Washington, DC - From June 28 - July 1, the United States and Cuba will meet to promote bilateral cooperation on key issues affecting the marine environment. This is the first such meeting under the U.S.-Cuba Joint Statement on Cooperation on Environmental Protection – a framework to facilitate and guide U.S.-Cuba cooperation, both governmental and non-governmental – on a range of environmental issues.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, David Balton, will lead the U.S. delegation, which will include representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. NGOs working on marine conservation and marine science.

The U.S. delegation will meet with Cuban government officials as well as non-governmental organizations involved in marine environmental conservation. Discussions will look at options for collaboration on marine environmental issues such as Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, marine species of special concern, marine debris, coral reefs, and coastal resilience. The Cuban government has also invited the delegation to visit the Zapata Wetlands National Park to see Cuban conservation efforts in person.