The United States – Morocco Working Group on Environmental Cooperation (“Working Group”) met today in Rabat, Morocco. This Working Group was established in 2004 by the two governments, when they issued their Joint Statement on Environmental Cooperation (“Joint Statement”) in association with the U.S. – Morocco Free Trade Agreement.
This meeting of the Working Group allows assessing the progress made to broaden and deepen effective cooperation on environmental issues between both countries.
This meeting provides also an opportunity to inform the public about the ways in which the United States and Morocco are cooperating to preserve and protect Morocco’s environment. Public involvement on current and future work program testifies the commitment to transparent, democratic, and participatory processes.
During this meeting, reports detailing the status of cooperative environmental projects were heard. Representatives from Morocco’s Secretariat of State Responsible for Water and the Environment, High Commission for Water and Forests and Combating Desertification, the Agency of Partnership for Progress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of State described a range of projects they are implementing in Morocco that benefit Morocco’s environment and its people, and demonstrate the breadth and scope of these activities and the cooperative spirit with which they have been undertaken.
A new Plan of Action that lays out a road map for U.S. – Morocco environmental cooperation through 2012 was signed. This new Plan of Action includes long-term goals to assist Morocco to develop and enforce laws that provide for a high level of environmental protection; protect and conserve the environment and promote sustainable development; enhance transparency and public participation in environmental decision-making; and encourage a culture of environmental protection and compliance with environmental laws. The Plan of Action also identifies priority areas for future cooperation and sets evaluation criteria. The Plan of Action will be posted on-line at http://rabat.usembassy.gov .
The United States and Morocco reaffirmed their strong commitment to work together to preserve and protect the environment, and to ensure sustainable development.