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Cablegate: Usg and Gos Conclude Environmental Review, Discuss

VZCZCXRO6558
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGP #2046/01 3190226
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150226Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4408
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2027
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4129
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0113
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 SINGAPORE 002046

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR A/S MCMURRAY
BANGKOK FOR JIM WALLER
STATE PASS USTR FOR AUSTR LINSCOTT, AUSTR WEISEL, AND
DAUSTR BELL
EPA FOR MARK KASMAN
NOAA FOR MATTHEW STRICKLER
MARAD FOR BRIAN VARNEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ETRD ECON PREL SN
SUBJECT: USG AND GOS CONCLUDE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW, DISCUSS
NEXT STEPS

REF: A. SINGAPORE 1883

B. SINGAPORE 1946
C. SINGAPORE 996

1. (SBU) Summary: Regional environmental initiatives,
"green" technologies, and reducing air and water pollution
were high on the list of future activities discussed during a
biennial review of the U.S. - Singapore Free Trade
Agreement's Memorandum of Intent (MOI) for Cooperation on
Environmental Matters. The two sides identified three
principal accomplishments from the MOI's initial 2005-2007
Plan of Action (POA) and adopted a new POA for 2008-2010,
which includes seven specific activities. The United States
urged Singapore to join a proposed regional dialogue on
illegal logging. Singapore expressed new concerns about
implementing language in the POA related to identifying
performance indicators for cooperative programs. The GOS
again probed for some flexibility in U.S. law that might
allow Singapore to export endangered arowana fish to the
United States and were advised to take up the issue with the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. End summary.

2. (SBU) Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Environment, and
Science Claudia McMurray and Deputy Secretary of the Ministry
of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) Rosa Daniel met in
Singapore on October 30 to evaluate the accomplishments of
the 2005-2007 Plan of Action (POA) and adopt a new POA
covering 2008-2010, which proposes several joint initiatives.
They were joined by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative
(AUSTR) Mark Linscott, as well as OES and post
representatives. In addition to MEWR, the Singapore
delegation comprised officials from:

--Public Utilities Board (PUB)
--National Environment Agency (NEA)
--Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)
--Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) and
--Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

A/S McMurray also visited a water conservation project and an
animal rescue center, delivered remarks at a workshop to
identify endangered ramin wood, and met with GOS checkpoints
officials. She concluded her visit with an interview with
the Straits Times. AUSTR Linscott met separately with MTI
officials to discuss environmental initiatives under the
World Trade Organization (WTO), the upcoming United Nations
Climate Change Conference in Bali, and the proposed regional
dialogue on illegal logging.

Past Accomplishments
--------------------

3. (SBU) A/S McMurray and Deputy Secretary Daniel
highlighted three accomplishments under the 2005-2007
Memorandum of Intent's Plan of Action, which outlines
mutually identified goals and suggests mechanisms for
achieving them.

--Sustainable Cities Program: Several U.S. experts and
states participated in the Singapore-led Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Environmentally
Sustainable Cities Program.

--Climate and Energy: A GOS delegation visited the United
States to exchange ideas with U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) officials about greenhouse gas mitigation and
energy conservation.

--Combating Illegal Trade: The United States and Singapore
co-hosted a workshop in Singapore to train port inspectors
and customs officials from the region to identify illegal
shipments of endangered ramin wood.

Although not recognized as an accomplishment under the MOI,
Singapore also noted that the American Waterworks Association
and the GOS had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work
together to improve the state of water-related technologies.

SINGAPORE 00002046 002 OF 004

The 2008-2010 Plan of Action
----------------------------

4. (SBU) The two delegations also adopted a revised POA for
2008-2010. Both sides expressed interest in developing new
ways to advance our environmental cooperation and suggested
the following areas for collaboration:

--Air Pollution Control: Singapore proposed technical
exchanges on air quality management, use of cleaner fuels for
transportation and industry, and emissions monitoring
(especially for fine particulate matter).

--Water Safety and Management: On behalf of the U.S.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) A/S
McMurray offered to work with Singapore to develop an
Integrated Watershed Management (IWRM) plan designed to
control or eliminate marine degradation from land-based
activities.

--Energy Efficient Laboratories: Singapore proposed
collaborating with the U.S. EPA and Department of Energy
(DOE) under the Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21)
program to improve laboratory design to increase energy
efficiency. A/S McMurray welcomed Singaporean experts to
visit U.S. labs.

--Terrain Decontamination: Singapore proposed sending a
group from its National Environment Agency (NEA) to the
United States to gain insights from the U.S. EPA in the area
of terrain decontamination after a chemical, biological or
radiological incident.

--Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Enforcement and Illegal Logging:
Both A/S McMurray and AUSTR Linscott raised increased
participation in bilateral and multilateral initiatives and
urged Singapore to support a USTR-led regional dialogue on
illegal logging and associated trade (Ref A). A/S McMurray
told Deputy Secretary Daniel that the United States is
working with origin and destination countries and would like
to involve Singapore due to its importance as a transshipment
hub. AUSTR Linscott explained that the USG was engaging
China on the issue under our Strategic Economic Dialogue. He
noted that we had already signed an MOU on illegal logging
with Indonesia and were discussing something similar with
Malaysia. Deputy Secretary Daniel thanked A/S McMurray and
AUSTR Linscott for the update. The two delegations also
agreed to cooperate to improve the capacity of Southeast
Asian countries to implement and enforce their environmental
laws.

--International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution
from Ships (MARPOL) Annex 1: The United States proposed
convening a workshop involving the U.S. Department of Justice
and relevant Singapore agencies to exchange information and
share methods to detect and deter illegal discharge of oil by
ships.

--MARPOL Annex 6: A/S McMurray urged Singapore to support
the formation of a Pacific Ports Initiative (PPI) in
conjunction with the U.S. EPA and Maritime Administration
(MARAD). The PPI is intended to bring together major ports,
terminal operators, shipping lines, etc. with the aim of
reducing air pollution and other adverse effects of maritime
shipping and port operations. A/S McMurray offered to
provide the GOS with additional information concerning the
Pacific Northwest Ports Project involving Seattle, Tacoma,
and Vancouver.

--Benchmarks: Deputy Secretary Daniel expressed reservations
about a U.S. proposal to strengthen the POA's "Benchmarks"
language, saying that it was often difficult to quantify
achievements. A/S McMurray acknowledged it could be a
challenging process but stressed the importance of measuring
progress. Both sides agreed to further discussions on the

SINGAPORE 00002046 003 OF 004


issue sometime in the near future.

Additional Issues
-----------------

5. (SBU) In addition to the POA, the delegations discussed:

--Singapore International Water Week: Deputy Secretary
Daniel said that the GOS was interested in collaborating with
the USG and private U.S. companies on the inaugural
International Water Week (IWW) in June 2008. IWW will
showcase water technologies aimed at both developed and
developing nations. A/S McMurray suggested that several U.S.
companies and foundations would likely be interested in
participating.

--Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network
(AECEN): Both sides agreed to clarify their participation in
AECEN, a group formed in 2005 to promote the regional
exchange of best environmental practices.

--Arowana: The GOS asked about possible flexibility in U.S.
law that would allow Singapore companies to export arowana
fish to the United States. A/S McMurray recommended that the
GOS engage the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to directly
explore what options, if any, might be available for
importation of this endangered species.

Public Participation
--------------------

6. (SBU) At the USG's invitation, a representative from the
non-governmental organization TRAFFIC delivered a short
presentation about his organization's collaborative
activities with Singapore, which are often funded by the USG.
He highlighted training and capacity building efforts such
as a recent species identification workshop held in Singapore
and regional workshops to encourage interagency cooperation
on interdicting illegally traded wildlife. Singapore is a
leading participant in the ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network
(ASEAN-WEN), and has an opportunity to set best practices for
wildlife trade management, he said. The TRAFFIC
representative encouraged Singapore's participation in the
Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking, which currently
comprises five member countries, including the United States.
Deputy Secretary Daniel said the GOS shares TRAFFIC's
concerns.

Other Activities
----------------

7. (U) Following the review, A/S McMurray visited
Singapore's Marina Barrage Project where the Public Utilities
Board (PUB) delivered an overview of the Active, Beautiful,
and Clean (ABC) Campaign. Once complete, the Marina Barrage
will separate the Singapore and Kallang rivers from the
ocean, creating Singapore's largest freshwater reservoir.
The GOS is constructing a visitor center at the Barrage to
highlight the importance of water conservation and
Singapore's efforts in sustainable development. ABC is
Singapore's master plan to revitalize its waterways and bring
its citizens close to the source of their drinking water in
the hopes they will keep it free from trash and other
pollutants.

8. (SBU) A/S McMurray met with the Immigration and
Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to learn more about how it
monitors the flow of cargo into and out of Singapore and
screens for contraband such as illegal wildlife and wildlife
products.

9. (SBU) A/S McMurray on October 31 delivered remarks at the
U.S.-Singapore co-hosted Ramin Identification Workshop. The
workshop brought together port inspectors and customs
officials from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China.
Trainers offered the officials instruction and provided basic
tools to help them distinguish endangered ramin species from

SINGAPORE 00002046 004 OF 004


other woods that passes through their jurisdictions. During
the October 30 review, AVA officials expressed appreciation
for the workshop and noted that they had yet to seize any
illegal shipments of ramin.

10. (U) A/S McMurray visited the ACRES Wildlife Rescue
Center, which is scheduled to open by the end of 2007.
ACRES, a local non-governmental organization, is constructing
the center through private donations and grants. Once
completed, the center will serve as an educational facility
as well as a sanctuary for animals rescued from the illegal
wildlife trade.

11. (U) A/S McMurray and AUSTR Linscott cleared this message.

Visit Embassy Singapore's Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/singapore/ind ex.cfm
SHIELDS

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