Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. share a wide array of ecosystems, habitats and species. They are also linked by strong economic, social and cultural ties. However, existing strategies for natural resources conservation have not adequately addressed increased development in the region, nor emerging problems such as climate change, toxic substances, rapidly-spreading wildlife diseases and invasive species.
To more effectively address priorities of continental significance and boost the concerted efforts of the three countries of the North America bioregion, the Canada/Mexico/U.S. Trilateral Committee of Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management 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).
At their roots, all things hold hands. When a tree falls down in the forest, a star falls down from the sky.
-Chan K'in, Elder of the Lacandon People, Chiapas, Mexico
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.