Agreement on Cooperation to Improve the Management of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and Control Desertification, Mexico City, 1979
Done at Mexico City 16 February 1979
Entered into force 16 February 1979
Primary source citation:United Nations Treaty Series
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES ON COOPERATION TO IMPROVE THE MANAGEMENT OF ARID AND SEMI-ARID LANDS AND CONTROL DESERTIFICATION
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Mexican States,
Concerned because the desertification phenomenon presents a growing threat to the economic and social well-being of large sectors of the population of both countries;
Recognizing the benefits which can be derived from the implementation of the recommendations of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Desertification adopted at the United Nations Conference on Desertification in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1977;
Considering that possibilities exist for controlling desertification and for restoring and enhancing the productive capacity of arid and semi-arid lands through the application of new policies, programs and practices of proper resource management;
Emphasizing that cooperation to solve common desertification-related problems may produce important mutual benefits, including an increase in the pace, efficiency and effectiveness of the respective national plans on desertification that each Government is developing, and
Noting that the consultations on desertification between the two Governments have provided adequate guidance and a framework for expansion of cooperation in this field,
Have agreed as follows:
Article I. 1. The two Governments shall promote cooperation for the purposes of controlling desertification and protecting and enhancing the productive capacity of the agricultural lands, rangelands and forests of each country’s arid and semi-arid zones.
2. The institutions which principally will develop the operative activities of cooperation under this Agreement will be, for the United States of America, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for the United Mexican States, the Secretariat of Agriculture and Hydraulic Resources, the Secretariat of Human Settlements and Public Works, and the National Commission for Arid Zones.
Article II. 1. Cooperation under this Agreement shall be undertaken in the conservation of soil and water; the management of watersheds, rangelands and forests; the identification, inventory and continuing assessment of desertification; the management and utilization of flora and fauna native to arid and semi-arid zones; and other subjects which may be defined by agreement of the Parties.
2. Cooperation may include the exchange of scientific and technological information; exchange of scientists and other technical and research personnel; the planning and conduct of joint or coordinated research, management and demonstration projects; the organization of joint courses, conferences and symposia; and other forms of cooperation as may be mutually agreed.
3. Under this Agreement, initial priority shall be given to the following:
(a) Soil and water conservation on agricultural lands, rangelands and forests, with a view toward increasing food production and preserving the ecological balance;
(b) Conservation, regeneration, utilization and commercialization of and zone native species with a view toward expanding employment opportunities and income generation in the rural areas; and
(c) Completion of the National Desertification Plans of each Government, with a view toward coordinating policies and programs in the fields of arid and semi-arid land management and desertification control.
Article III. 1. To facilitate cooperation under this Agreement, each Government shall designate a National Coordinator.
2. The National Coordinator for the Government of the United States will be the Department of State and the Coordinator for the Government of Mexico will be the Secretariat of Programming and Budget.
3. The National Coordinators shall serve as the principal points of contact of the two Governments and shall work closely in facilitating, coordinating and reviewing cooperative activities under this Agreement.
4. The National Coordinator of each Government, in consultation with the agencies and other entities which participate in the cooperative programs, shall be responsible for coordinating the activities to its country which arise as a consequence of this Agreement.
Article IV. 1. Pursuant to the objectives of this Agreement, the two Governments, through their National Coordinators, shall encourage, facilitate and authorize, as appropriate, contacts, the negotiation of accords, and cooperation between Government agencies, universities and other entities of both countries for the conduct of specific cooperative activities.
2. Specific accords implementing this Agreement may cover the subjects of cooperation, procedures to be followed, treatment of intellectual property, funding and any other appropriate matters.
3. Costs shall be borne as mutually agreed by the participants.
4. All cooperative activities undertaken pursuant to this Agreement shall be subject to the availability of funds.
Article V. The two Governments shall endeavor to promote and contribute to the rapid implementation of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Desertification through measures which may include:
1. Inviting, when appropriate and by mutual agreement of the National Coordinators, entities and scientists, technical experts, and resource planners and administrators of third countries or of international and regional organizations to participate in cooperative activities under this Agreement; and
2. The joint distribution of information and data generated by this Agreement to other governments and international and regional organizations, particularly to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and to the Economic Commission for Latin America of the United Nations (ECLA).
Article VI. Scientific and technological
information derived from cooperative activities under this Agreement
may be made available, unless agreed otherwise in specific accords
under article IV, to the world community through customary channels
and in accordance with the normal procedures of the participating
Article VII. 1. Cooperative
activities under this Agreement shall be subject to the laws and
regulations in each country.
2. Each Government shall, with respect to
cooperative activities under this Agreement, use its best efforts to
facilitate prompt entry into and ext from its territory of equipment
and personnel of the other country.
Article VIII. 1. None of the provisions of this
Agreement shall be construed to prejudice other Agreements or
arrangements between the two Governments.
2. Cooperative activities carried out under this
Agreement shall be development in a manner than complements and
reinforces those activities carried out pursuant to the 1972
Agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between the United
States of America and the United Mexican States, and in the 1977
Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Department of Agriculture
of the United States of America and theNational Council for Science
and Technology of Mexico on Tropical Agriculture, Deserts,
Livestock, Nutrition and Health.
Article IX. Representatives of the two Governments
will meet as necessary in order to discuss the implementation of
this Agreement and to exchange information about programs, projects
and activities of common interest. Experts from each country, as
mutually agreed, may participate in these meetings to address
Article X. This Agreement will be governed by the
1. It will enter into force on the date of
2. It will have a duration of three years,
reneweable by mutual agreement of the Parties.
3. Either Party may terminate this Agreement at
any time, by written notice to the other Party. In this case, the
Agreement will terminate six months after the receipt of such
4. Termination of the Agreement shall not affect
the validity or duration of specific accords which are concluded in
conformity with article IV of this Agreement.
Done in duplicate at Mexico, D.F., on February 16,
1979, in the English and Spanish languages, both texts being equally
For the Government of the United State of America.
For the Government of the United Mexican States.