Peace Corps and EPA Sign a Memorandum of Understanding

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 14, 2010 Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Director of the U.S. Peace Corps, Aaron Williams, announced a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate stronger institutional ties between the two organizations. The MOU will explore opportunities to collaborate on a wide range of environmental issues—including efforts to bring cleaner cookstoves to millions in the developing world—while engaging young people, expanding the conversation on environmentalism, and supporting local solutions for communities here at home and around the world.

The partnership between EPA and the Peace Corps marks an important advance in the work and mission of both organizations, said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. EPA and the Peace Corps can expand our efforts both here at home and throughout the world, combining our experiences and knowledge to tackle complex and pressing environmental issues confronting our global community.

Everyday, thousands of Peace Corps volunteers around the planet work with local communities to find sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing environmental issues, said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. Our collaborative work with the EPA will help empower more communities to make environmentally friendly choices.

Under the MOU, EPA and the Peace Corps will explore opportunities to collaborate on important issues such as distributing clean cookstoves. People in developing countries face extraordinarily high exposures to toxic smoke from indoor fires and inefficient cookstoves that lead to nearly 2 million deaths each year, primarily in young children and women. The organizations will also work on environmental education, community monitoring, solid waste, waste water and safe water management, and climate change.

More information on the EPA-Peace Corps MOU:

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961 by executive order. Peace Corps will commemorate 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world through 2011. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 77 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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