The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that aims to boost bilateral cooperation for environmental and human health protection.
The forging of a formal agreement comes after the meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and US President Joseph Biden in Washington, D.C. last May, where both countries committed to address the health and environmental risks associated with climate change and environmental degradation.
Under the MOU, DENR and EPA would work on accelerating the collaboration between the US and the Philippines in co-creating innovative solutions to address climate and environmental challenges beyond borders.
Both agencies would work on strengthening compliance and enforcement of environmental laws and ensure science-informed policies and regulations.
“This collaboration will allow us to develop local adaptation and risk reduction strategies and integrate community and ecosystem resilience into green growth pathways.”
“The DENR recognizes that the US EPA’s scientific and technical expertise will significantly contribute to the department’s keen desire to integrate more science into its work. As the adverse impacts of climate change and environmental degradation continue to impact the most vulnerable of the society, this collaboration will allow us to develop local adaptation and risk reduction strategies and integrate community and ecosystem resilience into green growth pathways,” Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga said.
Loyzaga added that the collaboration would develop the capacity of DENR- Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
The environment chief noted the need to enhance EMB’s programs involving air and water quality management, solid waste management, marine litter and plastic pollution prevention, as well as in implementing cumulative impact assessments as all these can mitigate risks to human health and the economy.
The MOU was signed by US EPA Administrator Michael Regan in Washington, D.C. ahead of a signing ceremony with the environment head which was witnessed by United States Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson on November 14.
The MOU will remain in effect for five years, with an option to renew for another five years.
“Today marks a significant milestone in the enduring partnership between the United States and the Philippines: a partnership for prosperity.”
“Today marks a significant milestone in the enduring partnership between the United States and the Philippines: a partnership for prosperity. This will strengthen our cooperation to protect the environment, including addressing and protecting human health,” Carlson said.
The EPA is an independent agency of the United States federal government tasked with developing and enforcing environmental regulations and conducting research, among others.
The agency has been at the forefront of ensuring clean air, land, and water for all Americans by providing access to the best science and technology in managing human health and environmental risks.