s northern border region has put increased pressure on state and municipal governments in the border region to provide effective and efficient public services particularly in the area of potable water and wastewater. Water pollution is one of the principal environmental and public health problems facing the U.S./Mexico border area. A border trade agreement and changing economic conditions in Mexico increased industrial activity in the border region, more notably in the Sonoran side.

Labor and assembly costs are much lower in Mexico, and environmental regulations in the past have not been as strict. Today, there are more than 2,200 maquiladoras (American assembly plants) along the U.S.-Mexico border and about 80 just in Nogales, Mexico, where the population has grown to nearly 400,000 people. Population growth in Nogales, Sonora is estimated at 4 percent per year. Industry growth there overshadows Nogales, Arizona, with a population of less than 20,000.

Groundwater is the major drinking water source for most of the border communities in the Arizona-Sonora border region. The lack of basic inventory and monitoring information pertaining to water resources prevent a comprehensive understanding of watershed and regional natural resources issues. Lack of quantitative information concerning the natural recharge and the possible limitations of many of the groundwater supplies lead to uncertainties as to the future of these water resources. Binational efforts are being undertaken under the U.S./Mexico Border 21 Program to address these concerns. The U.S./Mexico Border 21 Program is a binational effort to work cooperatively toward sustainable development through protection of human health and the environment as well as proper management of natural resources in each country.

The 1996 Border 21 Framework Document defined five-year objectives for the border environment and described the mechanisms for fulfilling those objectives (EPA, 1996). One of the key objectives was identifying surface water and groundwater quality monitoring to characterize and determine the status of and changes in water resources in the border area. Another objective was the development of environmental indicators to use in evaluating the effectiveness of border environmental policy. However, the monitoring activity and the use of environmental indicators for the border area require sharing environmental data by the U.S. and Mexico from the binational watersheds.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has been actively participating on the EPA Border 21 activities (Castaneda, 1995). Several binational surface water and groundwater monitoring projects have been already implemented along the Arizona-Sonora border. ADEQ has recognized the importance of developing a consistent environmental policy in dealing with water quality issues along the border and in participating on binational water quality projects since both surface water and groundwater flow to both sides in these binational watersheds. However, this participation has been complex and difficult because of the different legal environmental jurisdiction in both countries.

Binational water quality (and quantity) issues between both countries are dealt by the International Boundary and Water Commissions (IBWC). Direct contact between the border states (i.e., Arizona and Sonora) to exchange environmental information is difficult. In addition, surface water and groundwater quality (and quantity) issues in Mexico are the sole responsibility of the Mexican federal government. The Mexican states have had little or no jurisdiction on these matters. On the other hand, both the federal and state governments in the U.S. deal with water quality issues but water quantity is handled by the states alone.

It has been recognized in the U.S. that data comparability needs to be improved so that organizations can use information from multiple sources (ITFM, 1995). Differences in methods used to collect and analyze water quality samples frequently pose impediments to making full use of the data from other sources. And even if the methods are compatible, adequate quality-assurance programs are needed to quantify the precision, accuracy, and integrity of environmental data to ensure that these data can be used for the appropriate application. The importance of these differences is compounded when environmental data are exchanged between two nations.

In an effort to standardize water quality sampling methodologies along the Arizona-Sonora border region, the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) of the University of Arizona under contract with ADEQ started developing a bilingual field manual for water quality sampling in 1993. Several U.S. and Mexican institutions participated in the manual review process. The manual was finalized and printed in March 1995. A second printing was made in July 1996 (WRRC, 1996). The need of implementing this manual as an official guidance document by the States of Sonora and Arizona in all groundwater/surface water quality sampling being performed in both border states was obvious.

This paper describes the efforts that ADEQ has undertaken in participating on binational water quality monitoring projects in the Arizona-Sonora border. Two different approaches for binational cooperation on water quality monitoring will be described: the formal approach that was coordinated by the U.S. and Mexican federal governments through the IBWC umbrella and a more direct interaction of ADEQ with the State of Sonora, Sonora local municipalities, a Sonoran non-governmental-organization (NGO), and the University of Sonora.

The ADEQ Formal Binational Interaction

The formal ADEQ binational interaction can be exemplified by its participation on the Binational Nogales Wash Groundwater Monitoring project. This is the first groundwater quality monitoring project that has been implemented along the U.S.-Mexico border. Nogales Wash originates 7 miles south of the U.S./Mexico International Boundary and flows north through Nogales, Sonora, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona, U.S.A. Perennial flow in Nogales Wash is fed by springs near its head. However, grey water and sewage has contributed to the flow. ADEQ has monitored surface water flows in the Nogales Wash in the U.S. side and had documented high fecal coliform bacteria levels, ammonia, and heavy metals in the past (Earth Technology, 1990, 1993). A disinfection system installed on the Mexican side of the border has helped reduce the risk from raw sewage.

The wash joins the Santa Cruz river just upstream of the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment plant discharge. This plant, located in Nogales, Arizona and owned and operated by the IBWC, treats waste water from both Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona, AZ. Although the plant has been expanded in one occasion, it has already exceeded its design capacity again and binational efforts are being made to address this situation. An existing international wastewater trunk line runs along the wash. The condition of this trunk line has deteriorated and infiltration/exfiltration problems have been reported by both cities. A facility planning project is underway to fix these problems and to search for the best alternative to satisfy the wastewater treatment needs of the region.

The regional groundwater flow is generally to the U.S. in this area. Previous binational water quality monitoring activities that took place in the Nogales Wash area in 1990 showed concentrations of nitrates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) exceeding the Mexican water quality standards in the Nogales Wash aquifer in Nogales, Sonora (The Udall Center, 1993). However, sampling methods and quality assurance problems were cited by the IBWC and the water quality data were not considered valid by both countries.

As a result, official binational meetings were initiated in 1992 to address the growing concerns about the groundwater quality in this area. Based on a binational agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, the IBWC developed a joint report to allow for a joint U.S./Mexico groundwater quality study in the Nogales Wash. Federal, state, county, and city representatives from both sides of the border participated on this study. The project, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Mexican counterpart was implemented to collect reliable soil and groundwater quality data from the vadose zone and the alluvial aquifer along the wash.

Data collection would document whether or not surface activities and discharges to the Nogales Wash have significantly affected groundwater quality. Thirteen ground water monitoring points within approximately 5 miles north and south of the International Boundary were sampled. Groundwater monitoring wells were constructed for this purpose.

Representatives of the participating agencies from the United States and Mexico selected and agreed upon sites for monitoring well placement. All sites were located along the Nogales Wash or its tributaries in areas where the shallow alluvial aquifer is present. Most of the sites lied down gradient of or adjacent to areas where past or present land use included industrial activity or development that may have had an impact on groundwater quality. In this manner, the location of potential sources of groundwater contamination could be narrowed to a smaller region within the urban area for a more focused study by the appropriate authorities.

A well construction plan, developed in May 1993 by ADEQ and IBWC, was approved by the EPA in January 1994. This work plan was negotiated with Mexico and agreed upon in October 1996. Drilling of the monitoring wells in the U.S. side was completed in February 1996 and in Mexico in February 1997. Although different drilling techniques were used by both countries, all monitoring wells were completed similarly. A work plan presenting the proposed sampling procedures and quality assurance methods for this study was initially developed by ADEQ specifically for this project in 1993.

A revised version containing the proposed U.S. sampling and analysis methodology was approved by EPA in September of 1995. Sampling of these monitoring wells was performed quarterly for one year and ended in February 1998. Although agreement was reached on the sampling methodologies to be used by the group prior to sampling, no prior agreement was reached on the lab methodology and respective method detection limits to be used for this study and each country analyzed the samples according to the best laboratory methodology available to them.

Negotiations to approve both documents took considerable amount of efforts and time. A training session on the project sampling procedures was provided to all project participants prior to the sampling activities. A binational project interim report containing sampling data from the first two quarterly sampling activities was finalized in June 1998. A final report is being developed by the participating agencies and is expected to be completed by December of 1998.

Split samples were collected by both groups and tested for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH), major cations and anions (MCAS), trace metals (26 constituents), total and fecal coliforms, and field parameters. The laboratories responsible for the analyses conducted in this project were certified by the respective country’s laboratory certification process. Table 1 presents a list of some of the parameters analyzed and their respective practical quantitation limits reported from both labs.

Project quality control checks were performed using duplicate samples, field blanks, and trip blanks collected by each group. Precision was determined through duplicate analyses and calculated as a relative percent difference. Precision for field duplicate sample analysis were set to 30% or lower for VOCs and to 35% or lower for metals. Accuracy was determined by the analyses of surrogate and matrix spiked samples and calculated as percent recovery.

Recovery was generally expected to be within 70-130%. The limits for precision and accuracy were applied to any measurement that was at least ten times greater than the background (noise) level of the detector or the detection limit of the method. Cation/anion balances were calculated for each sample sent to the U.S. lab. The balance was not more than 10% discrepant. No information on cation/anion balances has been provided by Mexico yet. Although performance standards samples were proposed for this study, Mexico did not agree to incorporate them during the sampling activity.

Figures 1, 2, and 3 present a comparison of the U.S. and Mexican data for some of the constituents detected during the April 1997 sampling event. Mexico detected and reported higher values for silica, alkalinity, and pH than the U.S. The U.S. detected and reported higher values of nitrates, arsenic, and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) than the Mexican group. The reasons for these data differences are being investigated by the binational group and will be included in the final project report.

Figure 4 presents a mean of the respective relative percent difference (RPD) for the constituents analyzed by both labs (considered as duplicate samples). It also presents the mean of the individual RPDs calculated from the duplicate samples collected by each group (two duplicates by each group for April 1997). Both sampling teams met the individual precision criteria established for this project. The use of performance standard samples could have been an useful reference for the discrepant data.

Preliminary data from this project has shown the presence of groundwater contaminated with PCE exceeding both U.S. and Mexican aquifer water quality standards in the Sonoran Nogales Wash aquifer. This finding has been supported by lab data from both countries. Additional steps are being discussed with Mexico to locate and assess potential PCE sources in the area.

The ADEQ Direct Binational Approach

A less formal but more direct approach to ADEQ binational activities can be exemplified by the water quality monitoring activities being performed in the eastern part of the Arizona-Sonora border, in the Douglas-Agua Prieta and Ambos Nacos area. These communities are presented with a variety of water quality issues. Groundwater flows generally to Mexico. There is a groundwater sulfate plume produced by leachate from mine tailings located in Arizona with concentrations exceeding the secondary drinking water standards. Also, There is a wastewater treatment plant located in Douglas Arizona which treated effluent is being discharged into Mexico without chlorination (at Mexico’s request). In addition, there is a wastewater treatment lagoon located in Naco, Sonora very close to the international boundary that has overflowed into Arizona in the past.

With assistance and guidance from non-governmental organizations and the University of Sonora, the Sonoran border municipalities of Cananea, Naco, and Agua Prieta implemented a water quality monitoring project to assess the water quality of the three municipal areas, the San Pedro River (which flows to the U.S.), and the Sonora River (not a binational river) to allow for a more thorough depiction of water quality in the northern Sonora, Mexico.

This effort, named the "Sonoran Regional Water Quality Sampling Project," was to provide a baseline of environmental information regarding surface water and groundwater quality in the transboundary watersheds of the region. The University of Sonora’s Department of Scientific Research and Technology ( DICTUS), was subcontracted by the Sonoran municipalities to carry out the water quality monitoring and assessment for this project. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supported this project through a $100,000 grant administered by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

The Sonoran municipalities requested ADEQ support in carrying out this project. ADEQ was prepared to fulfill a supporting role for this Mexican project to enhance binational communication, transboundary relationships, technology transfer, and to develop an enhanced understanding of the environmental conditions in watersheds shared by Arizona and Sonora. ADEQ’s role and participation in this Mexican project was premised upon the prior awareness and approval of appropriate Mexican agencies as demonstrated by the U.S. and Mexico Sections of the IBWC. The enhancement of institutional capacity in Mexico was a primary objective of this project. By collaborating in this effort with ADEQ and the Arizona State Laboratory of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), expertise would be shared with the University of Sonora and the municipalities of Cananea, Naco, and Agua Prieta to facilitate pursuit of environmental assessment and management efforts focused on water quality.

The ADEQ provided laboratory in-kind services for this project for analytical capabilities which had yet to be developed at the University of Sonora. Specifically this included analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and pesticides in samples of water and sediment. The State of Arizona provided up to $20,000 for such analysis of samples collected in Mexico and is helping DICTUS arrange a technology transfer opportunity in Phoenix between personnel from the University of Sonora and the ADHS State Laboratory. The purpose of this technology transfer opportunity is to provide guidance in the event that the University of Sonora in Hermosillo decides to pursue such analytical capabilities.

Phase I of this project was implemented in 1997. Surface water, groundwater, and sediments were sampled for VOCs, major cations and anions, and pesticides. Inorganics analysis were performed by DICTUS. VOCs and pesticides analysis were performed by the ADHS State lab. A sampling plan was developed by DICTUS with ADEQ support. The binational group used the ADEQ bilingual water quality sampling manual as a basis for this sampling plan.

Precision and accuracy objectives were set similarly as those for the Nogales Wash groundwater project. An ADEQ-DICTUS specific Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that clarified the respective institutions roles and data confidentiality was developed for this binational interaction. Because of the specific requirements of the ADEQ-DICTUS MOU, no split samples were sent to Arizona for analysis. The final project report, which had been scheduled for completion in April 1998, has been delayed and unfortunately, no data is available yet to present in this technical paper.

Phase II of this project will expand the monitoring activities on the areas of concern that might be detected during the Phase I. The ADEQ-DICTUS MOU has been amended to include inorganic lab analysis support from the ADHS State lab for this project.

Final Remarks

These projects have provided an opportunity for ADEQ to collaborate in the understanding of the water quality conditions at these binational watersheds. It also has provided the opportunity to exchange and compare sampling methodologies with different Mexican federal and state regulatory agencies. There were no major differences on the water quality sampling methodologies used by both groups. However, major differences in laboratory analytical techniques need to be discussed and understood. There is a need to use performance standard samples in these binational monitoring projects. This understanding will be helpful when exchanging water quality data between both countries during the development of the border water quality environmental indicators taking place within the U.S.-Mexico Border 21 process.

References

Arizona Water Resources Research Center, July 1996. Field Manual for Water Quality Sampling. College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, WRRC IP #18, ADEQ TM-943.

Castañeda, Mario (1995): "U.S./Mexican Binational Ground Water Monitoring Activities In The Ambos Nogales Border Region", XXVI Hydrologists International Congress, June 4-10, 1995, Edmonton, Canada.

Intergovernmental Task Force on Monitoring Water Quality. February 1995. The Strategy for Improving Water-Quality Monitoring in the United States, Final Report.

The Earth Technology Corporation, 1990. Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund, Phase I Report, Nogales Wash Study Area, Task Assignment E-3, Nogales, Arizona, Prepared for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Phoenix, Arizona, Final Draft, March.

The Earth Technology Corporation, 1993. Nogales Wash Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund Study Area, Monitor Well Installation and Groundwater Sampling Plan, Task Assignment ET-19, Nogales, Arizona, Prepared for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Phoenix, Arizona, January.]

The International Boundary and Water Commission, May 1998. Binational Nogales Wash United States/Mexico Groundwater Monitoring Program, Interim Report.

The Udall Center Studies in Public Policy. August 1993. Ambos Nogales Water Resources Study: Santa Cruz Watershed and Nogales, Arizona.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. October 1996. U.S.-Mexico Border XXI Program Frame Document.

Water Desalination Project for Puerto Penasco to be perform by Bouchard Cos. of Scottsdale, Arizona. Source: Phoenix Business Journal, June 20th 2008

A Valley construction management and environmental consulting firm has been awarded a $370,000 feasibility study and preliminary design contract for a water desalination plant in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico.

The deal could set the standard for similar projects -- plants that create pure drinking water from seawater -- around the world. When built out, it will be the largest desalination facility in Latin America, according to Walt Bouchard, president of Bouchard Cos. of Scottsdale, the selected consultant.

"Plants of this nature are being considered wherever there are desert coastal regions all over the world," he said.

Bouchard said his firm was selected from among 58 that expressed interest in the project, which is being administered by the Municipality of Puerto Peñasco. Also known as Rocky Point, the town of about 40,000 people is about 60 miles south of the Arizona-Mexico border, on the Sea of Cortez.

Funding for the study comes from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, an independent economic development organization financed by Congress. Only firms based in the U.S. could bid on the contract.

"The USTDA has a mission to fund projects all over the world ... where U.S. interests are heavily involved," Bouchard said.

Because of U.S. tourism and real estate interests, as well as critical water supply issues, Puerto Peñasco was selected as the site for the plant. Bouchard expects the study to be completed before the end of the year.

But then the critical question will be: Who will pay for the facility?

Bouchard said the need for fresh water is so critical in Puerto Peñasco that developers will line up to help finance the plant. Grants from various international agencies also may be available. U.S. companies that want to develop real estate and other businesses in the area, particularly enterprises based in Tucson and Phoenix, depend on seeing the project completed, he said. Thus, finding the money won't be difficult.

He said it could cost millions of dollars to build the plant, but he would not speculate on specifics.

"It will be easier to fund than it appears at first, because it will be a modular design," Bouchard said.

The cutting-edge technology as well as the publicity generated should entice commercial interest.

Bouchard expects international firms to leap at the opportunity to participate in the project's financing and development.

"I think everyone from GE to Black & Veatch would want to build this thing, but we don't know who is qualified yet," he said.

Although the plant will serve the needs of the population of Puerto Peñasco, the lessons learned ultimately could translate into opportunities for Arizona and other Southwestern states to secure additional water supplies.

Dave Roberts, co-chairman of the water committee for the Arizona-Mexico Commission, said future needs for water in Arizona, Nevada and California are likely to outstrip current resources. Southern California could be particularly vulnerable, with additional growth, an ongoing drought and dwindling supplies.

"California is already moving agricultural water to municipalities. Everybody is looking for ways to augment water supplies, and one of the options is to look at ocean water," Roberts said.

He said talk about desalination methods and processes is becoming more common among water industry professionals, even though the process is expensive and presents a host of environmental concerns. Even so, the growing need for fresh water may tip the balance in favor of desalination.

Bouchard believes Arizona may consider bolstering its water supplies in the long run by working with the Mexican government to create other desalination plants along the Sea of Cortez.

If Arizona in their wisdom were to be interested in desalination, they could look at this particular plant for a lot of important information," Bouchard said. "We want to create the essential knowledge of how to do it right ... what will work technologically, and what is environmentally sensitive."

Fast Facts

Who: Bouchard Cos. of Scottsdale

What: Desalination water facility feasibility study

Contract: $370,000

Where: Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico

Capacity: Initially, 11.4 million gallons of water purified daily; by 2020, 45.6 million gallons daily

Completion: Phase one within three to four years

Web: www.wlbouchard.com

ARIZONA WATER INSTITUTE www.azwaterinstitute.org

The Arizona Water Institute has done an outstanding research on water quality and water needs in Arizona. However, more efforts have to be done on Border Water Resources, quality and needs in the Arizona-Sonora Border region including the Indigenous people of the Tohono Nation.

Introduction

Arizona's three state universities - Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and The University of Arizona have formed a partnership that will position the state as a world leader in water resources management and technology. The primary driver for this initiative is sustaining Arizona's water supply, which is crucial to the state's economy, the health and well-being of its residents, and its natural environment.

Arizona is known worldwide for its innovative water management activities. Although the water issues facing the state are daunting, the state's commitment to long-term water supply availability has resulted in billions of dollars of investment in renewable supplies, innovative regulatory programs, and development of significant institutional capacity.

The Arizona Water Institute (AWI) combines the expertise of Arizona's water managers with the resources of the three universities to support water resources management and technology development in real-world applications. This unique partnership - which also includes three state agencies, Water Resources (ADWR), Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and Commerce (ADoC) - was formed to provide access to hydrologic information, support communities, and develop technologies to promote water sustainability.

Innovation

Building a community - AWI is about people - people building collaborative, multidisciplinary solutions to water management challenges. One of AWI's most significant contributions is facilitating collaborations involving citizens, water managers, agencies, and policy makers and Arizona's universities. It is only through such collaborations to build community that the complexities of the natural, economic, political, and social factors that influence water management can be successfully integrated into sustainable water management decisions.

Future of AWI - AWI is currently supported by the Arizona Board of Regents and the state general fund through an appropriation to the three universities. The universities also provide financial and operational support through other funding sources. AWI plans to be largely self-sustaining through federal grants, foundation support, project-related income, and private donations.

Structure

The Executive Committee provides direction and oversight of AWI activities. It is comprised of:

· the Vice-Presidents for Research at the three universities,

· the Chief of Staff of the governor's office,

· the chair of a 38-member external advisory board, made up of diverse water interests. and

· the Director of the Department of Water Resources (a rotating position among the three state agencies)

The Executive Director reports to the committee. Faculty coordinators on each campus help match resources within the three institutions to AWI projects and ensure the timely completion of projects. Associate Directors located in ADWR, ADEQ, and ADoC ensure that AWI provides the agencies with timely and appropriate support by working on projects and providing technical assistance.

AWI Mission

· Serves as the hub of research, community assistance and analytical support to ensure clean and sustainable water resources;

· Provides education, training, and professional capacity building to citizens and state, local, and tribal government decision makers about conserving and managing water in arid/semi-arid environments; and

· Serves as a driver of economic opportunity by developing water products and services.

Collaborative Research


AWI initiative focus on broad areas of interest critical to governments, industries, and communities:

· Web-based access to water information through the Arizona Hydrologic Information System (AHIS);

· Capacity building/watershed research and support;

· Climate change/drought/adaptation;

· Emerging contaminants and treatment technologies;

· Energy/water stability.

· Salinity management and technologies

Services


AWI provides services to stakeholders, industry, agencies, and communities:

· Water-related data access and retrieval;

· Projects focused on real world solutions;

· Presentations for groups and events;

· Planning support and meeting facilitation for water-related applications;

· Workshops and research proposal development, and

· Technology development and commercialization.

Collaborative teams of university researchers and stakeholders in government, industry, tribes, water companies, watershed alliances, agriculture, and other organizations work to solve the critical water issues facing Arizona and other semi-arid and arid environments.

Accomplishments


In its first year, AWI funded 18 collaborative projects. A key focus is the Arizona Hydrologic Information System (AHIS). Working with partners such as ADWR, ADEQ, and the Salt River Project, AWI is developing the tools to store, access, retrieve, and analyze water information to support water-related decisions, research, planning, education, and outreach. Projects in four other focus areas include:

Water quality/treatment

· Testing of electro coagulation technology in semiconductor manufacturing;

· Analysis of emerging contaminants in water;

· Removal of estrogenic compounds at wastewater treatment plants;

· Development of a sensor for disinfection byproducts in drinking water;

· Development of a drought indicator and trigger for community water systems;

· Increasing water recovery during reverse osmosis treatment of CAP water;

· Evaluation of irrigation controller technologies.

Tribal support

· Assessment of the Navajo Nation's hydroclimate network;

· Development of plans with InterTribal Council of Arizona for tribal water management in Arizona

Watershed Assistance and Facilitation

· Scenario development and visualization for East Valley Water Forum drought planning;

· Review of ADWR Management Plan effectiveness;

· Assessment of environmental flow requirements of the Verde River;

· Development of integrated riparian area monitoring;

· Identification/characterization of heritage waters

Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona's (WIFA)

WIFA is an independent agency of the state of Arizona and is authorized to finance the construction, rehabilitation and/or improvement of drinking water, wastewater, wastewater reclamation, and other water quality facilities/projects.

Generally, WIFA offers borrowers below market interest on loans for one hundred percent of eligible project costs.

As a "bond bank," WIFA is able to issue water quality bonds on behalf of communities for basic water infrastructure. Through active portfolio and financial management, WIFA provides significant savings due to lower interest rates and shared/reduced closing costs. WIFA is able to lower a borrower's interest costs to between 70 and one hundred percent of WIFA's tax-exempt cost of borrowing.

WIFA's principal tools for providing low interest financial assistance include the Clean Water Revolving Fund for publicly held wastewater treatment projects and the Drinking Water Revolving Fund for both publicly and privately held drinking water systems. Both funds are capitalized by contributions from the state and the U.S. Congress.

WIFA also manages a Technical Assistance (TA) program. The TA program offers pre-design and design grants to all eligible wastewater and drinking water systems. Both pre-design and design loans are available. The purpose of the TA program is to enhance project readiness to proceed with a WIFA project construction loan.

Our vision at WIFA is to guide our resources to communities with the greatest need to maintain and enhance Arizona's quality of life.

WIFA's mission is to maintain and improve water quality in Arizona by providing financial assistance and technical assistance for basic water infrastructure.

Arizona Water Resources Research Center

About the WRRC

WRRC MISSION: The University of Arizona's Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) promotes understanding of critical state and regional water management and policy issues through research, community outreach and public education.

The WRRC is committed to:

· assisting communities in water management and policy;

· educating teachers, students and the public about water; and

· encouraging scientific research on state water issues.

Background

A research and extension unit of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the WRRC is the designated state water resources research center established under the 1964 Federal Water Resources Research Act.

The WRRC conducts water policy research and analysis, and its information transfer activities include publications, conferences, lectures, and seminars. Water news and information are provided to the academic community, water professionals, elected and appointed officials, students and the public. The WRRC is one of four University of Arizona water centers responsible for implementing the Water Sustainability Program, which receives funding from The University of Arizona’s Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF).

· State law should be amended to require the Arizona Water Development Board (AWDB) to hold quarterly summits to report the status of each Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP) project pending before the board and the reason for any delays.

The summits should bring together local officials, taxpayers, and colonia residents.

For various reasons, some water projects slated for underserved colonias have been pending before the AWDB since 1992 or longer. But colonia residents--the Arizonans most affected by such delays--have had no regular opportunities to monitor applications or hear explanations for slow progress. The AWDB should conduct the quarterly meetings in an informal setting to inform participants about the status of their particular colonia EDAP application and the reasons for delays. Local residents informed about government delays will be better able to influence decision-makers to move forward with the application process.

· To help raise the standard of living for Border residents, the 2008 Legislature should develop a collaborative economic development strategy for the Border region, with special emphasis on solving regional planning, resource allocation, and accountability problems.

· The Arizona Department of Economic Development (ADED) together with Sonora Government similar Department (Secretaria de Economia) should form task forces comprising government, business, and community leaders from the Border region to collaborate in developing local plans to create an environment and infrastructure to sustain higher standards of living.

A clear and often repeated need expressed by community leaders in interviews with the Comptroller's staff is to develop a shared vision for the Border region into the next century.

ADED and the task forces should hold summit meetings to identify problem areas and changes necessary in workforce preparation, in public and higher education, and in planning, coordinating, and implementing infrastructure projects to better foster economic development in the region.

These task forces should include representatives of business, government, and the greater Border community, including representatives from Mexico, members of the Arizona Regional Councils of County Governments, and the affected Arizona Workforce Commission regions. The task forces should help develop regional development plans on behalf of the Office of Arizona-Mexico Relations and Border regional communities, identifying constraints of and catalysts to development, as well as needed changes in government, business, and community economic development policies.

The issues the summits should identify include:

· How Arizona' higher education institutions could ensure that training facilities are available in the Border region for needed medical professionals;

· How the region could capitalize on the bilingual skills of its residents;

· How the region could develop trade-facilitating jobs in the transportation and distribution industries to take advantage of binational trade increases;

· How the region could promote the further development of maquila operations in northern Sonora, Mexico, while identifying higher-skilled, more capital-intensive companies that provide services to the maquila industry from plants on the Arizona side of the border.

The following organization may be interested in supporting these goals:

SOUTHERN ARIZONA REGIONAL CITIZEN CORPS COUNCIL

FORMED BY THE COUNTIES OF COCHISE, SANTA CRUZ, PIMA AND YUMA

Council Name

SSouthern Arizona Regional Citizen Corps Council

Region Name

SSouthern Arizona Homeland Security Region, Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma Counties

Council Type

CC ounty

Street Address

150 W. Congress Street

Street Address Cont.

SSuite 334

City

TTucson

State

AAZ

Zip Code

85701

Phone Number

520-740-3911

Council's Email

tim.siemsen@pimahealth.org

Status

AApproved

Council Web Site

Council Description

The Southern Arizona Regional Citizen Corps Council encompassing the four counties of the Southern Arizona Homeland Security Region; Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties.

Equitable Allocations

That the border is at an economic disadvantage with respect to most parts of Arizona –the exception will be the poverty, health and educational problems in the Tribal Nations of the State- and the nation is well-documented in this report. State funding formulas, in some cases, have considered the inequitable distribution of resources not only along the Border but wherever they exist in the state. But more widespread adoption of this principle would help this region catch up with the rest of Arizona:

· The 2009 Legislature should make more widespread use of measures of need and the inability to raise local revenues in designing state funding formulas, particularly those requiring local governments match state and federal dollars.

In not requiring economically disadvantaged counties to provide a local share of highway funding to receive state and federal highway funding, the 2008 Legislature made the important statement that the distribution of needs doesn't necessarily match the distribution of tax resources. The Legislature should extend this principle to other instances in which local matching funds are required to receive state or federal assistance.

Important in these funding considerations are the joint effects of the Border region having both high service needs and diminished local revenue capacity. For example, anecdotal evidence indicates that Border students in community colleges may require more developmental courses than students coming from other parts of the state. But, if this increased burden were shifted to the local community college, this would mean imposing above-average costs on a system that has below average capacity to raise funds from their local property tax base.

· The Arizona Department of Housing (ADH) should allocate Arizonas' low income housing tax credits to the Arizona border region based on the region's population.

ADH divides the state into 10 planning regions called Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) regions. Each of these regions should create a Tax Credit Review Board responsible for administering the Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) application process and making tax credit awards. Each region's recommendations would be sent to ADH board members for final approval.

The Tax Credit Review Board would be made up of city and county housing authority representatives. Developers would apply to the regional board. Each board would establish criteria for choosing tax credit projects. This would allow each Texas region to plan strategically in addressing housing needs.

If a regional Tax Credit Review Board failed to award all its federal tax credits within six months of the last program cycle, the region would return those tax credits to the ADH and they would be redistributed to regions that can use them.

ADH should continue to monitor the property granted a tax credit for compliance with Internal Revenue Service rules.

· Smart Jobs grants should be better targeted to companies in regions of the state with the highest unemployment rates and the lowest per-capita income.

The Arizona Department of Economic Development should create a formula for ranking Smart Jobs grant applications that includes a special weight for the per-capita income of the region in relation to the statewide average. Applications that would create jobs in regions with lower per-capita incomes should be given priority.

Quality of Life

Finally, several actions can be taken which will increase the overall quality of life for Border residents by improving the environment and providing needed--and unique-- medical services

· The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should provide funding and technical assistance, through its Border XXI initiative, to expand "sister city" agreements to include other areas of environmental concern as deemed appropriate by local residents.

"Sister city" agreements regarding cooperative response to hazardous waste emergencies are already in place or being negotiated in cities along the U.S.-Mexico border. These agreements provide an excellent model for cross-border cooperation and "bottom-up" decision-making in setting environmental priorities. EPA currently provides funding and advice to support local decision-making during the negotiations for such agreements, but should expand its scope to include air and water quality and hazardous and solid waste disposal issues.

Another important legislation of the Federal Government through the Department of Agriculture and promoted by the ANRCS is The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 that is landmark legislation for conservation funding and for focusing on environmental issues. The conservation provisions help farmers and ranchers meet environmental challenges on their land. This legislation simplifies existing programs and creates new programs to address high priority environmental and production goals. The 2002 Farm Bill enhances the long-term quality of our environment and conservation of our natural resources.

· State law should be amended to authorize the Arizona Natural Resource Conservation Service (ANRCS) to develop a policy for the use of international Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ANRCS have each wielded SEPs as enforcement tools, allowing pollution violators to pay reduced fines by investing in environmental projects that benefit the affected community. Last year, EPA allowed a Nogales or Tucson company to invest in pollution controls in Mexico. State law is silent on whether the ANRCS can develop such arrangements across the border. To date, ANRCC has not determined whether it has such authority.

With a change in state law, ANRCS would have clear authority to develop international solutions by implementing SEPs on both sides of the border. A law authorizing such arrangements would erase any confusion and allow the agency to proceed with innovative approaches.

· Urge the Arizona Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB) to focus research and technology funds on Border environmental issues and to be aware of assessments and evaluations already done regarding the environmental impact of the Border Wall.

AHECB should designate Border environmental needs, including water quality and water availability, as high-priority projects to be funded from the Advanced Research and Advanced Technology programs.

Population growth, the increasing scarcity of water, and problems with water quality, including increased salinity and fecal coliform in the border urban and rural areas, require new, affordable solutions.

Arizona public colleges and universities could apply existing resources to help find answers through innovation and technology, with funding directed by the coordinating board. The board's Advanced Research and Advanced Technology programs should provide certain steady amount of money every two years to fund research projects in priority areas. The AHECB should designate Border environment proposals, including research on water quality and water availability, as a top priority for funding.

· State law should be amended to offer an optional, uniform “promotora” training and licensing program.

The training program, to be used within health science centers, community colleges, and adult/continuing education programs, should include a curriculum building on the Border Vision project through the Arizona Alliance for Safety and Health.

A description of this alliance follows:

Arizona Alliance for Safety & Health

An Alliance between Arizona Division of Occupational Safety & Health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Educational Institutions and the Primary Business, Safety & Health, and Government Organizations in Arizona

General Purpose of Alliance To promote awareness and knowledge of safety and health through the joint efforts of the participants with the primary emphasis on the delivery of safety and health training and education for the benefit of employers and employees in the State of Arizona.


Alliance Participants

§ Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH)

§ Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

§ OSHA Region 9 Education Center, University of California in San Diego

§ Lovitt-Touche Inc.

§ Associated General Contractors - Arizona Chapter (AGC)

§ American Society of Safety Engineers - Arizona Chapter (ASSE)

§ Southwest Safety Training Alliance (SSTA)

§ ETC Compliance Solutions

§ National Safety Congress - Arizona Chapter (NSC)

§ Associated Safety Engineers of Arizona (ASEA)

§ Southwest Safety Congress

§ Klondyke Inc.

§ Workplace Safety Specialists

§ Delta Diversified Electrical

United Rentals

§ Schuff International

§ Achen-Gardner

§ Arizona State University

Name of Alliance: Arizona Alliance for Safety and Health.

Background

Arizona has a mix of industries and businesses, as well as a diversified workforce, which are supported by a sophisticated safety and health community. This gives Arizona an ideal opportunity to serve as a model and a center of excellence for safety and health training and education in the Southwest region.


It is envisioned that businesses and workers in Arizona would collectively benefit from an alliance of responsible business organizations, safety and health associations, educational institutions, and governmental agencies for which the joint goal is promotion of safety and health. Participants recognize that the promotion of safety and health training and education will ultimately better protect workers, reduce costs due to injuries and illnesses, lead to improved working conditions, and result in an institutional improvement in the safety and health profession.

Concept

Participants in the Alliance will meet on a regular basis (quarterly or semi-annually and either in person on via conference telephoning) to assess training and education needs of the occupational safety and health community of Arizona. Participants will also share best practices and ideas on how the Alliance may provide for enhanced safety for workers and for workplaces which may serve as models of excellence in safety and health. Emphasis will be placed on the development and maintenance of a cadre of safety and health professionals which serve the business community in Arizona.


Ideas and consensus recommendations will be promulgated as a workplan which will support the needs of the majority of the participants.


Participation in the Alliance is dependent on the voluntary support of the participants and is non-binding. Participants may choose not to participate at any point they feel the Alliance does not serve their interest.


Objectives

1. Identification of Worker Training Needs

The Alliance will meet to identify safety and health topics and training methodologies desired to support the Arizona business community. The intent would be to list by priority which types of training necessary to educate workers on how to perform their jobs in a more safe and healthful manner. Training might include, for example, formal OSHA certificated classes offered by OSHA’s Region 9 UCSD Education Center, specialized classes brought to Arizona by OSHA’s Training Institute, or seminars presented by ADOSH or OSHA staff, as well as classes offered by the AGC or ASSE.

2. Identification of Training Needed by the Safety & Health Community

Participants will identify the types of training or seminars which would support the professional needs of the safety and health community. The training would also assist employers in meeting the necessary training requirements of the State and Federal regulations. This training could include formal OSHA certificated classes presented by the UCSD Education Center, or by the OSHA Training Institute and may also include ADOSH or OSHA seminars.

3. Identify Methods to Develop a New Cadre of Safety & Health Professional is Arizona

Focus would be on the educational support system in Arizona in development of a new cadre of safety and health professionals. Training would be through the Arizona educational system and offer safety and health courses through the continuing education programs, The goal would be attainment of associated degrees and/or baccalaureate programs for students seeking a career in occupational safety or health. The Alliance would also explore ways in which ADOSH, OSHA, and University of Arizona and Arizona State University Educational Centers on Health Safety as well as other State Community Colleges might support such an effort through the use of lecturers and the offering of OSHA certificated classes. Pima Community College is a good example of increasing collaboration with technical skills in many professional fields useful for the south of Arizona and border region with Sonora.

Other methods of developing such a cadre could include intern programs and job shadowing.

4. Identification of Means to Obtain and Maintain Professional Certification by Safety & Health Professionals in Arizona


Focus would be on obtaining and maintaining the status of Certified Safety Professional, Certificated Industrial Hygienist, Occupational Health and Safety Technologist, and Construction Health and Safety Technicians. Methods would include identification of courses needed for certification and preparation for examinations. The Alliance would identify desired sources for such training and methods for funding.

5. Identification of Methods to Support the Annual Southwest Safety Congress & Exposition

Focus would be on the types of courses and seminars which would make Arizona a recognized Southwest region for safety and health excellence. Methods would include identification of the UCSD Education Center, Arizona State University, and Southwest Training Alliance courses. Methods would also include the identification of subject matter experts that would enhance presentations by the Southwest Safety Congress and Exposition.

6. Identification of Methods of Marketing the Above Objectives

The Alliance would explore methods to advertise and promote the availability of training classes, lecturers, and seminars.

Annual Review of Alliance Once a year, participants will have the opportunity to evaluate the progress of the Alliance and suggest ideas by which the Alliance might be improved. Info: http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/regional/reg9/arizona.html

The curriculum should be developed in conjunction with the Arizona Higher Education Coordinating Board and Arizona Department of Health (ADH). AHECB estimates $500,000 would be needed to develop a curriculum and initiate a licensing or certification body for the first two years.

Furthermore, a licensing or certification body should be created, possibly housed within ADH, to oversee state “promotora” efforts. Licensing or certification fees could be charged on a sliding scale, depending on whether the “promotora” is paid or unpaid, or could be paid by the agency employing the “promotoras”.

· State law should be amended to make promotora services an integral part of publicly funded health insurance programs along the border.

By working with patients on follow-up care, providing house calls, and ensuring compliance, promotoras reduce acute care visits and increase prevention--both proven to be cost-cutting measures--in hard-to-reach communities in the Border region. Under a legislative directive, this concept could be required as a value-added service for health management organizations participating in health care delivery for Medicaid, Healthy Kids, or the federal Children's Health Insurance Program.

THE ARIZONA HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD SHALL:

1. STUDY ENROLLMENT DEMAND AND PROPOSE PUBLIC POLICY OPTIONS TO ACCOMMODATE ANY INCREASE IN DEMAND FOR HIGHER EDUCATION SERVICES, INCLUDING AN EXPANDED ROLE FOR PRIVATE AND NONPROFIT SECTORS IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA.

2. REVIEW AND APPROVE REQUESTS FROM THE ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS AND THE STATE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES FOR NEW CAMPUSES IN BORDER TOWNS OF ARIZONA.

3. ENSURE COORDINATED COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONAL AND CAPITAL PLANNING BETWEEN PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS AND SYSTEMS INCLUDING TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS RELATED TO HIGHER EDUCATION IN ARIZONA TOWNS IN THE BORDER.

4. EXPLORE THE FEASIBILITY OF SELECTIVELY CONVERTING STRATEGICALLY LOCATED REGIONAL COMMUNITY COLLEGES INTO FOUR-YEAR STATE COLLEGES IN THE BORDER REGION.

5. EXPLORE THE FEASIBILITY OF LINKING THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS OF SPECIFIC COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND SPECIFIC UNIVERSITIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS.

6. ENCOURAGE THE DEVELOPMENT OF COORDINATED PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND DISTANCE LEARNING CAPABILITIES, INCLUDING THE UTILIZATION OF EXISTING FACILITIES THAT ARE PRIMARILY USED FOR KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS AND PUPILS IN GRADES ONE THROUGH TWELVE FOR THE BORDER REGION.

7. PREPARE AN ANNUAL REPORT THAT SUMMARIZES ITS FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, INCLUDING ENROLLMENT TRENDS AND OTHER DATA, TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE GOVERNOR BY SEPTEMBER 1.

Sec. 2. Title 41, chapter 27, article 2, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 41-3006.01, to read:

41-3006.01 . Arizona higher education coordinating board; termination July 1, 2006

Nogales Port Authority Meets with University of Arizona South, September 2008

Members of the Greater Nogales and Santa Cruz County Port Authority met with representatives of the University of Arizona and University of Arizona South to discuss the University’s expansion into Nogales. The group discussed area needs for a local workforce, including four-year degrees and continuing education classes that would benefit the community and help businesses find qualified staff for positions in the community. The UofA South will be sending out a survey in the next several days requesting feedback on the types of higher education and continuing education coarse work that would benefit the community. The FPAA will be forwarding this survey to members to obtain your feedback on the needs of the produce industry. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions or comments regarding the UofA South campus in Nogales , please send them to Allison Moore at the FPAA office.

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA INITIATIVE FOR THE BORDER REGION ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSERVATION POLICIES TO BE ENHANCED.

Rep. Grijalva Introduces Legislation to Protect and Conserve Public Lands Along Border

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva introduced legislation that will help secure and conserve public and tribal lands and natural resources along the international land borders of the United States.


The Borderlands Conservation and Security Act of 2007 will help mitigate damage to Federal and tribal lands from illegal border activity and border enforcement efforts by increasing coordination and planning between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal land management agencies and tribes.

The legislation will also correct existing policies and allow the flexibility for a local approach to border security, instead of mandating an unrealistic and harmful wall.

“Current policy has driven crossing activity to remote isolated areas along the border, which in Southern Arizona, represent significant public and tribal lands,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Many of these lands have suffered extensive environmental degradation as a result of unauthorized activity and border security efforts. This bill is the first step in preserving our unique natural heritage while we protect our borders.”

The Borderlands Conservation and Security Act will:

1. Develop a Border Protection Strategy that supports border security efforts while also protecting federal lands;

2. Provide for flexibility rather than a one size fits all approach to border security by allowing experts at DHS to decide whether fences, virtual fences, border barriers or other options are the best way to address border security;

3. Allow land managers, local officials, and local communities to have a say in border security decisions;

4. Ensure that laws intended to protect air, water, wildlife, culture, and health and safety are fully complied with; and,

5. Fund initiatives that will help mitigate damage to borderland habitat and wildlife.

The Secure Fence Act and REAL ID promote a “one fence fits all” solution and hamper the ability of local experts to implement security measures that would be more effective and low-impact in the border environment. Constructing a fence along the border would be completely impractical over the rugged terrain of the mountains and deserts and would be disastrous to the fragile border ecosystem.

“This multi-disciplinary approach is the correct path to address the growing crisis in a rapidly changing geopolitical reality,” stated Grijalva. “The Borderlands Conservation and Security Act will strengthen border security and protect the environment by allowing all the agencies to work together cooperatively.”

Rep. Grijalva Reintroduces Legislation to Protect Tumamoc Hill, Other Lands in Pima County

Washington, D.C. -- Representative Raúl M. Grijalva reintroduced legislation on Tuesday to exchange lands in Pima County and protect state trust land on Tumamoc Hill.

The legislation would allow the County to acquire Tumamoc Hill on Tucson’s west side and would take two private parcels into federal ownership that would then be added to the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area and Saguaro National Park’s west side unit. The new bill revises similar legislation from the 108th and 109th Congresses. The updated language adds the Bloom property, which will become part of Saguaro National Park.

The land exchange involves four parcels of land. A 1,280 acre Bureau of Land Management parcel near Sahuarita would be exchanged for a 2,490 acre private parcel near Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, and the 160 acre Bloom parcel, also in private ownership at this time. As a condition of the exchange, the private developers receiving the BLM parcel would be required to pay the State of Arizona the appraised value for Tumamoc Hill. The legislation then requires Tumamoc Hill to be transferred to Pima County for permanent protection.

"I'm proud to announce the reintroduction of this bill today, a bill that will permanently preserve important open space, especially Tumamoc Hill," Rep. Grijalva stated. "In my position as Chairman of the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee with jurisdiction over this matter, I plan to move the bill forward with a hearing early this year."

The legislation preserves the application of environmental protection laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.

The University of Arizona (UA) just received a $1.5M federal earmark administered through the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set up a Binational Center to resolve environmental health challenges along the US-Mexico Border. The Binational Center fosters partnership between UA scientists from six colleges with Mexican scientists from 10 different universities and research institutes. The multidisciplinary international team will jointly conduct collaborative research and human capacity building activities in the areas of environmental science and toxicology.

The Border region between the US and Mexico is an area of mass migration associated with a huge increase in manufacturing, agriculture, and trade. The population growth has outstripped the capacity of local municipalities to provide adequate water, sanitation, and basic health services. As a result, Border populations are exposed daily to a wide variety of pollutants that are linked to increased incidences of health problems, especially among children. Over 2,700 Border industries (Maquiladoras) contribute to the uncontrolled disposal of large quantities of hazardous waste. Mexican Border States generate an estimated 12,700,100 tons of hazardous waste per year. Approximately, 50% of the municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in Mexico end up in uncontrolled dumps. As a consequence numerous Mexican cities are faced with groundwater threatened by landfill leachates. Border populations are also exposed to high levels of metals via mining and metal processing industries that threaten limited groundwater supplies. Mine tailing piles are also a persistent source of metal-laden dust. Groundwater is also affected by natural background levels of arsenic which are alarmingly high in certain areas of Northern Mexico, including the Border State of Sonora.

Lastly, the intensive use of pesticides in the Border region has resulted in increased exposure to organic contaminants such as organophosphates and organochlorines.

The environmental contaminants found in the Border region are the same ones that have already been the topic of research for many years as part of UA’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) – Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP). The outreach core of the SBRP has interacted with Mexican scientist for over ten years on resolving environmental health and contamination issues plaguing the Border. The concept for a Binational Center evolved from these interactions. In 2003, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Mexico’s Science and Education Ministry (CONACyT) and the University of Arizona formalizing the Binational Center for Environmental Science and Toxicology.

The UA has been active since then, seeking additional funds to support the Binational Center beyond those provided by the SBRP outreach core ($75,000/y). In 2004, funding of $300,000 from the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) of was obtained to support international exchange of graduate students and training workshops. In 2005, CONACyT contributed $100,000 in support of the Binational Center emphasizing the importance of the MOU to the Mexican government.

The latest funding addition is the $1,460,000 federal Congressional earmark announced here. This Special Appropriations from fiscal year 2005 will be administered through two EPA grants. The newly drafted strategic plan of the NIEHS for 2006-2011 has listed the development of a global health program as one of its seven major goals. The Binational Center is a prime example on how to achieve this goal.

The mission of the Binational Center is to provide and support environmental science and toxicology training, research, and policy development as well as facilitate a binational dialogue between investigators and stakeholders concerning risk assessment and remediation of hazardous environmental contaminants that are prevalent in the Border region. The specific objectives are as follows:

· To increase the capacity of stakeholders to handle common environmental problems through student exchange and training workshops;

· To support collaborative research between investigators from the US and Mexico on risk assessment and clean-up of environmental contaminants

· To promote technology transfer by training Mexican professionals with advanced techniques in disciplines such as toxicology and environmental engineering; and

· To sponsor specialized meetings were stakeholders and specialists can discuss local concerns regarding environmental health and environmental contaminants

The stated objectives will be met by the following Binational Center activities:

Training Fellowships: Scholarships will be available for Mexican Ph.D. students to enhance their capacity in environmental science, engineering, or toxicology.

Specialized Workshops/Meetings: These workshops target graduate students, environmental professionals, and university faculty interested in topics ranging from the bioremediation of environmental contaminants to the impacts of heavy metals on children.

Collaborative Projects: To address common environmental contamination problems within the Border region, the following collaborative studies will be undertaken:

· Arsenic and Health - Diabetes and Breast Cancer in the U.S.-Mexico Border

Long-Term Effects of Heavy Metals on Children’s Health

· Landfill Leachate Plumes - Characterization, natural attenuation, and bioremediation

· Mine Tailings – Characterization, phytostabilization and phytoremediation

Spanish Language Online Textbooks and Information Sheets: To further support capacity building and education outreach efforts within border communities, Spanish language textbooks and information sheets will be developed within environmental legislation, environmental engineering/science, and environmental toxicology.

Outreach to Border Communities: Bilingual community meetings on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border will be organized as a forum for stakeholders to obtain information on local environmental and environmental health issues.

Who is involved? Principle investigators from six of UA’s colleges will be working together with Mexican scientists from 10 research institutes and universities as well as program officers from federal agencies (e.g. EPA Region 9).

UA Colleges involved:

College of Pharmacy

College of Engineering

College of Science

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

College of Public Health

College of Medicine

Mexican Research Institutes and Universities:

Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV)
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

Universidad Autónoma de San Luís Potosí (UASLP)

Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango (UJED)

Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Torreón (UACT)

Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE)

Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora (ITSON)

Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Iztapalapa

Universidad de Sonora (USON)

Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero (UAG)

Together, the US and Mexico will tackle environmental health challenges along the US-Mexico Border. The Binational Center will empower students, professionals and researchers with the tools to address environmental health threats, while celebrating the power of partnership and teamwork. The Center’s mission and objectives provide a unique foundation for collaborative and interdisciplinary work that can be considered a model for future US-Mexico Border relations as well as other partnerships for global environmental health.

Southwest Hazardous Waste Program

University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy, Room 136

PO Box 210207, Tucson, AZ, USA 85721-0207

superfund-info@pharmacy.arizona.edu
520-626-7101
520-626-2466(FAX)

US-Mexico Binational Center for Environmental Studies and Toxicology

-Atlas de Arizona-Sonora: crecimiento y cambio en la región binacional

MONTO: $12,000 US


LÍDERES DEL PROYECTO: Vera Pavlakovich-Kochi, Pablo Wong González


INSTITUCIONES: University of Arizona y el Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo

Este proyecto de colaboración binacional creó el primer atlas bilingüe electrónico de la región Arizona-Sonora, y estableció la presencia electrónica de la región. El proyecto presentó información coordinada e indicadores de la región. que ayudan en los procesos de toma de decisión y actividades generales relacionadas con las áreas sociales, económicas y de desarrollo sostenible de Arizona y Sonora. El E-Atlas proporciona un acceso fácil a una variedad de usuarios, incluyendo a agencias gubernamentales, negocios, comunidades, instituciones de educación e investigación, y organizaciones no-gubernamentales.

NEIGHBORING IN THE GLOBAL VILLAGE: NORTH AMERICAN COOPERATION AND COLLABORATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION. A CONTEXT FOR THE PROGRAM FOR NORTH AMERICAN MOBILITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

$8 | 45pp. | 2002 | Pub. #2A347

Qty.

An essay on the development and effectiveness of the Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education--a program jointly run by FIPSE (USA), HRDC (Canada) and SEP (Mexico). Available only in English.

Arizona Governor's Policy Priorities

"Arizona's economy is dramatically strengthened by business, social and cultural interaction with Mexico... A strong relationship with Mexico and strategies for regional development are crucial to the enhancement of Arizona's global competitiveness." - Governor Janet Napolitano

Here's how the AMC is supporting Governor Napolitano's policy priorities...

The AMC shall:

  1. Support Arizona's advocacy for the federal government to develop coordinated national policy for comprehensive immigration reform and to enhance information and intelligence exchange throughout the U.S.-Mexico region.
  2. Pioneer joint efforts to secure the Arizona-Mexico region with cross-border state and local government efforts, including implementing binational public safety initiatives that streamline law enforcement and communications systems to assist Arizona and Mexico when responding to disasters, fighting crime and preventing illegal immigration.
  3. Support creation and implementation of cross-border technology initiatives to strengthen collaboration between Arizona and Mexico to improve emergency and crime response times.

Expand Trade for Arizona

The AMC shall:

  1. Collaborate with Mexico on investments in security and safety at Arizona's ports of entry in order to make Arizona's ports to the most advanced and efficient along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  2. Develop strategies to increase Arizona's global competitiveness by increasing efficiency at our ports of entry, creating cross-border private sector connections, and collaborating with agencies and organizations in the public and private sectors to coordinate policy for secure, lawful international trade.

Promote Regional Economic Development

The AMC shall:

  1. Coordinate, facilitate and manage special projects and research opportunities as they relate to Arizona's global competitiveness relative to other U.S.-Mexico border states, and develop binational investment initiatives and opportunities to strengthen our border region and stimulate the economies along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  2. Assist counties and municipalities, including border communities, in facilitating sustainable economic development.
  3. Support development of a global brand for Arizona, through our relationship with Mexico, to raise foreign and domestic capital for our economy and foster business innovation for the region.
  4. Help organize community partnerships that will stimulate new technologies, markets and approaches to cross-border economic development that promotes smart, sustainable growth to benefit our residents.

Quality of Life

The AMC shall:

  1. Commission studies and research to assess trends and develop solutions as necessary for current and future needs the Arizona-Mexico Region.
  2. Promote intelligent community development, focusing on quality education, healthcare, safety, security infrastructure and economic development.
  3. Support implementation of the State's plan for a future that capitalizes on innovation and technology in our schools, promotes regional healthy life style programs, improves our ports of entry, and develops transportation systems to accommodate the needs of ourselves and our children.

Cultural Enrichment in the Region

The AMC shall:

  1. Maintain existing cultural exchanges between Arizona and Mexico.
  2. Develop and implement educational programs that honor our diversity, but focus on the uniting principle that while we are many lands, many people, many faiths, we are One Region.
  3. Expand opportunities, through partnerships with binational art and cultural organizations, for regional artists to participate in events and publicly share their work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
  4. Continue to share and raise awareness of artistic and cultural history of our region by promoting cross-border teaching by regional artists throughout classrooms in Arizona and Mexico.

Governors Increase Emergency Help, Fight Border Violence

AMC Media Release


Media Contact: Nancy Dueñas


Ph: (602) 542-1346


E-mail: nduenas@az.gov


Web: http://www.azmc.org/

June 23, 2008

For Immediate Release

GOVERNORS INCREASE EMERGENCY HELP, FIGHT BORDER VIOLENCE
International partnerships improve border security, quality of life, infrastructure

PHOENIX - Governor Janet Napolitano and Sonoran Governor Eduardo Bours Castelo signed eight agreements addressing drug and weapon trafficking, felony fugitives, emergency response and border infrastructure in the Arizona-Sonora region at the Arizona-Mexico Commission's (AMC) 2008 Summer Plenary Session.

"As neighbors, collaboration is essential to our success in combating issues affecting the region," said Governor Napolitano. "Not only will partnerships advance our global competitiveness, but more importantly it will improve the quality of life for Arizonans and Sonorans."

To expand cooperation between Arizona and Sonora, Governors Bours and Napolitano signed the following agreements:

  • Expansion of eTrace - Provides a secure Web based method to effectively and efficiently trace firearms recovered in crimes and reduce the number of illegal weapons moving through Arizona. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will provide training to Sonoran police on how to identify guns, ammunition and explosives; recover obliterated serial numbers on guns; and record the information.
  • Expansion of State Fugitive and Felony Detail - Builds upon the directive from Governor Napolitano to the Arizona Department of Public Safety to develop a task force to identify and catch fugitives in Arizona. Now the mission includes fugitives in both states with intelligence sharing and training between Arizona and Sonora law enforcement. The agreement also addresses the extradition issues to enhance the return of criminals to the appropriate state for prosecution.
  • Illegal Narcotics Agreement - Shares intelligence between officials in both states regarding drug trafficking organizations that use Arizona as a gateway into the U.S. This program will allow the U.S. to prosecute Mexican nationals arrested on American soil for smuggling narcotics.
  • AZ3D Agreement - Spurs the exploration of sharing cross-border geospatial information among first responders, homeland security personnel and emergency managers during a crisis.
  • Border Emergency Agreement - Allows for the closest response team to provide help to citizens on either side of the border in emergency situations.
  • 2015 Border Infrastructure Plan -Supports full cross-border coordination and cooperation for all Port of Entry projects and will educate stakeholders about the growth in commercial traffic at border entry points.
  • Health Highways Agreement - Increases community awareness of the public health problem and better protect the residents of this region by coordinating the sharing of educational information regarding highway safety and promoting the coordination of education campaigns.
  • Tri-National Emergency Response Plan - Provides emergency notification and communication, routine emergency planning and cross-border emergency planning, coordinated between the states of Arizona and Sonora and the Tohono O'odham Nation.

During this year's plenary, Professional Medical Transportation (PMT) Ambulance donated an ambulance to Puerto Penasco, Sonora. Additionally, the city of Hermosillo, Sonora received a van equipped to help the disabled as part of a joint donation effort between Phoenix Sister Cities and Veolia Transportation.

The AMC Plenary Session united approximately 500 people. Governors Napolitano and Bours met with public and private sector business leaders, legislators, policy influencers and community leaders from Arizona and Mexico to connect communities, change business and affect state policy to enhance the economy and quality of life in the Arizona-Sonora region.

###

The Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) is connecting communities and changing business in the Arizona-Sonora region. For media information, please contact Nancy Dueñas, assistant director of marketing and communications for the Arizona-Mexico Commission at (602) 542-1346, or by e-mail at nduenas@az.gov. We are the bridge between cross-border entities of common interest in the governmental, business and academic communities. Visit the AMC online at http://www.azmc.org/.

Governors Work To Stop Flow Of Guns, Fugitives

AMC Media Release

Media Contact: Nancy Dueñas
Ph: (602) 542-1346
E-mail: nduenas@az.gov
Web: http://www.azmc.org/

June 21, 2008
For Immediate Release

New Security Agreements Signed

PHOENIX - The Governors of Arizona and Sonora have announced new action to stem the flow of illegal weapons and to capture fugitive felons in the United States and Mexico. Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Governor Eduardo Bours Castelo of Sonora signed the agreements today in Phoenix at a meeting of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

"Violence at the international border affects all of us," said Governor Napolitano. "These new plans allow an unprecedented level of cooperation between law enforcement officers on both sides of the border."

The first agreement, "eTrace," allows an exchange of training and information to effectively and efficiently trace firearms used to commit crimes on either side of the border. The agreement expands on the work of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) regarding how to identify guns, ammunition, and explosives; recover obliterated serial numbers on guns; and to use the secure web-based program to record and exchange the information.

The existing program has already been effective: in 2007, 238 weapons - confiscated at crime scenes in Mexico - were traced back to Arizona. The expanded program will increase that enforcement work, with a particular focus on disrupting the organized arms trade. With the help of the Department of Public Safety, ATF and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the cities of Nogales and Douglas will pilot the program; the city of San Luis, Yuma County and the Tohono O'odham Nation will also participate.

"Our strong partnership with Arizona allows us to join forces in a way that truly benefits our entire region," said Sonora's Governor Bours.

The second agreement builds on the felony fugitive warrant task force (VCAT, or Violent Criminal Apprehension Team) created by Governor Napolitano in May. That Executive Order focused on tracking down violent felons in Arizona, particularly those involved in the smuggling of drugs and human beings. Today's agreement extends the mission to also target felons in Sonora. The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) will share with Sonora its secure database of felony warrants, and will train Sonoran law enforcement officers on identification, apprehension and extradition of U.S. felons located in Mexico. Sonoran law enforcement will do the same, sharing data, intelligence and training.

The Governors took their action as part of the 2008 Summer Plenary Session of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. AMC was established in 1959 with the goal to facilitate cross-border communication, cooperation and development to improve the quality of life on both sides of the international border.

List of Web Site Resources put together by the AMC

The AMC assumes no responsibility for the content or maintenance of the following sites. Rather, we have merely provided an avenue for you to visit sites that address contemporary Arizona-Mexico related issues. If you have any questions, or suggestions for additional links, please click here:

AMC Partners

Arizona Grants Access Tool and Experts Source (AzGATES)

http://www.azgates.org

Arizona Border Infrastructure Project (BIP)

http://www.azbip.org

State of Arizona

State of Arizona


http://www.az.gov/

Arizona Legislature Online


http://www.azleg.state.az.us

State of Arizona Trade Office in Sonora

www.arizonainsonora.com

Border Related Organizations

Border Governor's Conference

http://www.gobernadoresfronterizos.org

Border Trade Alliance

http://www.thebta.org

CANAMEX
http://www.canamex.org

Center for Arizona/Sonora Regional Tourism Development

http://www.arizona-sonora.com/

Comisión Sonora-Arizona
http://csa.gob.mx/

Office of Economic Development, Arizona State University

http://researchnet.asu.edu

Office of Economic Development, University of Arizona

http://oed.arizona.edu

Office of Pan American Initiatives, Arizona State University

http://www.asu.edu/opi

National Law Center For Inter-American Free Trade

http://www.natlaw.com

North American Center for Transborder Studies

http://www.asu.edu/clas/nacts

Southwest Center for Environmental Research and Policy
http://www.asu.edu/ces/SCERP.htm

U.S. Government and International Agencies

U.S. Congress

http://www.house.gov

U.S. Senate

http://www.senate.gov

U.S. Government

http://www.firstgov.gov

THOMAS Federal Legislation Tracking

http://www.thomas.loc.gov

White House

http://www.whitehouse.gov

U.S. Department Homeland Security

http://www.dhs.gov

U.S. Department of State

http://www.state.gov

U.S. Embassy in Mexico

http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov

World Bank
http://www.worldbank.org

Inter-American Development Bank
http://www.iadb.org

International Monetary Fund
http://www.imf.org

North American Development Bank
http://www.nadbank.org

U.S. Department of Commerce, Arizona Export Assistance Center http://www.buyusa.gov/arizona

U.S. International Trade Commission
http://www.usitc.gov

U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce
http://www.usmcoc.org

NAFTA Resources

NAFTA Center
http://www.nafta-customs.org

NAFTA Secretariat
http://www.nafta-sec-alena.org

NAFTA Works
http://www.naftaworks.org

Mexico: Economic and Financial Indicators

Banamex
http://www.banamex.com

Bolsa Mexicana de Valores
http://www.bmv.com.mx

Consejo Nacional de la Industria Maquiladora de Exportación
http://www.cnime.org.mx

National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Information
http://www.inegi.gob.mx

Federal Government

Bancomext
http://www.bancomext.gob.mx

Cámara de Diputados
http://www.cddhcu.gob.mx

Cámara de Senadores
http://www.senado.gob.mx

Comisión Reguladora de Energía (CRE)
http://www.cre.gob.mx

Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix, Arizona
http://www.sre.gob.mx/phoenix

Embassy of Mexico in U.S.
http://www.embassyofmexico.org

Mexico Government
http://www.sre.gob.mx/mexico/info_general.htm

Presidencia de la Republica
http://www.presidencia.gob.mx

Back to top

Border and CANAMEX States

State of Baja California
http://www.bajacalifornia.gob.mx

State of Chihuahua
http://www.chihuahua.gob.mx

State of Coahuila
http://www.coahuila.gob.mx

Federal District
http://www.df.gob.mx

State of Jalisco
http://www.jalisco.gob.mx

State of Nayarit
http://www.nayarit.gob.mx

State of Nuevo Leon
http://www.nuevoleon.gob.mx

State of Sinaloa
http://www.sinaloa.gob.mx

State of Sonora
http://www.sonora.gob.mx

State of Tamaulipas
http://www.tamaulipas.gob.mx

ARIZONA AND SONORA HAVE TO WORK AS A REGION

“It’s because we have to work as a region”

August 4th, 2008 by Wendy Vittori

In a pair of interviews appearing in The Arizona Republic’s Sunday, Aug. 3 “Viewpoints” section, Gov. Janet Napolitano and Gov. Eduardo Bours shared their views on the opportunities and challenges facing our two states, joined together in so many ways by geography and history. The above quote from Gov. Bours came in response to a question about his perspective on NAFTA. He went on to say, “If we can see the three countries [Mexico, the United States and Canada] as a region, it would be a lot better.”

Gov. Napolitano’s comments pointed to eight agreements have been enacted between Arizona and Sonora this year, including “a regional economic development initiative to promote business investment in the area; and multiple efforts to improve inspections and conditions at the ports of entry.”

These comments from both governors are aligned with our viewpoint at ASMI - that there is significant unrealized opportunity available in our region from working hard to find ways to capitalize on complementary skills and capabilities between the two states. By seeing our border as an opportunity, the perspective can and will change to how to innovate and create a differentiated position that will benefit residents and businesses. This is particularly true at the present moment when the costs, both financial and environmental, from a massive and still growing reliance on offshore manufacturing has snapped into focus due to soaring fuel costs.

The momentum from this shift in perspective can and will inject new energy and increased resources to assist in meeting many of the more familiar challenges — if we put our attention here. The real challenge may be this — to what extent are we, as residents of this region, ready to embrace the positive opportunities that clearly exist, roll up our sleeves, and invest together to bring our region to a next level of prosperity?

For the full text of these interviews, see

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/2008/08/03/20080803vip-bours0803.html and

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/2008/08/03/20080803vip-nap

ASU launches North American Transborder Studies Center

Arizona State University, PO Box 878105, Tempe, AZ 85287-8105
Phone: (480) 965-1846 | Fax: (480) 965-6149 | nacts@asu.edu

What are the economic and cultural impacts of having an immigrant population? What are the best ways to move goods across North America? What are the quality-of-life issues faced by those living in border towns?

These and many other questions will drive the work of a new tri-national center headquartered at ASU.

The North American Center for Transborder Studies (NACTS) brings together research faculty from Canada , the United States and Mexico to collaborate with local communities, governmental officials and public agencies on challenging issues associated with border regions. It aims to influence global consideration of border issues by contributing a collaborative North American research-based perspective.

According to ASU officials, it is the only organization of its kind.

“To our knowledge, no other center in North America focuses attention on the three North American countries,” says Alan Artibise, executive dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and dean of the college's Division of Social Sciences. “Several other centers exist, but they tend to focus on Canada-U.S or U.S.-Mexico relationships. NACTS is focused on all three countries and the issues that face them.”

The North American Center for Transborder Studies exemplifies ASU President Michael Crow's vision for ASU to forge partnerships with peer institutions around the world and make an institutional commitment to global engagement.

“ASU's faculty is poised to look at what may seem like ‘old' questions in new and challenging ways, with transdisciplinary collaboration,” says Amira De la Garza, acting director of the North American Center for Transborder Studies. “The idea of addressing the concept of North American collaboration is challenging and has aroused a growing number of scholars on ASU's campuses to look at border issues in ways that are innovative and progressive – with the promise of contributing to global scholarship that is embedded in the communities affected by the very issues we address. Although we're ‘on the border' literally, so to speak, it's the new intellectual entrepreneurial attitude that we're trying to shape that makes ASU the type of institution where such a project can root itself and grow.”

The center will provide multiple perspectives and have four key policy areas of research:

• Immigration and social policy – From the economic and cultural effects of international migration to balancing concerns about justice and security, NACTS is committed to advancing research on 21st century legal, institutional and policy issues on borders.

• Health and quality of life – The center embraces the challenge of working with governmental agencies and community-based organizations to research, discuss and make efforts to improve the health and quality of life of border populations.

• Environmental issues across borders – NACTS joins a host of other agencies and nonprofits in researching environmental issues and it will work with its partners to provide public forums that address and respond to the need for sustainable development.

• Social and cultural issues of border regions – NACTS is committed to scholarship that delves into the unique nature of social problems affecting border populations. Research will examine notions of hybridity while simultaneously considering complex cultural histories.

Additionally, NACTS is building a research focus on economics and transportation, led by Stephen Blank, advisory board member and research fellow, and professor of international business and management at Pace University 's Lubin School for Business. He is the founder of the Pan American Partnership for Business Education.

NACTS has established an advisory board under the leadership of board chair Raul Rodríguez, former chief executive officer of North American Development Bank. One of the first activities will be the board's inaugural meeting this semester.

NACTS also is collaborating with Colegio de la Frontera (COLEF), a Tijuana-based think tank, and York University in Canada to debut its perspectives at the international conference on borders, which will be held in Ensenada in May. More than 500 scholars from throughout Latin America and other world nations will attend this conference.

Three faculty representatives and advisory board members of the North American Center for Transborder Studies – Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez from ASU, Daniel Drache from York University and Rodolfo Cruz Piñeiro, president of COLEF – will present their visions of the collaborative work ahead at the international conference.

For more information, visit the NACTS Web site at (www.asu.edu/clas/nacts).

Sharon Keeler, sharon.keeler@asu.edu

480-965-4012

Media Relations

NORTH AMERICAN TRANSBORDER STUDIES CENTER AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

As a New American University, Arizona State University promotes excellence in its research and among its students and faculty, increases access to its educational resources and works with communities to positively impact social and economic development. The North American Center for Transborder Studies embodies the New American University design aspirations of global engagement, social embeddedness and societal transformation in all of its projects and initiatives by linking research efforts at ASU and our partner universities to key partners in government, the private sector and civil society.

Our highly collaborative work brings significant, transdisciplinary human capital to bear on a number of key North American issues. NACTS' activities are focused on four key areas of engagement:


Enhancing Continental Trade and Competitiveness

The North American Center for Transborder Studies leverages initiatives and key partnerships -- such as NACTS' North American Transportation Competitiveness Research Council -- with the ultimate goal of enhancing quality of life for all citizens of North America.


Advancing Best Practices on Borders

NACTS actively engages policymakers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico to collaboratively build best practices in border management.


Improving and Protecting the Transborder Environment

By working with multiple partners on projects to enhance environmental quality, ecological integrity and sustainability the North American Center for Transborder Studies helps to build a more sustainable future for the region.


Building Public Awareness of Shared North American Interests

The North American Center for Transborder Studies increases public understanding of key issues that will affect the future of North America via courses, intensive trainings, public events and accessible research findings that impact public policy.

ASU plays key role in Homeland Security project

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has selected Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and a team of other research universities to develop new technologies and training programs that will enhance the nation’s security.

The University of Arizona will lead the research efforts for the new Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration, and the University of Texas at El Paso will lead its educational components. Arizona State University will play a key role on the research team. The center will receive $15 million over six years.

The establishment of the center by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security follows more than two years of work assembling a team of U.S. universities, Mexican and Canadian institutions, government agencies, technology companies and national laboratories.

Research at the center will focus on new technologies such as surveillance, screening, data fusion and situational awareness using sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and other technologies. The center will also provide research on population dynamics, immigration administration and enforcement, operational analysis, control and communications, immigration policy, civic integration and citizenship, border risk management and international governance.

Educational programs will include training programs to develop science, technology and management solutions to prepare the next generation of border security professionals while further enhancing the skills of personnel currently in the field. The center will also provide tools and practices that can be rapidly deployed to end users.

“This partnership demonstrates the Arizona’s leadership in research activities in the area of border security and immigration,” said ASU Vice President of Research and Economic Affairs R.F. “Rick” Shangraw, Jr. “ASU’s active research programs in wireless communications, supply chain management, international conflict and transportation security will make significant contributions to this center of excellence.”

Rick Van Schoik, who is the director of ASU’s North American Center for Transborder Studies will lead ASU’s participation in the Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration. Researchers across many units at ASU will be participating in the center.

“ASU has tremendous expertise in areas which directly relate to borders, security and immigration,” said Van Schoik. “This partnership will result in multi-university, multi-disciplinary approaches to long standing and complex challenges.”

Skip Derra, skip.derra@asu.edu

480-965-4823

Media Relations

North American Awareness: main facts of Canada,USA and Mexico.

Land and Population:

Land Population (2007)* Immigrants (2005)** Emmigrants (2005)**

Total

% of population

Total

% of population

Canada

9,971,000 sq km

32,900,000

6,105,772

18.9

1,340,248

4.2

United States

9,373,000 sq km

302,200,000

38,354,709

12.9

2,261,443

0.8

Mexico

1,973,000 sq km

106,500,000

644,361

0.6

11,506,616

10.7


*SOURCE: Population Reference Bureau
**SOURCE: World Bank, "Migration and Remittances Fact Book 2008"

National Borders:

3,987 miles

/

Length

Population


U.S. - Canada

1,952 miles

11.8 million

U.S. - Mexico

Migration in the United States:

Total

% of population

38,354,709

12.9

Immigrants

820,000

0.3

Canadian-born in U.S.

9.9 million

3

Mexican-born

330,000

Legal permanent residents from Canada

3.3 million

Legal permanent residents from Mexico

2,261,443

0.8

Emmigrants

SOURCE: Migration Policy Institute

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2 Comments:

At October 19, 2008 at 10:24 PM , Blogger LaClau said...

Hola Bernardo,
No paras!!! En qué cantidad de proyectos y cosas estás. Qué bárbaro.
Gracias por visitar mi cafeteado rincón!
Saludos desde el DF.
Claudia

 
At March 8, 2009 at 8:28 PM , Blogger Bernardo Mendez-Lugo said...

Hola Querida Claudia, no habia tenido tiempo de ver tu comentario, hasta hoy que entre a mi blog. Espero verte en mi fiesta en Coyoacan el 20 de marzo en casa de Tania, te escribire para darte la direccion de su casa, un abrazo, Bernardo

 

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