Federal Register: October 19, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 200)
DOCID: fr19oc09-107 FR Doc E9-25081
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
ACTION: Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice and request for comments.
Suggestions for Updated 2009-2011 Plan of Action for Working Group on Environmental Cooperation Established Pursuant to the United States--Morocco Joint Statement on Environmental Cooperation
DATES: To be assured of timely consideration, all written comments or suggestions are requested no later than November 4, 2009.
The Department of State is soliciting ideas and suggestions for environmental cooperation projects between the United States and Morocco. The United States and Morocco are in the process of developing an updated 20092011 Plan of Action pursuant to the United States Morocco Joint Statement on Environmental Cooperation issued in 2004. The Joint Statement outlines broad areas of environmental cooperation to assist Morocco in complying with its obligations under the United StatesMorocco Free Trade Agreement. It is envisioned that the 2009 2011 Plan of Action will focus on the following themes: (1) Institutional and policy strengthening for effective implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, (2) biodiversity conservation and improved management of protected areas, and other ecologically important ecosystems, (3) improved private sector environmental performance, and (4) environmental education, transparency, and public participation in environmental decisionmaking and enforcement.
The Department of State invites Government agencies and the public, including NGOs, educational institutions, private sector enterprises, and other interested persons, to submit written comments or suggestions regarding items for the Plan of Action. In preparing such comments or suggestions, we encourage submitters to refer to: (1) The U.S.Morocco Joint Statement on Environmental Cooperation, (2) the 20052007 Plan of Action, (3) the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Morocco, (4) the 2004 Final Environmental Review of the U.S.Morocco Free Trade Agreement, and (5) the website of the Moroccan Ministry of the Environment (French and Arabic) which are all available or linked at: http://www.state.gov/g/oes/env/trade/. In the near future, the Department of State will be seeking ideas and suggestions for environmental cooperation projects with U.S. Free Trade Agreement partners Bahrain and Oman through similar Federal Register notices.
Suggestions for Updated 2009–2011 Plan of Action for Working Group on Environmental Cooperation, etc.
In Paragraph 5 of the U.S.-Morocco Joint
Statement on Environmental Cooperation, the United States and Morocco
announced the establishment of a Working Group on Environmental [[Page 53543]]
Cooperation intended to meet regularly. The mandate of the Working Group is to advance environmental protection in Morocco by developing cooperative environmental activities that take into account environmental priorities and that are agreed to by the two Governments. The Working Group will develop a Plan of Action towards meeting this goal.
The 20052007 Plan of Action focused on a set of mutually identified goals in line with the main themes of cooperation noted above. These goals were: (1) Strengthening the capacity to develop, implement and enforce environmental laws and regulations, (2) encouraging the development of incentives and voluntary mechanisms to contribute to the achievement and maintenance of high levels of environmental protection, (3) promoting opportunities for public participation in environmental protection efforts and improving public access to information and access to justice on environmental issues, (4) protecting coastal environmental zones and estuaries and preventing the overexploitation of fisheries resources, (5) safeguarding important natural resources, such as water, and protected areas in Morocco, and (6) promoting the growth of the environmentaltechnology business sector. Some indicative actions undertaken in these areas have included workshops on environmental impact assessment and the use of economic incentives for environmental decision making. Ongoing work includes: Assistance to Morocco on enhanced compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) through legislation; technical assistance for a plan to enforce environmental rules in the textile sector; and development of a plan to manage waste from olive oil factories. The United States Agency for International Development, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture and the Trade and Development Agency and others have been involved in implementing these activities. The 2009 2011 Plan of Action seeks to build upon the progress made in the previous Plan of Action.
The Plan of Action to be developed envisions cooperative activities in four main priority areas: Institutional and policy strengthening; biodiversity conservation and improved management of protected areas; improved private sector environmental performance; and environmental education, transparency, and public participation in environmental decisionmaking and enforcement.
Please refer to the State Department Web site at http:// www.state.gov/g/oes/env/trade/.
Dated: October 13, 2009.
Lawrence J. Gumbiner,
Director, Office of Environmental Policy, U.S. Department of State. [FR Doc. E925081 Filed 101609; 8:45 am]
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Alan Lowther, telephone (202) 647- 6777.