The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) established a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, to enhance cooperation on environmental issues. The MOU was signed by EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in Washington, D.C., in advance of a signing ceremony with DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga at the DENR headquarters in Quezon City, Manila. The U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, MaryKay Carlson, witnessed the signing.
This new MOU aims to foster collaboration and information exchange on topics such as air quality, water quality, science-informed policy making, climate change adaptation, solid waste management, environmental impact assessment, environmental incident response, environmental justice, and strengthening enforcement and compliance assurance. The MOU and other information about the Asia-Pacific region are available on EPA’s website.
“The United States and the Philippines enjoy a strong and robust partnership, and with today’s action we are extending that partnership to address environmental challenges that affect the health and well-being of our people and our planet,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This MOU will strengthen our cooperation and enable us to learn from each other’s best practices and innovations.”
Secretary Loyzaga expressed her appreciation for the MOU and announced, “Today is the first step to our journey towards the enhancement to the Department’s institutional capacity to use science and technology in environmental management…Through this partnership we hope to strengthen compliance and enforcement of environmental laws and ensure science informed policy and regulations.”
“This MOU is the direct result of the pledge made by President Biden and President Marcos during their meeting in May to enhance cooperation on environmental and climate change issues,” commented Ambassador Carlson, “and today’s event is a testament to that commitment.”
As noted in the May 2023 Joint Statement, the President of the United States and the President of the Philippines are committed to enhanced cooperation on environment and climate change issues. This MOU will be in effect for five years, with the ability for extension upon mutual consent. EPA and the DENR will use the MOU to establish a framework for implementing joint work plans and activities.