The Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Singapore held a virtual biennial review on the evening of September 15 (EDT) under the Memorandum of Intent between the United States of America and the Republic of Singapore on Cooperation in Environmental Matters (MOI). The MOI was negotiated in parallel with the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Environment Chapter.
The United States was represented by John Thompson, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State. The Republic of Singapore was represented by Eugene Leong, Second Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.
This bilateral meeting serves as an important opportunity to enhance and continue the robust and longstanding bilateral relationship and strategic partnership between the United States and Singapore, and highlight a shared commitment to environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources.
The Governments reviewed accomplishments under the 6th Plan of Action (POA) for 2018 through 2019 for implementing the MOI, including activities to combat wildlife and timber trafficking, as well as IUU fishing; to promote conservation on a regional level; and to exchange information and expertise on policies and best practices in environmental protection and pest control regulatory framework.
The Governments approved a new POA for 2020 through 2021. The new POA sets out activities related to the (i) effective implementation and enforcement of environmental laws; (ii) conservation and sustainable use of and trade in natural resources; and (iii) exchange of information on environmental protection and environmental health policies, best practices, and use of innovative environmental technology and pollution management techniques.
The Governments also held a public session for civil society stakeholders, which provided an opportunity for the public to participate in a discussion with government officials on the implementation of the MOI.
The U.S. delegation included officials from the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Office of Environment and Natural Resources, and the United States Embassy in Singapore. The Singaporean delegation included representatives from Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, the National Environment Agency, Singapore’s national water agency, PUB, the Singapore Food Agency, National Parks Board, and Singapore Customs.