MANILA - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) have agreed to enhance their collaborative efforts in addressing climate change and environmental challenges. This move aims to foster innovative solutions that transcend national borders.
According to Philippines News Agency, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on November 14 to bolster bilateral cooperation in environmental and human health protection. The MOU, valid for five years with an option to renew, was first signed by US EPA Administrator Michael Regan in Washington, D.C., and later by DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga in the Philippines. The signing ceremony was witnessed by United States Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson. The agreement focuses on strengthening the enforcement of environmental laws and ensuring that policies and regulations are informed by scientific research.
DENR Secretary Loyzaga emphasized the importance of integrating scientific and technical expertise from the US EPA to enhance the department's ability to address the adverse impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. This collaboration will support the development of local adaptation strategies and integrate community and ecosystem resilience into green growth pathways. The US EPA, an independent agency of the United States federal government, plays a crucial role in developing and enforcing environmental regulations, conducting research, and ensuring clean air, land, and water. The MOU is expected to develop the capacity of DENR's Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), enhancing programs on air and water quality management, solid waste management, marine litter and plastic pollution prevention, and the implementation of cumulative impact assessments.
Ambassador Carlson highlighted that the agreement signifies a partnership for prosperity between the US and the Philippines, strengthening cooperation in environmental protection and human health. This partnership stems from a meeting between President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and US President Joseph Biden in Washington, D.C. in May, where both countries pledged to address health and environmental risks associated with climate change and environmental degradation.