Israel and the Philippines signed an agreement on Monday to collaborate on environmental protection, the Foreign Ministry confirmed.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo on World Environment Day, during Cohen’s historic visit to Manila. He left for the country on Sunday for the first visit by an Israeli foreign minister in 56 years.
Cohen is leading two business delegations organized by the economic division of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Israel Export Institute and the Israeli embassies in Manila and Seoul, where he is also visiting. The business delegation in Manila was focused on agriculture, water, energy and cleantech, as well as security and cyber, emergency preparedness and health.
"I am sure that this visit will improve our already existing partnerships in agriculture, water, innovation and technology and economic cooperation."Eli Cohen
The MOU calls for Israel and the Philippines to share best practices around environmental protection, specifically focusing on preserving ecosystems, disaster risk management, and promoting and disseminating environmental technologies.
“We believe that close cooperation in the field of environmental protection can provide an important contribution to the friendly relations between our two states and to help in addressing issues of sustainability, climate change and help protect our planet,” Cohen said in an interview with the local Philippine News Agency on Monday.
“I am sure that this visit will improve our already existing partnerships in agriculture, water, innovation and technology, and economic cooperation,” he told the news outlet.
Israel's previous environmental protection MOU with Azerbaijan
In April, Cohen signed a similar agreement during a visit to Azerbaijan with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Mukhtar Babayev.
That agreement focuses on several areas of collaboration, including issues of air quality management, environmental aspects of water management, waste management, climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, prevention of land degradation and promotion of ecological technologies.