Habitats are often divided by international borders, leaving ecosystems in varying states of protection, development, and danger. The California Floristic Province, which traverses the United States-Mexico border, is one such example. This border, which divides a once-continuous ecological region, not only represents an international crossing, but also a shift in legal, land, and conservation regimes. These differences reveal particular vulnerabilities for California Floristic Province habitat on the Mexican side of the border region, showing that the ecosystem is in danger because of rapid real estate development pressures and unfavorable environmental laws. Accordingly, this note recommends three main changes to Mexican environmental law, to bring it more into line with United States and Californian environmental law. The first is to provide for organizational standing a la Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, so that plaintiffs can file on the basis of group standing, where injuries can be more generalized. The second recommendation calls for the Mexican government to increase transparency in its environmental agencies and provide individuals the legal mechanisms, through citizen suits, to compel enforcement where it is lacking. Finally, this note recommends the Mexican government give protected status to its portion of the California Floristic Province and create a law like the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) that forces developers in the region to perform environmental studies, provide for mitigation projects, and avoid environmental damage to the greatest extent possible.
Joseph E. Farewell,
A Wall Runs Through It: Comparing Mexican and Californian Legal Regimes in the California Floristic Province,
43 Loy. L.A. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 31
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/ilr/vol43/iss1/2
Administrative Law Commons, Comparative and Foreign Law Commons, Conflict of Laws Commons, Environmental Law Commons, International Law Commons, Jurisdiction Commons, Law and Economics Commons, Law and Politics Commons, Law and Society Commons, Legislation Commons, Natural Resources Law Commons, State and Local Government Law Commons, Transnational Law Commons