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            NJDEP employees also participate in a program to bring environmental education to Cuba, including teaching the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a dramatic technological advancement that increases the availability and usability of information. GIS is a computerized mapping tool that uses various types of data to create complete environmental profiles of selected geographic areas, and is used for resource-based decision making at all levels of government. NJDEP has expanded the use of GIS throughout New Jersey, and also has been sharing its GIS expertise with other countries, including Germany.

                Last year, NJDEP joined Germany and EPA in a workgroup to share information on the cleanup of hazardous waste sites and each other's technologies. The redevelopment of contaminated sites is a concern in many countries and requires an integrated approach to protect human health and the environment. Many countries have committed extensive resources to the effort to address the environmental, social and economic issues related to the clean up of hazardous waste sites. Brownfields redevelopment is a way to rebuild urban viability. The challenge is how to capitalize on the resources, expertise and knowledge of countries that are developing solutions to these issues, and to effectively share this information.

                It is clear that the successful redevelopment of brown fields requires the cooperative efforts of federal and state agencies, as well as industry and local governments. Both Germany and New Jersey identified similar obstacles to the redevelopment of abandoned contaminated properties such as sprawl, liability, identification and marketing. New Jersey, USEPA and Germany agreed to develop training, guidance materials and web sites that describe additional resources that can be used by all interested parties to facilitate the cleanup and reuse of contaminated properties.

                Redeveloping and reinvesting in urban centers makes good environmental and economic sense. Brownfields redevelopment prevents further land consumption, saves money through the use of available infrastructure, broadens the local tax base, and socially and economically revitalizes urban communities. Our brownfields redevelopment program provides grants to local governments to acquire and clean up contaminated properties. NJDEP's successful brownfields program won national awards ) for the past three years for innovative redevelopment projects. By reinvesting in our brownfields sites, encouraging partnerships with businesses and other levels of government, New Jersey can continue to facilitate brownfields redevelopment and 1 thus, sustainability in several ways.

                Another example of New Jersey's international environmental efforts includes the state asking the federal government for a regional ban on the harvesting of horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay. The crab eggs provide food for declining populations of neo- tropical birds that migrate between continents. The birds, such as the red knot, travel from Chile to the Delaware Bay Region, then to the Arctic, and their food supply has become scarcer due to over-harvesting by fishermen. While New Jersey and a few other states had banned harvesting, the entire multi-state region and the relevant federal agency had not. NJDEP led a multi-country science team to track the birds through their entire journey, to generate enough data to prove the need for a regional ban.7 We asked staff to volunteer to help the scientists band birds and perform counts. NJDEP also provided funding and expertise to landowners in the region to better manage their land to help the birds during their stay. Last year, the Bush Administration agreed to the request by NJDEP and others to issue a regional ban on horseshoe crab harvesting and stated that it would develop a sanctuary.8

                The national Right-to-Know Program, to gather and make available to the public data on the level of certain chemicals emitted into the environment, began in New Jersey. This program, considered by environmental policy experts to be one of the most successful environmental initiatives, shows how one states efforts can spread beyond to a larger national scale. The program also has received inquiries through the years from various countries showing how information and strategies can flow between the state and international scales.

States should take the initiative in addressing global level problems that have both an effect at the local level and for which effective local action can be taken. However, this does not mean that global level actions are not necessary.


                All of the programs described above are intended to create a coordinated and balanced approach to the pursuit of sustainability. No matter what the environmental challenges might be, we have to join together to solve them. No one person, group or agency can do it all. Partnering at all levels of business, government and private organizations is key to success.

Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations

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