1909 - 2009
"It is further agreed that the waters herein defined as boundary waters flowing across the boundary shall not be polluted on either side to the injury of health or property on the other."
Widely regarded as the first
environmental agreement, the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty was the first international treaty to articulate principles of boundary water resource development, to address cross-boundary pollution and to prohibit the diversion of boundary waters. Further, in establishing the International Joint Commission to prevent and resolve disputes between Canada and the United States, the Boundary Waters Treaty stands apart for its uncommonly good approach to natural resource governance and stewardship.On June 13, 2009, the Governments of Canada and the United States commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty with a ceremony on the Rainbow Bridge overlooking Niagara Falls - its natural beauty protected under Article V. At that occasion, the Governments announced the opening of negotiations to update the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to address modern environmental issues affecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem. The cross-border Niagara region celebrated this historic event by organizing Boundary Waters Week, June 5 - 14, 2009.
"The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 made official something that people from both sides of the border have known for generations: the lakes, the streams, the watersheds along our boundary do not belong to one nation or to another, but to both of us,"Hillary Rodham Clinton,Secretary of State, United States of America "In its centenary year, the International Joint Commission remains a testament to the good will, hard work and forward thinking that bind our great nations together."Lawrence CannonMinister of Foreign Affairs, Canada