For Immediate Release: December 8, 2011
Cooperation is Key to Gulf Habitat Protection and Restoration
(Washington, DC) — The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and El Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA) have released two reports assessing the legal and institutional frameworks for conserving and restoring Gulf of Mexico habitat. The reports are intended as a resource for decisionmakers, policymakers, stakeholders, and others involved or interested in ensuring the long-term protection of the critical ecosystem. Alejandra Serrano Pavon, Regional Director of CEMDA’s Southeast Office, and Jordan Diamond, Deputy Director of ELI’s Ocean Program, discussed their findings on December 8 at the State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit II in Houston, Texas.
The first report, Gulf of Mexico Habitat Conservation & Restoration: Comparing the Mexican & U.S. Frameworks, completed in partnership with CEMDA, compares relevant Mexican and U.S. laws, policies, and institutions. In addition to providing an overview of the two frameworks, it identifies key opportunities for increasing bilateral coordination and collaboration to support long-term protection of the Gulf of Mexico. “It has been a great opportunity for our organizations to work together on this research,” states Serrano Pavon. “Our combined capacity and knowledge enabled the analysis, and we've come out with a strengthened sisterhood between our organizations.”
Gulf of Mexico Habitat Conservation & Restoration: A Look at the Five U.S. Gulf States’ Legal and Institutional Frameworks, completed by ELI, provides a more in-depth analysis of the habitat conservation and restoration frameworks within Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The report includes regional overviews of the federal and state legal and institutional mechanisms for protecting different Gulf habitats, specific recommendations for strengthening the individual and collective frameworks, and profiles of the frameworks found in each state.
“The Gulf of Mexico is an incredibly important ecosystem — for the services it provides, the resources that it contains, and the communities that depend on it,” said Diamond. “But it has suffered decades of degradation and faces many risks. We have to strengthen the governing laws and policies to ensure its long-term health as development and other stressors continue to increase.”
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