Canada, Mexico and the United States share a wide array of ecosystems, habitats, and species. They are also linked by strong economic, social and cultural ties. Each of the three countries addresses wildlife and ecosystem conservation issues through its own domestic programs. However, as a result of the North American region’s increasing development, and emerging global problems such as invasive species, wildlife diseases, toxic substances, and climate change, there is also an increasing need for a continental approach to conservation. To more effectively address priorities of continental significance and boost the concerted efforts of the three countries of North America, the Canada/Mexico/U.S. Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management (Trilateral Committee) was established in 1995. The Trilateral Committee is headed by the directors of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico (SEMARNAT).

The goals of the Trilateral Committee are to foster an integrated continental perspective for cooperative conservation and sustainable use of biological resources, contribute to the maintenance of the ecological integrity of North American ecoregions, and promote biodiversity conservation capacity building and cooperative cross-sectoral activities in the three countries that will contribute to the reduction and mitigation of threats to North American shared species and ecosystems. This is done through coordination, cooperation, and development of partnerships among wildlife agencies of the three countries and other interested parties. Thirty organizations from the three countries currently participate in various activities of the Trilateral Committee, including federal and state government agencies, research and academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and private industry.

As a leading biodiversity conservation entity in North America, the Trilateral Committee provides an effective and efficient mechanism to address conservation and management of natural resources on a continental scale. Equally important are the many intangible accomplishments such as providing a unique forum to better understand the differing factors that influence national policies in each country. Working together, the partner nations comprising the Trilateral Committee can better face the challenges of moving towards a sustainable future for North America.

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