Controlling Great Lakes Pollution: A Study in United States-Canadian Environmental Cooperation

In this context, a study of the proposed Agreement and, more particularly, of the long history of developing United States-Canadian cooperation that preceded it may be of use. First, this United States-Canadian experience offers guidance for the solution of some of the specific problems that programs for international environmental cooperation may face: questions of framework and approach; institutional organization, function, and authority; determination of objectives; apportionment of burdens; coordination; and implementation. Second, at a time when international discussion has focused principally on global approaches to the solution of environmental problems, it calls attention to the important, if less dramatic, contribution that can be made by more limited bilateral and regional cooperative arrangements; indeed, it is arguable that such bilateral and regional arrangements will ultimately prove to be the most significant forms of international environmental cooperation. Finally, this experience may serve to suggest that the concept of international environmental cooperation has limitations as well as potentialities, and thus may provide a more realistic basis for the Stockholm Conference’s work.