The Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Singapore adopted the following Plan of Action (POA) for 2022 and 2023 on April 22, 2022, during a Biennial Review of the status of cooperation under the United States-Singapore Memorandum of Intent (MOI) on Environmental Cooperation. The Governments intend to review progress toward achieving the goals contained in this POA and may modify the goals and activities in future consultations on environmental cooperation. Implementation of the activities in this POA is subject to the availability of funds/resources.
On June 13, 2003, the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Singapore signed an MOI on Cooperation in Environmental Matters, in connection with their bilateral commitment to free and fair trade under the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The MOI identifies environmental issues of mutual interest to the Governments and establishes a mechanism through which the Governments can pursue cooperative efforts in those areas. In the MOI, the Governments establish their intent to engage in bilateral activities and, where appropriate, regional activities to promote sustainable environmental policies and practices and effective measures in support of sustainable development.
The MOI establishes the following types of activities as possible areas of cooperation:
- Strengthening cooperative relationships so as to build institutional capacity to promote environmental management, including through compliance, enforcement, and performance;
- Exchanging information on environmental best practices of industry, including the application of cleaner processes and technologies and sustainable production practices;
- Exploring possible avenues for technological cooperation, including research and development and facilitating the transfer of new technologies on mutually agreed terms;
- Promoting improved environmental protection, including natural resources, through such mechanisms as: incentives for conserving, restoring, or enhancing the environment; energy efficiency and renewable energy; public/private partnerships; endangered species conservation; improved natural resource management; and environmental education
II. Mutually-Identified Goals and Related Activities
Consistent with the MOI, the Governments have identified the following goals and activities that they intend to pursue during the period 2022 through 2023, noting that bilateral and regional efforts may complement each other in many cases. Below each goal are examples of related activities, including activities that are currently underway, in the planning stages, or proposed:
1) Improve capacity of institutions and strengthen policies for effective implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, including supporting efforts of countries in the region to combat illegal trade in environmentally sensitive goods through bilateral and regional cooperative activities.
- Bilateral and regional training and technical exchanges for investigators, prosecutors, police, customs officials, and judges on investigating and prosecuting wildlife trafficking and illegal logging cases.
- Bilateral and regional technical exchanges on effective implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, as well as implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78), Minamata Convention on Mercury, and other multilateral environmental agreements to which both countries are party.
- Participate in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) wildlife trafficking workshops and activities through the ASEAN Working Group on CITES and Wildlife Enforcement (AWG CITES and WE) and the new Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) Wildlife Trafficking Work Program, including joint operations and information sharing to curb wildlife trafficking.
- Promote region-wide involvement in regional environmental compliance and enforcement networks, AWG CITES and WE, the SOMTC Work Program, and the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE).
- Facilitate collaboration between environment, public health, and animal sectors on specific activities to prevent, detect, and respond to zoonotic diseases, including tackling wildlife trafficking and high-risk wildlife consumption.
2) Participate in regional initiatives related to the conservation and sustainable use of and trade in natural resources.
- Participate in regional training workshops and other technical exchanges on best practices in combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and fisheries-related crimes, such as registry fraud, as well as port state measures and traceability systems, in addition to an ecosystem approach to fisheries.
- Promote regional collaboration to reduce consumer demand for illegally traded wildlife and related products through the creation of public awareness campaigns.
- Facilitate technical exchanges, as needed, on U.S. requirements under the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
- Engage in information exchange and capacity-building knowledge on national recycling strategy management and evaluation, including industry best practices.
- Promote regional collaboration on strategies to prevent the spread of invasive alien species.
3) Encourage the exchange of information on climate and environmental sustainability policies, best practices, and use of innovative environmental technology and pollution management techniques.
- Strengthen capacity building collaboration through new courses on climate change and environmental sustainability under the Singapore-United States Third Country Training Programme (TCTP).
- Expand the Governments’ efforts promoting smart, sustainable cities through the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) and the U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership.
- Establish new Smart Cities Professional Exchanges that bring ASCN officials to Singapore and the United States to build connections and share expertise on topics such as water, energy, waste management, and new technologies.
- Establish a new Green Buildings Program where U.S. and Singapore experts share best practices and promote green building standards throughout ASEAN, as buildings represent a significant portion of climate emissions.
- Facilitate policy and technical exchanges on circular economy approaches and technologies, including plastics recovery and sorting technologies, regulatory and voluntary approaches to manage packaging waste such as from e-commerce.
- Participate in cooperative activities, capacity building and open exchanges on water management policies, best practices and technologies.
- Support the 2022 Singapore International Water Week by encouraging participation by water utilities through the U.S. Water Partnership and extending export assistance services through the U.S. Department of Commerce to U.S. exhibitors of water technologies, as appropriate.
- Encourage participation and the sharing of expertise, best practices, and latest available technologies and tools in environmental protection, including at platforms such as the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESG).
- Facilitate technical and information exchanges on specific air quality management topics, including: ambient air quality standard-setting, emissions inventories, enforcement, air quality modeling and forecasting, industrial emissions, vehicular and non-road mobile machinery emissions, indoor air quality standards and indoor air quality management strategies, and emerging air pollutants.
- Participate in cooperative activities and exchanges on nuclear safety matters as specified in the Arrangement between Singapore’s National Environment Agency and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the Exchange of Technical Information and Cooperation in Nuclear Safety Matters.
- Facilitate technical exchanges, information exchange and capacity building training on radiation protection and decontamination and clean-up of Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) incidents, focusing on, but not limited to legislation, regulatory control, emergency/planning/response, and waste management.
- Facilitate technical exchanges, studies, and regional initiatives to monitor, reduce and prevent microplastics and marine litter, including implementation of effective waste management systems.
- Facilitate technical exchanges on novel rodent control tools, in particular the ongoing rodent control trials using sensors and pheromones undertaken by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH).
- Facilitate technical exchanges aimed at furthering the understanding of infectious disease transmission through environmental determinants.
- Facilitate technical and information exchanges on regulatory frameworks for pesticides.
- Information exchange on contaminated land management and environment site assessment (ESA) frameworks.
III. Benchmarks, Monitoring and Evaluation
As the Governments implement activities under the POA, they intend to identify performance indicators and benchmarks to measure progress in furthering the goals of these activities, and to facilitate public reporting of that progress. The Governments intend to encourage input from a variety of agencies and civil society groups regarding potential activities and evaluating the effectiveness of activities, and to make information on activities available to the public on a regular basis.