Upcoming Conference Addresses Environmental Concerns along U.S./Mexico Border

There’s more that connects the San Diego and Tijuana region than the border crossing used by thousands every day. For years, many organizations have come together to address environmental issues that are commonly shared across border lines.

Urban streams on both sides of the border have had incredibly high concentrations of contaminants that have flowed to wetlands and beaches in San Diego. Pollution poses immediate hazards like raw sewage and polluted rainwater that flows across the international border. There’s also concern that local groundwater quantity and dependence on imported water has declined, as well as increased erosion and flood dangers, air pollution, and a reduction in the amount of safe, open and green areas.

The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego has convened environmental experts, policymakers, scientists and community leaders for the first bi-national conference to address these issues. “Greening Borders: Cooperation, Security and Diplomacy,” is from Nov. 18-20 at the School of Peace Studies and Tijuana River Estuary Visitor Center.

The goal of the conference is to:
• explore trans-boundary water management approaches from around the world to inspire multi-level and interdisciplinary dialogue locally
• engage in interactive working sessions that improve conflict management/resolution skills
• welcome diverse perspectives from both sides of the border
• recognize and build on previous regional and local initiatives
• participate in consensus-building workshops to identify shared priorities
• strive towards securing political support and funding

International negotiator and best-selling author William Ury, Ph.D. is the keynote speaker for the conference. Ury is the co-founder of the Harvard University Negotiation Project and co-author of “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.” His address, entitled “From the Boardroom to the Border: Negotiating for Sustainable Agreements,” is at 7 p.m., Nov. 18, at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre.

Ury has served as a negotiation adviser and mediator in conflicts ranging from corporate mergers to wildcat strikes in a Kentucky coal mine to ethnic wars in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. With former president Jimmy Carter, he cofounded the International Negotiation Network, a non-governmental body seeking to end civil wars around the world. He has taught negotiation to tens of thousands of corporate executives, labor leaders, diplomats and military officers around the world. He helps organizations endeavor to reach mutually profitable agreements with customers, suppliers, unions, and joint-venture partners.

For more information, go to: http://www.sandiego.edu/peacestudies/news/events_calendar/greening_borders/

About the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice

The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies (KSPS) was formally inaugurated in 2007 at the University of San Diego, the result of a generous endowment from the late Joan Kroc, who believed passionately in not only teaching peace, but in “making peace.”  The School incorporates two institutes, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice and the Trans-Border Institute, and a new Master’s Degree program designed to train the next generation of international peacemakers.

The KSPS is dedicated to advancing the field of peace studies and a world-view of peace as human development. The school is home to a dialogue and a discipline of scholars and practitioners immersed and educated in peace as philosophy, methodology and creative act.  It is currently the only school of its kind dedicated to this purpose in the United States.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.