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Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

Assistant Secretary McMurray [State Dept. Photo]

Welcome to the Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science (OES) website.

In OES, we work on a broad and challenging range of international environmental issues-everything from combating climate change, air and water pollution, and infectious diseases, to the conservation of forests, oceans and marine life, to space exploration.

On any given day, members of the Bureau may be responding to the threats of pandemic disease and bioterrorism; fighting illegal trade in endangered species, timber and ozone-depleting chemicals; reinforcing strategic alliances though scientific cooperation; establishing partnerships to lessen greenhouse gas emissions and promote energy efficiency; helping countries gain access to clean drinking water; and protecting oceans and the creatures who live in them.

We seek to protect wildlife and its diversity on land and in the oceans. We encourage the spread of new technologies that promise to benefit the environment and promote economic growth at home and abroad. Our goal is to use America's diplomatic power to help foreign citizens improve their lives and transform their futures - to protect the Earth's natural resources for everyone today so that generations to come will enjoy them tomorrow.

I hope that this web site is interesting and helpful to you in gaining a better understanding of the work OES is doing on behalf of every American citizen.

Claudia A. McMurray
Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

Date: 01/13/2009 Location: Norway Description: Fjords in Norway State Dept Photo

Arctic Region
January 12, 2009

On January 12, 2009 President Bush issued a directive establishing the policy of the United States with respect to the Arctic region and directs related implementation actions. This directive takes into account several developments, including,  altered national policies on homeland security and defense; the effects of climate change and increasing human activity in the Arctic region; the establishment and ongoing work of the Arctic Council; and a growing awareness that the Arctic region is both fragile and rich in resources. White House Release

Date: 01/06/2009 Location: Washington, DC Description: President George W. Bush stands with Secretary Kempthorne, Secretary Gutierrez, Administrator Johnson. © AP Photo

Ocean Conservation Strategy
January 6, 2009

President Bush used his Antiquities Act authority to designate three new areas in the Pacific as Marine National Monuments. The President's action caps off an eight-year comprehensive ocean conservation strategy. The areas that the President is designating in total will comprise the largest areas of ocean or ocean seabed set aside as marine protected areas in the world, coming in at 195,000 square miles. President Bush's Remarks | Briefing | Establishment of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument | Establishment of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument | Establishment of the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument | Fact Sheet: Marine National Monuments

Date: 12/10/2008 Location: Panama City, Panama Description: Secretary Rice and Panamanian President Torrijos at Presidential Palace, Panama City, Panama, December 10, 2008. State Dept. photo. State Dept Photo

Pathways to Prosperity Plenary Session I
December 10, 2008

Secretary Rice met with Ministers of 12 countries in the Western Hemisphere to advance the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative, to increase economic opportunity and social justice in the Western Hemisphere through trade and investment. A Ministerial Declaration resolved to enhance the efficiency of bilateral, regional, and multilateral cooperative environmental work to strengthen environmental institutions, polices and laws; to ensure conservation and management of biodiversity, forests, protected areas, and ecosystems; to support transparency and public participation as well as community and voluntary incentive-based activities for environmental protection; and to improve private sector environmental performance. Secretary Rice's Full Text | Pathways to Prosperity site


Date: 12/04/2008 Location: Bejing, China Description: Representatives of the United States and China at the Fifth China-U.S. Strategic Economic Dialogue. State Dept Photo

US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED)
December 4-5, 2008

The State Department led discussions at the fifth meeting of the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in Beijing, China December 4-5. The Ten Year Framework for Cooperation in Energy and Environment generated five action plans, including an environmental conservation plan addressing wetlands protection and nature reserves in both countries. A major initiative agreed to new cooperative forest conservation projects to combat the illegal logging trade and to promote sustainable forest management.  Similarly, several new "Eco Partnerships" will focus on energy security and environmental protection.

12/05/2008-- Joint U.S.-China Fact Sheet
12/04/2008-- U.S. Fact Sheet on Energy and Environment Accomplishments
12/04/2008-- Joint U.S. - China Fact Sheet on Ten Year Energy and Environment Cooperation

Date: 12/02/2008 Location: Saudi Arabia Description:    A/S McMurray and Prince Torki al-Saud, vice president of the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST), pose with Saudi and American officials following the signing of the US-KSA Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, in the KACST offices, Riyadh.  Embassy Riyadh Economics Counselor Eric Madison and OES officer Bruce Howard stand to the Prince

United States and Saudi Arabia Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Science and Technology Cooperation
Saudi Arabia
December 2, 2008

Assistant Secretary McMurray and Vice President of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Prince Torki bin Saud signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on science and technology cooperation between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on December 2, 2008 in Riyadh. Media Note | Remarks

Date: 11/28/2008 Location: Vietnam Description: Assistant Secretary McMurray speaking to officials at the Ho Chi Minh city. State Dept Photo

November 20, 2008

Assistant Secretary Claudia A. McMurray visited Vietnam from November 18-22 to promote US interests and cooperation with Vietnam on environmental and scientific issues.  Two specific goals were to highlight the importance of cooperation on climate change research and mitigation, and to encourage efforts to preserve wildlife as well as combat illegal wildlife trafficking. more

Date: 09/03/2008 Location: New York City Description: Assistant Secretary McMurray and Dr. Jane Goodall at the filming of two public service announcements on wildlife trafficking. State Dept Photo

New Public Service Announcements to Stop Illegal Trade in Wildlife
New York City
September 3, 2008

The two new public service announcements on wildlife trafficking are with conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall. Dr. Goodall, a world renowned primatologist and Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, agreed to film the PSAs to further spread the message that demand reduction of illegally trafficked goods will stop the killing of endangered species. more

Date: 11/10/2008 Location: Richmond, VA Description: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ambassador Reno L. Harnish speaks to a group of students at Virginia Commonwealth University about the role of science in foreign policy diplomacy.   State Dept Photo

Science Diplomacy and the U.S. Department of State
Richmond, Virginia

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Harnish (Nov. 10): "The Department of State engages governments, business, universities, non-governmental and international organizations, and individuals from every region in the world to promote scientific cooperation and education. To accomplish this, State applies a suite of diplomatic tools." Full Text

Date: 10/21/2008 Location: Washington, DC Description: President Bush speaking during the Summit on International Development. © White House Photo

White House Summit on International Development
October 21, 2008

President Bush: “The United States works with partner nations to deal with the lack of clean water. Last year we dedicated nearly a billion dollars to improve sanitation and water supplies in developing nations. We're also wise enough to enlist the private sector to help, as well." Full Text


yellow envelope  Sign up for Climate, Environment, and Conservation email updates. 

Jefferson Science Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series on Current Issues in Science and Technology on Dec. 19, 2008. more

Memorandum of Understanding between the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations and the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program Signing Ceremony; Remarks by Assistant Secretary Claudia McMurray. (Dec. 8)  Remarks

Date: 12/03/2008 Location: Washington, DC Description: Signing Ceremony With Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Support of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate State Dept PhotoSigning Ceremony With Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Support of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (Dec. 3)
Statement by Under Secretary Dobriansky

Annual Climate Change Conference
The fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-14) will take place December 1-12, 2008, in Poznan, Poland. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Dr. Paula Dobriansky will lead the U.S. delegation. More

Date: 11/12/2008 Location: Front Royal, Virginia Description: Sniffer dog in his kennel at the ATF Canine Branch in Front Royal, Virginia. State Dept PhotoState Department Working With ATF Canine Branch to Combat Wildlife Trafficking: More

Joint Statement by the United States and Brazil Announcing the Expansion of Cooperation on Biofuels to Advance Energy Security and Promote Sustainable Development (Nov. 20)

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
Statement by Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel A. Reifsnyder, Doha, Qatar (Nov. 19)

Panel Discussion: From Poznan to Copenhagen via Washington
Under Secretary Dobriansky attends the Conference on Rising to the Challenge of Climate Change Globally and in the U.S. (Nov. 10) Full Text

Global Positioning System (GPS)
The U.S. and Japan convened a plenary meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on November 10, 2008 to review and discuss matters of importance regarding cooperation in the civil use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and GPS augmentations (Nov. 10) Joint Statement 

Under Secretary Jeffery Presents 2008 Secretary of State's Awards for Corporate Excellence (Nov.6) Remarks

The U.S. will host the 32nd Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in Baltimore, Maryland, April 6-17, 2009. The ATCM is the major annual diplomatic event related to Antarctica, and will include the participation of nearly 400 diplomats, Antarctic program managers and logistics experts, and polar scientists from 47 countries, including 28 Consultative Parties. Visit ATCM2009.gov.

The United States and the Law of the Sea Convention
Remarks by John B. Bellinger, III, Legal Adviser (Nov. 3)

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