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Philippines, US team up to protect environment, human health

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the United States Environmental Protection Agency signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation on environmental and human health protection. 

The memorandum of understanding aims to foster collaboration and information exchange on topics such as air quality, water quality, science-informed policymaking, climate change mitigation and adaptation, solid waste management, cumulative impact research and assessment, environmental incident response, environmental justice, and enforcement and compliance assurance.

The collaboration with the EPA also seeks to develop the capacity of the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau, environment chief Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said. 

“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,” Loyzaga said. 

“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,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said. 

The MOU was signed by Regan in Washington D.C. ahead of the signing ceremony in Metro Manila. The partnership will be in effect for five years, with the ability for extension upon mutual consent.

In a joint statement in May, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and United States President Joe Bien committed to boost cooperation on environment and climate change issues.