Mexican Environmental Negotiations Lessons from the Gray Whale Controversy

The gray whale controversy reveals that more diverse interests are making their voices heard within environmental "negotiations" and the decision-making process in Mexico. Although these are not formal negotiations as conceptualized within developed, democratic nations, this informal bargaining on the part of non-traditional actors has opened the door to greater transparency and public participation within Mexico's environmental decision-making. Additionally, as governmental agencies expand their powers and as non-traditional actors take advantage of opportunities within the press and legal systems, more voices will be included in environmental negotiations, possibly leading to a more formally inclusive negotiation process in the future.

Within Mexico, a continuing transition to greater democracy, and thus more transparency and public participation, insures a changing constellation of actors as new groups and organizations come onto the scene. Increasing levels of interaction among these organizations, and the taste of success, has brought increasing pressure for more widely distributed information about environmental conditions. This advancement of public access to information has further increased public participation in environmental policy. Ultimately, an increase in public participation in Mexico is as much a function of advancing public access to information and establishing a right to information (transparency) as it is strengthening political access to the government itself. With access to more information, concerned interests can utilize international and now legal pathways within Mexico to force the government to include more voices within environmental negotiations. At the systemic level there is little doubt that the strengthening of the democratic transition is integral to strengthening multi-party bargaining in Mexico's environmental negotiations.

Finally, it is important to note that the gray whales and Desert Biosphere Reserve controversy may be an unusual case. Other environmental concerns in Mexico do not draw the level of international or domestic attention garnered by this case. Government administrators have not been forced to increase transparency and pluralism to the same degree for other environmental concerns. That said, this case does show change, and thus the possibility of greater openness and pluralism in the future. Furthermore, since the conclusion of the gray whale dispute, Mexico has passed freedom of information legislation for environmental concerns. Although this legislation is not fully equivalent to the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, it is still a vast improvement for Mexico and opens the door to even greater transparency and public participation.

Surefire Negotiation Tactics

Surefire Negotiation Tactics

Shockingly Simple But Powerful Negotiation Strategies Save The Ordinary Joe Thousands Of Dollars Of Foreseen Expenses. Discover How You Too Can Save More, Keep Under Your Budget, And Make More Money With These Simple Negotiation Tactics You Can Apply In Any Business!

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment