US-Mexico border environmental health education: The border 2012 Trunk Project and implications for replication and durability

Binational collaboration is key to addressing shared environmental health issues along the US-Mexico border. The Border 2012 Trunks Project was piloted from November 2007 to October 2008 by a binational team led by the Gila Conservation Education Center (US), in partnership with the Nature Conservancy (MX), in three communities in New Mexico and Chihuahua. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded the project, with joint sponsorship from Mexico’s Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT).

In a follow-on project planned for implementation from October 2008 to April 2009, a sustainable model for replication of the Border 2012 Trunks Project will be developed using case study analysis, interviews, and an empowerment analysis of the pilot project methodology and outcomes. During the course of this project, a site analysis tool will be created to identify potential threats to project durability and to facilitate an eligibility assessment of new community sites. Threats that have already been identified through preliminary research include: border security, geographic location, strength of binational networks, and level of community interest in the project.

Upon completion of this project, sites suitable for Trunk Project replication will be identified within the geographic region. In addition, the EPA and SERMARNAT will be given the site selection tool for use in future phases of the project.

Outcomes of this project and tools developed will be shared within this bilingual forum.