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United States–Oman Bilateral Environment Meetings Review Progress and Challenges

This month, officials from the United States and Oman held bilateral environmental meetings in Muscat, Oman and convened an open session with members of the public on June 5 – World Environment Day – contributing to the global effort to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment.  The meetings included a review of progress in implementing commitments under the Environment Chapter of the United States–Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the establishment of an updated work plan for environmental cooperation intended to assist Oman to implement its FTA commitments. 

Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources David Oliver, along with representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Forest Service, met with Omani government officials to exchange information and review progress and developments relating to a range of issues under the Environment Chapter, including actions taken to increase levels of environmental protection, effectively enforce environmental laws, and provide opportunities for public participation in environmental governance and the trade policy-setting processes.

US-Oman-EnviroDavid Oliver, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources, and other members of the U.S. and Omani delegations discuss implementation of the U.S.-Oman FTA Environment Chapter and related environmental cooperation

Oliver also took part in a meeting of the United States–Oman Joint Forum on Environmental Cooperation, which oversees implementation of bilateral environmental cooperation activities that are intended to support Oman’s efforts to implement its commitments under the Environment Chapter.  The Joint Forum on Environmental Cooperation reviewed ongoing environmental cooperation activities and approved and signed an updated Plan Of Action, which provides a robust framework for environmental cooperation activities for the period 2014-2017.

Together, these meetings are an important way for the United States and Oman to exchange information and review progress on respective efforts to implement the FTA Environment Chapter, identify challenges and priority areas for environmental cooperation, and develop plans to achieve further progress. The meetings culminated with a public session in which a range of stakeholders had an opportunity to engage in a discussion with government officials about implementation of the FTA Environment Chapter, existing environmental cooperation programs, and plans for further cooperation.

For more information, please see the Joint Communiqué of the United States-Oman Environmental Meetings.

The United States-Oman FTA entered into force in January 2009.  The agreement promotes economic growth and trade, but also includes important provisions to advance the Parties’ mutual commitment to strengthen environmental protection.  For more information on the United States-Oman FTA, please click here.