Forestry and Biodiversity

Speeches Shim

International treaties, conventions, etc.

  • Sustainable Development Goal 14 and 15
    The UN SDG 14 aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources by sustainably managing and protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, preventing and reducing marine pollution, and minimizing and addressing the impacts of ocean acidification. The UN SDG 15 aims to sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss through conservation, restoration and sustainable use. SDG 15 also aims to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna, prevent and control invasive species, and promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of genetic resources.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity
    The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), adopted at the “Rio Earth Summit” in 1992, aims to conserve both terrestrial and marine biological diversity and to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of genetic resources. The United States has signed, but not ratified the CBD.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
    CITES is an international agreement between governments that accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Although adherence is voluntary, CITES is legally binding on all signatories ("Parties") and requires them to adopt domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.
  • International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) and Organization (ITTO)
    ITTO is an intergovernmental organization promoting the conservation and sustainable management, use and trade of tropical forest resources. Its members represent about 80 percent of the world's tropical forests and 90 percent of the global tropical timber trade. The ITTA is the international treaty under which ITTO operates. The U.S. is a dues paying member of ITTO as a consumer country of tropical timber and makes annual voluntary contributions to support activities, projects and fellowships in tropical regions related to forestry and biodiversity.
  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
    The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides a global framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Almost 90 percent of UN member states have signed on to the Convention since it was adopted in 1971.

U.S. National Laws

  • Foreign Assistance Act, Part I, Sections 118 (Tropical Forests), 119 (Biodiversity)
    Sections 118(e) and 119(d) of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) require USAID to undertake an analysis of the actions necessary to achieve sustainable management of tropical forests and to conserve biological diversity in each country where development assistance is provided. This analysis is completed as part of the Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) process.
  • U.S. Lacey Act (2008 Amendment to prohibit the entry of illegal wood and paper products)
    The 1900 Lacey Act bans trafficking in illegal wildlife and plants, including those covered by CITES and other international laws. The 2008 Amendment now makes it a crime to import plants, including tree and wood products, that were illegally harvested, taken and transported in contravention of the laws in their country of origin. The Lacey Act has been a major tool for the United States in fighting transnational crime related to illegal wildlife poaching, logging and associated trade.
  • U.S. National Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
    The National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking establishes guiding principles and strategic priorities for U.S. efforts to stem illegal trade in wildlife. Specifically, the Strategy focuses on strengthening the enforcement of laws and international agreements that protect wildlife while reducing demand for illegal wildlife and wildlife products.
  • Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016 (END Act)
    The END Act supports global anti-poaching efforts, strengthens the capacity of partner countries to counter wildlife trafficking, and designates major wildlife trafficking countries.
  • Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (p. 128 STAT. 2670) 
    The Act states that no less than $123,500,000 shall be made available for sustainable landscapes programs and, in addition, not less than $250,000,000 shall be made available to protect biodiversity, including funding for the Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) and other tropical forest programs in the Congo Basin and the Mayan Biosphere Reserve. Funds shall not be used to support or promote the expansion of industrial scale logging or any other industrial scale extractive activity into areas that were primary/intact tropical forest as of December 30, 2013. The Act also provides no less than $55,000,000 of the funds appropriated to be made available to combat the transnational threat of wildlife poaching and trafficking, including not less than $10,000,000 for programs to combat rhinoceros poaching.
  • Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill, 2016 (sec 7060 (c) (3), SR 114-79, p. 65) 
    The Act apportions $250,000,000 for biodiversity projects, including $39,400,000 for CARPE, of which up to $21,900,000 is for USAID programs. It also supports continued funding for programs to assist developing countries protect species that are endangered due to habitat destruction and wildlife poaching and trafficking, including in Central Africa, Indonesia, South Sudan, and Niger.
  • Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Sec. 7060(c)(2) 
    Of the funds appropriated under this Act, no less than $265,000,000 shall be made available for biodiversity conservation programs, with no less than $90,664,000 made available to combat the transnational threat of wildlife poaching and trafficking. Funds appropriated by this Act for biodiversity programs shall not be used to support the expansion of industrial scale logging or any other industrial scale extractive activity into areas that were primary/intact tropical forests as of December 30, 2013, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive directors of each international financial institution (IFI) to vote against any financing of any such activity.

Executive Actions

  • Presidential Memo on Ecosystem Services
    The Presidential Memorandum directs Federal agencies to develop and implement policies that promote consideration of ecosystem services and integrate assessments of ecosystem services, where appropriate and practicable, in planning, investments, and regulatory contexts.
  • Presidential Memo on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud
    The 2014 Presidential Memorandum directs all executive departments and federal agencies to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud by implementing and enforcing relevant policies, regulations, and laws that seek to improve the transparency and traceability of the seafood supply chain, to promote legally and sustainably caught and accurately labeled seafood and to take appropriate actions within existing authorities and budgets to assist foreign nations in building capacity to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud.

Agency Policy

  • USAID Biodiversity Policy
    The Biodiversity Policy sets out strategic actions to conserve the world’s most important biodiversity, including combating wildlife trafficking and establishing priority countries for biodiversity funding, and highlights a new focus on integrated approaches that support both biodiversity conservation and improved development outcomes.
  • Biodiversity and Tropical Forestry (FAA 118/119) Assessments
    ADS 201.3.4 mandates that an “environmental analysis” satisfying the requirements of FAA 118(e) and 119(d) be completed in Phase 1 of CDCS development (see above FAA 118/119).

Reports to Congress

  • FAA 118/119 Annual Report to Congress
    FAA 118 and 119 require USAID to report annually on how the agency has implemented the programming mandates established by these sections of the law in the area of tropical forests and biodiversity. USAID satisfies this requirement with a “Biodiversity Conservation and Forestry Programs Annual Report.”
  • EAI/TFCA Annual Report to Congress
    Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (EAI) and the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) are both Sections of the FAA requiring Congressional Reports to be submitted by the State Department but drafted by the USAID/E3 TFCA Secretariat.

Implementation Guidelines, Tools, and Other Resources

  • USAID Best Practices in 118/119 Analyses
    The 118/119 Tropical Forest and Biodiversity Analysis Best Practices Guide provides practical "how-to" advice for USAID staff and contractors conducting the analysis. The best practices guide promotes a standardized application of best practices to assist missions with preparing for, managing, conducting and using the 118/119 analysis and better aligns the analysis with new requirements in USAID’s ADS Chapter 201, Program Cycle Operational Policy.
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Guide
    This guide provides basic information on how to design programs to reform capture fisheries (also referred to as “wild” fisheries) and aquaculture sectors to ensure sound and effective development, environmental sustainability, economic profitability, and social responsibility, with a focus on ways to reduce the threats to biodiversity and ecosystem productivity through improved governance and more integrated planning and management practices.

Number of USAID Missions implementing

  • 50+

Agency Initiatives

  • Combating Wildlife Trafficking

Related Issue Areas

  • Global Climate Change
  • Health
  • Agriculture
  • Democracy and Governance
  • Economic Growth
  • Land Tenure, Land Use
  • Water
  • Indigenous Rights

Agency POC

Related Sectors of Work