U.S. Funding for International Conservation and Biodiversity

U.S. Funding for International Conservation
June 25, 2021
and Biodiversity
Pervaze A. Sheikh
The United States supports international conservation efforts through foreign assistance
Specialist in Natural
programs, diplomatic engagement, and other tools. Members of Congress have supported such
Resources Policy
efforts on a bipartisan basis and have debated the level, scope, prioritization, and potential

unintended consequences of U.S. international conservation activities. International conservation
Nick M. Brown
efforts focus on protecting species, restoring habitats, and recovering forests, among other things.
Analyst in Foreign
Multiple federal departments and agencies administer and implement these initiatives, and
Assistance and Foreign
Congress appropriates funding for them via several annual appropriations laws. Congress has
shaped U.S. policy on international conservation through its authorization and appropriation of

foreign assistance in part, as well as through its oversight activities.
Emily M. Morgenstern
Congressional interest in international conservation issues stems from a range of factors,
Analyst in Foreign
including concerns about human-caused threats to global biodiversity; constituent engagement;
Assistance and Foreign
interest in global biodiversity and protected areas; potential connections between conservation

and U.S. national security; and concerns about conservationists’ respect for human rights.
Reports of global biodiversity loss, land use degradation, and focus on zoonotic diseases in the
Katarina C. O'Regan
context of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have amplified these concerns
Analyst in Foreign Policy
for some Members.

Richard K. Lattanzio
Funding for international conservation issues has steadily increased or has been maintained by
Specialist in Environmental
Congress over the last several years. The Administration budget request for FY2022 would
maintain funding levels in several programs while reducing Biodiversity funding and increasing

Sustainable Landscapes Program funding (which addresses deforestation and forest degradation),
both under the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Congress might consider several issues as it authorizes, appropriates funding for, and continues oversight of U.S.
international conservation activities. Members may debate how much foreign assistance, if any, to provide for international
conservation programs; the goals and objectives of international conservation programs ; interagency coordination of
international conservation programs; whether assistance is aligned with host countries’ priorities; and the implications of
international conservation spending for human rights and Indigenous peoples.

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Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1
Selected Federal Activities by Department or Agency ........................................................... 2
U.S. Department of State ............................................................................................ 2
Multilateral Treaties, Conventions, and Initiatives ..................................................... 3
State Department-Administered Foreign Assistance Programs ..................................... 4
U.S. Agency for International Development................................................................... 4
Biodiversity Conservation ..................................................................................... 6
Sustainable Landscapes ....................................................................................... 10
U.S. Department of the Treasury ................................................................................ 11
Global Environment Facility ................................................................................ 11
Tropical Forest Conservation Act .......................................................................... 11

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Department of the Interior)............................................ 12
International Affairs............................................................................................ 12
Multinational Species Conservation Fund .............................................................. 13
Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund....................................................... 14
U.S. Forest Service (Department of Agriculture)........................................................... 14
Issues for Congress ....................................................................................................... 15
Level of Funding for International Conservation........................................................... 15
Goals and Objectives of Foreign Conservation Assistance.............................................. 17
Interagency Coordination.......................................................................................... 18
Alignment with Host Country Priorities and Length of Commitment ............................... 18
Foreign Assistance for Conservation and Consequences for Human Rights....................... 19
Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples .............................................. 21

Figure 1. Biodiversity Tier One Areas, by FY2019 Funding ................................................... 8

Table 1. SFOPS Appropriations for Conservation Sectors, FY2016-FY2022 Request................. 5

Table A-1. Enacted Appropriations for Selected Federal Programs That Address
International Conservation, FY2018 to FY2021 .............................................................. 23

Appendix. Selected Appropriations for International Conservation Activities ......................... 23

Author Information ....................................................................................................... 27
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U.S. Funding for International Conservation and Biodiversity

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The United States supports international conservation of wildlife and ecosystems through
diplomatic efforts, foreign assistance, and other activities. At the diplomatic level, the United
States works both multilaterally and bilaterally to set international conservation policy. The
United States provides foreign assistance in the form of financial, programmatic, and technical
support to address international conservation activities, such as species protection, habitat
restoration, and forest recovery, among other priorities. Several federal departments and agencies
administer these programs, including the U.S. Department of State (State), U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS), and U.S. Forest Service (FS).
Congress has shaped U.S. policy and global activities related to conservation through its
authorization and appropriation of foreign assistance resources, as wel as through oversight
activities. Several Members in the 117th Congress have expressed interest in international
conservation issues, especial y with respect to biodiversity, environmental conservation, and
il icit wildlife trade.1 Some Members also maintain an active interest in international conservation
treaties in which the United States takes part, such as the Convention on International Trade of
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (see the “Multilateral Treaties,
Conventions, and Initiatives” section, below).
Congressional concerns over global conservation efforts escalated in the wake of a 2019
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
report asserting a significant loss of biodiversity due to human interactions with natural
resources.2 Reports of human rights violations by U.S. conservation aid implementers have also
prompted congressional action. In addition, connections between the wildlife trade, ecosystem
alterations, and the emergence of zoonotic diseases, such as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-
19), have stimulated congressional interest in international conservation efforts.3
Congress provides international conservation funding through several annual appropriations
measures, including the following:
 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS)
appropriations (e.g., U.S. diplomatic activities, foreign assistance programs
administered by State and USAID, and some programs implemented by Treasury
and FWS);
 Department of the Interior (DOI) appropriations (the Multinational Species
Conservation Fund and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund); and
 Department of Agriculture appropriations (FS international programs).

1 For example, see Senator Rob Portman, “Portman, Bipartisan Colleagues Introduce Conservation Legislation to
Protect T ropical Forests & Coral Reef Ecosystems,” press release, February 22, 2021, at
legislation-protect -0.
2 Sandra Díaz et al., Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services, Intergovernmental Science-Policy
Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 2019, at https://www.ipbes.net/system/tdf/
spm_global_unedited_advance.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=35245. Hereinafter Díaz et al., Global Assessm ent on
, 2019.
3 For example, see Letter from Senator Cory Booker et al. to Dr. T edros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the
World Health Organization (WHO), April 8, 2020, at https://www.booker.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/
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This report describes selected U.S. international conservation activities. (It does not represent a
comprehensive list of al programs.) This report also identifies a number of issues for Congress,
including funding levels, objectives and evaluations of international conservation programs, and
potential unintended consequences of these programs. Table A-1, in the Appendix, provides
funding information on the programs discussed in this report.
Key Terms in Conservation Programming
This report uses USAID definitions for common conservation terms, as fol ows:
Biodiversity. The variety and variability of living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur.
The term biodiversity comprises the fol owing three categories: (1) genetic diversity is the combination of different
genes within a species; (2) species diversity is the variety and abundance of different types of organisms that inhabit
an area; and (3) ecosystem diversity is the variety of ecosystems in a given region.
Indigenous Peoples. Rather than having a unified definition, the U.S. Agency for International Development uses
a set of criteria to identify Indigenous peoples, only some of which may be applicable to any particular group. These
include self-identification as a distinct group; recognition of that group by others; historical continuity with
precolonial or pre-settler societies; attachment to a specific territory, distinct customary institutions, language,
and/or culture; and/or resolve to maintain a distinctive community.
Landscapes and Seascapes.
Large areas of diverse and interacting ecosystems embedded within diverse and
interacting social, cultural, legal, political, and economic systems. (USAID notes that this definition is broader than
that used within the field of ecology general y.)
Protected Areas. Clearly defined geographical spaces recognized, dedicated, and managed, through legal or
other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and
cultural values.
Stakeholders. Those who have widely recognized, though not always legal, rights to a territory, ecosystem, or
resource. Stakeholders may include nearby communities, particularly Indigenous peoples, and marginalized groups,
such as women and the very poor, as wel as local, state, and national government, nongovernmental
organizations, and private businesses.
Wildlife Trafficking. The il egal trade in live wildlife or wildlife products, estimated to be worth $10 bil ion to
$20 bil ion annual y. It ranges from smal -scale local bartering to international commercial shipments facilitated by
transnational criminal organizations.
Sources: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), USAID Biodiversity and Development Handbook,
October 2015, p. 3. Hereinafter USAID, Biodiversity Handbook, 2015. USAID, Policy on Promoting the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples,
March 2020, p. 8.
Selected Federal Activities by Department or
The following section offers information on the various U.S. diplomatic and foreign assistance
efforts focused on international conservation, organized by department and agency. These include
State’s role in various multilateral fora, USAID’s administration of foreign assistance programs,
Treasury’s financial assistance and loan relief programs, and FWS’s and FS’s international
U.S. Department of State
State focuses its conservation efforts at the policy and diplomatic levels. Foreign assistance
program administration is largely conducted by USAID, except for certain wildlife trafficking
programs focused on law enforcement.
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Multilateral Treaties, Conventions, and Initiatives
State negotiates and participates in, on behalf of the United States, multilateral conservation
treaties and conventions to which the United States is a party, including the following:
CITES. A multilateral treaty established in 1975, CITES seeks to protect
endangered and threatened species of animals and plants through the regulation
of trade in those species. Although CITES is legal y binding upon its parties, it
does not supersede existing national laws and statutes and does not have
enforcement authority. The United States was the first signatory to CITES and
ratified the treaty in 1974.4
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar). Established in 1975, Ramsar aims
to conserve wetlands using local, national, and international cooperation for
sustainable development.5 The United States entered into this treaty in 1986.
International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). Operational in 1987,
ITTO promotes the sustainability of tropical forests and the broadening of
international trade in tropical timber harvested from sustainable and legal
forests.6 The United States is a party to the organization as a consuming member
(i.e., a member who consumes, and does not produce, tropical timbers).
U.N. Forum on Forests (UNFF). Established in 2000 as a subsidiary of the U.N.
Economic and Social Council, UNFF is an intergovernmental body that promotes
conservation and sustainable development. Among other objectives, it aims to
reverse global forest cover loss through sustainable forest management and
strengthen the ability for sustainable forest management.7 UNFF is currently
tasked with overseeing the first U.N. Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030.8
State also represents the United States with regard to those treaties and conventions to which the
United States is not a party but which may affect U.S. activities overseas. For example, many
foreign assistance programs seek to align activities with strategic plans developed pursuant to the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).9 The CBD is a multilateral treaty with three main
goals: (1) the conservation of biological diversity, (2) the sustainable use of biodiversity
components, and (3) the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from genetic resources. State
participates as a nonvoting entity in the Conference of the Parties held by the CBD Secretariat
because the United States has signed but not ratified the treaty.

4 Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CIT ES), “ List of Contracting
Parties,” at https://www.cites.org/eng/disc/parties/chronolo.php. For further information on the relationship of treaties
to national law, see CRS Report RL32528, International Law and Agreem ents: Their Effect upon U.S. Law, by Stephen
P. Mulligan.
5 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, “ The Convention on Wetlands and Its Mission,” at https://www.ramsar.org/about/
the-convention-on-wetlands-and-its-mission. T he official title is “ Convention on wetlands of international importance,
especially as waterfowl habitat.” Department of State (State) Office of T reaty Affairs, Multilateral Treaties in Force as
of January 1, 2019
, p. 512.
6 International T ropical T imber Organization, “ About IT TO,” at https://www.itto.int/about_itto/.
7 United Nations, U.N. Forum on the Forests, “ Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Forest ,” fact sheet, at
https://www.un.org/esa/forests/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/81_FACT _SHEET _UNFF.PDF.
8 U.N. General Assembly, “71/285. United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030,” A/RES/71/285.
9 For example, the United States has funded the Global Environmental Facility, which implements programs of the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). U.S. agencies often design their programs to align with CBD initiatives,
such as recipient National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.
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State Department-Administered Foreign Assistance Programs
State Department-administered programs aim to strengthen regional and international
partnerships to address wildlife poaching and trafficking, improve foreign countries’ law
enforcement capabilities, and tighten anti-trafficking legislation in foreign countries.10 State
administers programs to combat wildlife trafficking in foreign countries through its Bureau of
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). INL carries out some capacity-
building activities through wildlife trafficking courses at its International Law Enforcement
Academies. State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs also
works to strengthen international cooperation on wildlife trafficking and conducts analyses to
identify “focus countries” and “countries of concern,” consistent with the Eliminate, Neutralize,
and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-231).11 State has also partnered with
multilateral organizations, such as the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime and the World Bank, as
wel as numerous bilateral partners.
U.S. Agency for International Development
USAID administers environmental conservation programs in an effort to curb biodiversity loss,
strengthen conservation efforts abroad, and combat wildlife trafficking, among other objectives.
USAID conservation programs are largely authorized under Section 118 and Section 119 of the
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (P.L. 87-195, as amended), which emphasize the importance of
biodiversity efforts to preserve tropical forests and to protect endangered species, respectively.
Congress provides funds for USAID biodiversity and conservation programs in annual SFOPS
appropriations. Congress directs these funds toward three sectors, which account for the majority
of international conservation programming: (1) biodiversity conservation, (2) wildlife poaching
and trafficking, and (3) sustainable landscapes.12 USAID draws on several foreign assistance
accounts to meet these directives. Since FY2016, Congress has provided either level or increased
funding for these three sectors each successive year (see Table 1).

10 H.J.Res. 31; and State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, “ Combating Crime and
Corruption,” November 27, 2018, at https://www.state.gov/combating-crime-and-corruption/.
11 A “focus country” refers to a foreign country determined by the Secretary of State to be a major source of wildlife
trafficking products, a major transit point of wildlife trafficking, or a major consumer of wildlife trafficking products. A
“country of concern” is a foreign country with similar characteristics as a focus country but in which the government
has actively engaged in or knowingly profited from wildlife trafficking. According to the 2020 END Wildlife
T rafficking Report, focus countries were Bangladesh, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of
the Congo, Gabon, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia,
Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Congo, South Africa, T anzania,
T hailand, T ogo, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Countries of con cern were Cambodia,
Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Laos, Madagascar, and Nigeria.
12 Sector allocations are directives contained in State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) General
Provisions (usually T itle VII of the SFOPS appropriations measure). T hese allocations define ways in which funds
already appropriated in the legislation shall be used. In addition to the sectors highlighted in this report, FY2020 sector
allocations included those for basic education and higher education; development programs; food security and
agricultural development; and programs to combat trafficking in persons; among others.
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Table 1. SFOPS Appropriations for Conservation Sectors, FY2016-FY2022 Request
(in mil ions of U.S. current dol ars)

Of which Wildlife
Poaching &

Sustainable Landscapes
Sources: P.L. 116-260, P.L. 116-94, P.L. 116-6, P.L. 115-141, P.L. 115-31, and P.L. 114-113. U.S. Department of
State, Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, FY2022 Congressional Budget Justification, U.S.
Department of State, 2021, at https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/FY-2022-State_USAID-
Notes: SFOPS = State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. n/a = not available at this time. The U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) considers wildlife poaching and trafficking a “sub-directive”
under the biodiversity conservation sector; as such, funding for wildlife poaching and trafficking programs is also
counted toward the biodiversity conservation congressional directive. The majority of funding in Table 1 is
administered by USAID; the rest is administered by the Department of State.
Many biodiversity conservation and sustainable landscapes activities are similar in practice, even
if their stated goals differ. Formal y, sustainable landscapes programs prioritize reducing carbon
emissions from land degradation, and biodiversity programs must explicitly set biodiversity as a
program objective. USAID often combines objectives across sectors when designing and
implementing its programs (e.g., a single mission may add a sustainable landscapes objective to a
biodiversity effort.) A single program may also have latitude to designate the sector based on
funding considerations (e.g., USAID Natural Resource Management projects may be designated
as either sustainable landscapes or biodiversity programs).13 Details about the three sectors are
provided below the text box, which gives an example of a cross-sector USAID program.
Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE)
CARPE was established in 1995 as a long-term, multifaceted program to “promote sustainable forest management,
biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation in the [Central Africa] region through sustainable natural
resource management, and strengthened conservation policy development and implementation.” The program is
the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) largest environmental program (by annual funding) and
involves numerous other federal entities as implementing partners, including the Departments of the Interior (U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Services [FWS], National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey), Agriculture (U.S. Forest Service,
Foreign Agricultural Service), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in addition to
nongovernmental organizations.
Now in its third stage, referred to as CARPE III and slated to run through the end of FY2020, CARPE comprises
two interdependent projects: (1) Central Africa Forest Ecosystems Conservation, which focuses on sustainable
forest management and wildlife conservation, and (2) Environmental Monitoring and Policy Support, which targets
improving the region’s policy and regulatory environment. In practice, USAID aims to meet CARPE III objectives
through activities such as establishing public-private partnerships to manage wildlife reserves, tracking key wildlife
populations through wildlife density and abundance surveys, and developing and/or strengthening community
organizations to protect and monitor local forests, among others. For example, in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, USAID and its implementing partner Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) helped to broker a partnership
with a local organization to better manage the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. With USAID support, WCS worked
through the partnership to increase law enforcement activity, train and equip park rangers, develop a law

13 U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Environmental and Natural Resources Framework, July 2019,
p. 5.
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enforcement strategy, and increase patrol efforts. USAID asserts that these types of activities build on the first
two phases of CARPE, which made gains in tropical forest management and conservation, and wil help the region
sustain that management capacity and strengthen governance.
In addition to these activities, and consistent with congressional priorities first articulated in the Congo Basin
Forest Partnership Act of 2004 (CBFP; P.L. 108-200), CARPE is the principal mechanism through which the U.S.
government supports the CBFP, a voluntary public-private partnership created to advance the Central African
Forests Commission priorities of sustainable Central African forest management with donor support. CARPE
spans the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Congress has provided funding for
CARPE through annual State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations measures. In recent years,
Congress appropriated CARPE funds to USAID but required USAID to transfer 42% of funds to FWS through an
interagency agreement.
Sources: Information in this section is informed by USAID, “CARPE History,” at https://www.usaid.gov/central-
africa-regional/central-africa-regional-program-for-the-environment/history, last updated April 1, 2019. Nick
Radford, Central Africa Regional Operating Unit - CARPE, Wildlife Conservation Society, Final Report, Kinshasa, DRC,
March 26, 2020.
Biodiversity Conservation
According to USAID, the agency’s biodiversity programs work “to conserve biodiversity,
leverage private sector funds, fight conservation crime, and support sustainable fisheries.”14
USAID cites five factors that drive its investment in biodiversity programs:
 approximately 1.6 bil ion people global y rely on forests for their livelihoods;
 biodiversity loss negatively affects global health and nutrition outcomes;
 industry related to environmental sectors may contribute to women’s economic
 biodiversity is critical to agricultural productivity; and
 environmental crime is linked to corruption, which reduces community safety
and the opportunity for legal livelihoods.15
The USAID Biodiversity Policy, issued in 2015 alongside an implementation handbook, set out a
tiered list of ecological y significant regions or countries at risk of degradation.16 USAID
missions in 14 “Tier One Operating Units” (i.e., priority geographic areas) are required to
integrate biodiversity as a major priority of their development strategies to be considered for
funding (Figure 1); Tier Two missions are strongly encouraged, but not required, to undertake
such programming.17 USAID has also developed a Biodiversity and Development Research

14 USAID, “ Conserving Biodiversity and Forests,” last updated February 28, 2020, at https://www.usaid.gov/
biodiversity. Hereinafter USAID, “ Conserving Biodiversity and Forests.”
15 USAID, “ Conserving Biodiversity and Forests.”
16 USAID, USAID Biodiversity Policy, March 2014. T ier One countries are ranked in terms of biological criteria and
have a preponderance of globally significant ecoregions. T ier T wo countries have a combination of characteristics that
include a globally significant ecoregion, critical habitat for threatened or endangered species, and an area where
USAID has experience.
17 USAID, USAID Biodiversity Policy, March 2014, p. 21. USAID based its selections on the Global Environment
Facility’s (GEF’s) Global Benefits Index for Biodiversity and the World Wildlife Fund’s Global 200 list. Papua New
Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were both identified as T ier One countries, but mission presence
currently is limited in Papua New Guinea, and t he Democratic Republic of the Congo is already supported through
Central Africa funding.
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Agenda and a Biodiversity Conservation Gateway. The gateway serves as a repository for the
agency’s policy and procedural guidance related to international conservation programs.18
Foreign Assistance Act Sections 118/119 Country Analyses
In addition to dedicated biodiversity programming, Section 118 and Section 119 of the Foreign Assistance Act of
1961 (P.L. 87-195, as amended) require by law that al USAID overseas missions (regardless of biodiversity tier)
integrate tropical forests (Section 118) and biodiversity (Section 119) in their country or regional strategies.
Missions carry out these 118/119 Analyses prior to development of a new country strategy, identifying threats to
biodiversity, the actions needed to mitigate such threats, and the extent to which missions’ existing strategies have
addressed those threats. For example, the 118/119 analysis for the 2014-2018 Colombia country strategy made
several programming recommendations that appear in the resulting strategy, such as establishing an official survey
of rural land, formalizing artisanal mining activities, and fostering private financing mechanisms for carbon
sequestration. Similarly, the country strategy adopts the 118/119 analysis view that sustainable resource
management is a critical factor in rural conflict reconciliation.
Sources: Ignacio Gómez, Gloria Sanclemente, Fabián Navarrete, Ramón Laborde, and Simón Vieira,
USAID/Colombia’s 2014-2018 118/119 Tropical Forest and Biodiversity Assessment (Colombia Assessment), USAID,
March 2014, p. 6; USAID/Colombia, Country Development Cooperation Strategy 2014-2020: A Path to Peace
(Colombia Country Strategy), June 13, 2014, pp. 3, 24, 26.
Between FY2016 and FY2021, funding designated for biodiversity programs in annual SFOPS
appropriations grew by more than 20% ($55 mil ion). More than 50 countries implement
biodiversity programs with USAID support,19 with nearly 61% of funding in FY2018 going to
Tier One countries.20 USAID in 2015 estimated that its activities consistently constituted
approximately two-thirds of al U.S. foreign assistance for biodiversity.21 USAID also transfers
funding to partner agencies, such as FWS, when those partners can address a programmatic need
or at the direction of Congress. The agency maintains a “Biodiversity Code,” which establishes
guidelines for counting projects toward the congressional biodiversity funding directive,
including that only projects with explicit biodiversity objectives may be counted.22

18 USAID, Biodiversity Conservation Gateway, “About the Gateway,” at https://rmportal.net/biodiversityconservation-
gateway/about -the-gateway.
19 USAID, “ Conserving Biodiversity and Forests.”
20 FY2018 is the most recent fiscal year reported in the annual report. USAID, Report to Congress on Programs in
Forestry and the Conservation of Biodiversity during Fiscal Year 2018: Results and Funding
, March 10, 2020, at
https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1865/USAID-Report -to-Congress-on-Forestry-and-
21 USAID, USAID Biodiversity and Development Handbook, October 2015, p. 6. Hereinafter USAID, Biodiversity
, 2015.
22 USAID, Biodiversity and Conservation Gat eway, “ Biodiversity Code,” updated November 8, 2018, at
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Figure 1. Biodiversity Tier One Areas, by FY2019 Funding

Source: U.S. Agency for International Development, Report to Congress on Programs in Forestry and the
Conservation of Biodiversity during Fiscal Year 2019: Results and Funding
, December 6, 2020. “Areas” are a
combination of regions and individual countries. For Papua New Guinea, USAID states that limited mission
presence makes investments in the country inadvisable.
USAID’s biodiversity program portfolio is organized under two core goals: (1) to conserve
biodiversity in target areas and (2) to integrate biodiversity as an essential component of human
development.23 USAID has stated that its programs reflect this connection between protecting
fragile habitats and promoting economic prosperity by addressing threats to biodiversity and
underlying drivers of those threats, such as economic activities of nearby communities and
national land management policies. USAID has linked livelihoods to conservation as a response
to findings that past conservation efforts failed because they did not take into account nearby
communities’ livelihoods and priorities in program design.24 USAID targets many of its activities
at an expansive, “landscape” or “seascape” scale—such as an entire watershed, a transboundary
fishery, or a protected area with its surrounding communities.25 Often this expansive scale is
meant to connect community stakeholders with vulnerable ecosystems. For example, USAID’s
Hariyo Ban Program in Nepal not only created new community-based anti-poaching units to
protect biodiversity but also supported the creation of new ecotourism activities to create
alternative livelihoods within those communities.26 USAID maintains that it seeks input on

23 USAID, USAID Biodiversity Policy, March 2014, p. 10. In addition to these two goals, the policy sets six objectives
for programs.
24 Secretariat of the CBD, Biodiversity Indicators & the 2010 Biodiversity T arget: Outputs, experiences and lessons
learnt from the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators P artnership, CBD T echnical Series no. 53, 2010, p. 6, at
https://www.cbd.int/doc/publications/cbd-ts-53-en.pdf. For further information on the Aichi Biodiversity T argets and
countries’ action plans, visit https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/.
25 USAID Ridge to Reef programs, for example, operate along an entire watersh ed, seeking to facilitate cooperation
between downstream reef areas often affected by environmental degradation and upstream ridge communities. See, for
example, WorldFish, World Agroforestry Centre, and Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study a nd
Research in Agriculture, From Ridge to Reef: An Ecosystem Based Approach to Biodiversity Conservation in the
Philippines Final Program Perform ance Report
, May 31, 2013.
26 World Wildlife Fund, Biodiversity, People and Climate Change: Final Technical Report of the Hariyo Ban Program,
First Phase
, Hariyo Ban Program, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2017, pp. vii-viii.
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program design and implementation from an array of stakeholders, particularly Indigenous
communities. USAID support to the Partnership for Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity, for
instance, includes what it characterizes as significant engagement in Indigenous-controlled lands;
research has found these lands may be more likely to sustain forest cover as formal y protected
areas.27 According to some stakeholders, Congress’s addition of coral reefs to USAID’s
legislative mandate for conserving biodiversity under the Tropical Forest Conservation
Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-440) may signal a new priority for biodiversity programs,
as seascapes historical y have received less USAID funding than tropical forests.28
Wildlife Poaching and Trafficking
USAID considers wildlife poaching and trafficking a “sub-directive” under the biodiversity
conservation sector. Further, USAID states that it is an issue for international development, as it
counteracts efforts to end extreme poverty, impedes the rule of law, and hinders sustainable
development programs that benefit from ecotourism.29 Wildlife trafficking also threatens wildlife
populations and the sustainability of community lands and may contribute to public health risks.30
U.S. government efforts to combat wildlife poaching and trafficking are broad and
multisectoral.31 SFOPS funds to combat wildlife poaching and trafficking grew by nearly 26%
($20.7 mil ion) between FY2016 and FY2021.
USAID has noted that it seeks not only to preserve wildlife populations but also to combat
transnational crime and preserve safe, sustainable ecotourism, among other priorities. USAID
wildlife poaching and trafficking activities target areas where wildlife are poached, transit hubs,
and high-demand markets for trafficked wildlife.
 In areas where wildlife are poached, USAID focuses on capacity building to
enhance policies and processes to end wildlife trafficking and to train local
rangers and scouts to counter wildlife trafficking with effective enforcement.
 Along prominent trafficking routes, USAID funds partnerships that seek to
disrupt trafficking supply chains. For instance, the Reducing Opportunities for
Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species partnership trains workers in the
transport and logistics sector to identify and respond to wildlife trafficking, as
wel as to work to strengthen law enforcement and data analytics capacities.32

27 USAID, Biodiversity Handbook, 2015, p. 82; and USAID, “ Bilateral Biodiversity Conservation,” last updated
September 6, 2019, at https://www.usaid.gov/brazil/our-work/environmental-partnerships.
28 USAID, Biodiversity Handbook, 2015, p. 92.
29 USAID, “ Combating Wildlife T rafficking,” last updated March 8, 2021, at https://www.usaid.gov/biodiversity/
30 Wildlife trade—both legal and illegal—often involves placing live wildlife in close proximity to each other and
people, potentially increasing risks of transmitting zoonotic diseases. Some Members of Congress have proposed
restrictions and increased enforcement on wildlife trade and associated markets. See Letter from Senator Cory Booker
et al. to Dr. T edros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, Monique Eloit, director-general of the World
Organisation for Animal Health, and Qu Dongyu, director -general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization,
April 8, 2020, at https://www.booker.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/
31 For more information on wildlife trafficking, particularly as it relates to transnational crime and law enforcement, see
CRS In Focus IF11605, Wildlife Trafficking: International Law Enforcem ent Responses, by Katarina C. O'Regan
32 Recent Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful T ransport of Endangered Species (ROUT ES) publications have focused
on air transport of illegal wildlife products. See, for example, ROUT ES Partnership, Shared Skies, 2021 and ROUT ES
Partnership, Anim al Sm uggling in Air Transport and Preventing Zoonotic Disease, 2020, at
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 In high-demand markets for trafficked goods, USAID works to reduce demand
through behavior change and community outreach campaigns. For example,
USAID developed and published the Wildlife Consumer Behavior Change Toolkit
with the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.33 USAID has also
launched specific campaigns, such as the “Beautiful Without Ivory” campaign in
Thailand, which sought to reduce the acceptability of ivory accessories among
female consumers.34
Some USAID projects also seek to monitor and track the global wildlife trafficking trade. The
Wildlife Trafficking Response, Assessment, and Priority Setting Project produces analyses of the
wildlife trafficking trade by identifying trends to educate policymakers and strengthen their
enforcement and investigation capabilities, including through increased forensic analysis of
wildlife products.35
Congress has addressed wildlife trafficking and poaching through appropriations. Under the
FY2021 appropriation, P.L. 116-260, Congress mandated that no funds from Title IV of Division
K (Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, International Security
Assistance) can be used for training or other assistance for military units or personnel that the
“Secretary of State determines has been credibly al eged to have participated in wildlife poaching
or trafficking, unless the Secretary reports to the appropriate congressional committees that to do
so is in the national security interest of the United States.”36
Sustainable Landscapes
USAID sustainable landscapes programming addresses the “sound management of land and
forests [that] sustains livelihoods and strengthens resilience to natural hazards, protects water
resources, and biodiversity, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and land
management.”37 According to USAID, it supports 13 bilateral programs, 5 regional programs, and
numerous global programs that address sustainable landscapes.38 The programs are diverse in
their objectives, but many address deforestation, seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and
promote public-private partnerships.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)
The body of policy and approaches to address deforestation and forest degradation as they pertain to emissions,
forest conservation, sustainable development, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks has been termed REDD+.
REDD+ policies attempt to create financial value for carbon stored in forests by using market approaches to
compensate landowners for not deforesting their lands. This new approach to financing forest conservation

33 Users can search information by species (e.g., elephants, tigers, and rhinoceroses), target audience (e.g., government
or consumers), or consumer actions (e.g., consumption trends). See Change Wildlife Consumers, at
34 USAID, “ T op Fashion Influencers Join USAID’s ‘Beautiful Without Ivory’ Campaign,” press release, September 20,
2019, at https://www.usaid.gov/asia-regional/press-releases/sep-20-2019-top-fashion-influencers-join-usaid-beautiful-
without -ivory-campaign.
35 USAID, “ Wildlife T rafficking Response Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife T RAPS),” 2018, at
assessment -and-priority-setting.
36 P.L. 116-260, §7060(c)(1)(C).
37 USAID, “ Sustainable Landscapes,” last updated April 29, 2020, at https://www.usaid.gov/climate/sustainable-
38 USAID has supported these programs as of November 2019.
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projects is intended to reward landholders for preserving biodiverse landscapes that absorb large quantities of
carbon, such as tropical forests and peat bogs. USAID REDD+ projects support countries’ efforts to calculate
total carbon stocks stored in their national forests and may support countries’ marketing of carbon credits for
continued preservation of their carbon stocks. The SilvaCarbon project, for example, is an interagency initiative
funded primarily by USAID and the State Department to provide technical assistance to countries in measuring
and monitoring their forest and terrestrial carbon stocks.
Sources: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), USAID Biodiversity and Development Handbook,
October 2015, p. 6. USAID, SilvaCarbon Performance Evaluation Final Report, March 13, 2015, p. ix.
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Treasury addresses international biodiversity conservation through lending programs and
technical assistance. Treasury works with intergovernmental organizations and foreign
governments to provide financial assistance for a wide range of activities, including international
conservation activities.39 Treasury also works with other agencies, such as State, to implement
some international conservation programs.
Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral environmental trust fund supporting
projects with global environmental benefits. Treasury administers U.S. participation in the GEF,
but, as a multilateral assistance program, it is funded by Congress through annual SFOPS
appropriations.40 For FY2021, Congress provided $139.6 mil ion for the trust fund under the
Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2021 (P.L. 116-260). The GEF provides grants and other
financing programs that support a variety of projects, such as Safeguarding Biodiversity from
Invasive Alien Species in the Federated States of Micronesia,41 the restoration of degraded forests
in Vanuatu,42 and efforts to conserve coastal wetlands in Chile.43 The GEF states that its programs
are approved by consensus of a council comprised of developed and developing member
Tropical Forest Conservation Act
The Tropical Forest Conservation Act authorizes debt-for-nature transactions,45 where a
developing country’s debt is exchanged for local funds to conserve tropical forests. Brazil, for

39 U.S. Department of the T reasury, “ International Programs,” 2019, at https://www.treasury.gov/about/budget-
performance/budget-in-brief/BIB19/24.%20International%20Programs.pdf. For more information on sanctions use, see
State, “2019 END Wildlife T rafficking Strategic Review,” November 7, 2019, at https://www.state.gov/2019-end-
40 State, Congressional Budget Justification: Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Fiscal
Year 2020
, 2019, at https://www.state.gov/fy-2020-international-affairs-budget/.
41 Global Environment Facility (GEF), “ Safeguarding Biodiversity from Invasive Alien Species in the Federated States
of Micronesia,” at https://www.thegef.org/project/safeguarding-biodiversity-invasive-alien-species-federated-states-
42 GEF, “ Ecosystem Restoration and Sustainable Land Management in T ongoa Island,” at https://www.thegef.org/
project/ecosystem-restoration-and-sustainable-land-management -tongoa-island.
43 GEF, “ Mainstreaming Conservation of Coastal Wetlands of Chile’s South Center Biodiversity Hotspot through
Adaptive Management of Coastal Area Ecosystems,” at https://www.thegef.org/project/mainstreaming-conservation-
44 GEF, “Organization,” at https://www.thegef.org/about/organization.
45 22 U.S.C. §2431.
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example, committed to develop and fund programs intended to protect the country’s tropical
forests; in exchange, the United States canceled an equivalent level of debt and deposited interest
from a portion of the debt into a Tropical Forest Fund for conservation grants to address forest
conservation in Brazil.46 Fourteen countries were beneficiaries of such agreements from 2000 to
2013.47 Congress did not appropriate funding for debt-for-nature transactions from FY2014 to
FY2019. In 2019, the act was amended by the Tropical Forest Conservation Reauthorization Act
of 2018 (P.L. 115-440), which added coral reef ecosystems to the protections under the act and
authorized $20.0 mil ion in appropriations for FY2019 and FY2020. Congress appropriated $15
mil ion to debt-for-nature exchanges in FY2020 and FY2021.48 Reauthorization to extend the
authorization for funding transactions under the act through FY2026 is under consideration by the
117th Congress in both chambers (S. 335; H.R. 241).
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Department of the Interior)
FWS administers international conservation funding through programs that focus on species and
habitat conservation, both domestical y and international y, and has been authorized to administer
a variety of funds for foreign conservation efforts.49 Examples include the Multinational Species
Conservation Fund (MSCF) and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. The FWS
International Affairs program addresses international wildlife conservation and international
wildlife trade. Various other programs address specific species or groups of species that are found
international y, as discussed below. Congress provides funding for FWS international
conservation activities largely through annual Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Acts.
FWS also receives a funding transfer from USAID for biodiversity programming overseas (see
text box entitled “Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE),” above).
International Affairs
FWS’s International Affairs program is split into two subprograms: International Conservation
and International Wildlife Trade. These subprograms provide technical and financial assistance to
partner countries and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to address habitat
conservation, species conservation, and wildlife trafficking. These programs are implemented in
partnership with nonfederal stakeholders. FWS reports that from 1989 through 2018, it provided
more than 4,200 grants for international conservation, totaling more than $322 mil ion. This work
was done with more than 700 partners (e.g., other donors, NGOs, and foundations) in developing
countries, which, according to FWS, contributed more than $470 mil ion in matching funds for
grant projects.50
The International Conservation subprogram focuses on regional and species conservation
activities in foreign countries that are of importance to the United States.51 For example, the

46 USAID, “ Countries with T FCA Programs,” at https://www.usaid.gov/biodiversity/T FCA/programs-by-country.
47 For more information on the T ropical Forest Conservation Act, see CRS Report RL31286, Debt-for-Nature
Initiatives and the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA): Sta tus and Im plem entation
, by Pervaze A. Sheikh.
48 USAID, “ Financing Forest Conservation: An Overview of the T ropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act ,” at
https://www.usaid.gov/tropical-forest -conservation-act.
49 16 U.S.C. §742j.
50 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Budget Justification and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2021 , p. IA-3,
at https://www.fws.gov/budget/2021/FY2021-FWS-Budget -Justification.pdf. Hereinafter FWS, FY2021 Budget
51 FWS, FY2021 Budget Justification, p. IA-2.
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Wildlife Conservation Capacity Development in Central Africa program aims to develop and
implement training and workforce capacity in Central Africa.52 Further, in a partnership with
Gabon’s National Parks Agency, FWS aims to create safeguards for multiple species, some
endangered, by supporting efforts to guard and protect parks in Gabon.53
FWS’s International Wildlife Trade program is responsible for implementing CITES for the
United States, issuing permits for listed species, and implementing other U.S. laws that address
wildlife trade and wildlife trafficking, including the END Wildlife Trafficking Act (P.L. 114-231)
and Executive Order 13773 on preventing international trafficking.54 The United States is one of
the world’s largest importers of legally traded wildlife products.55 FWS facilitates the legal
wildlife trade, valued at more than $675.0 mil ion per year, through issuing permits, conducting
inspections, and monitoring. Further, FWS compiles and maintains trade records for U.S. imports
and exports of wildlife.56
FWS also works with governmental and nongovernmental entities in foreign countries through
technical and financial assistance to prevent poaching, lower wildlife trafficking, and reduce
demand for wildlife contraband. In 2016, FWS implemented the Combating Wildlife Trafficking
grants program to address trafficking in species that might not otherwise receive the same level of
attention as others. For example, FWS initiated a project in Sumatra to address wildlife
trafficking and to conserve species such as the Sumatran tiger, helmeted hornbil , and Malay
pangolin—according to some scientists, pangolins are the world’s most trafficked species.57 This
project is significant, according to FWS, because these species are often poached and trafficked
by the same criminal syndicates in the region.58 FWS enforces laws that guard against wildlife
trafficking through its Office of Law Enforcement, which is funded separately from these
Multinational Species Conservation Fund
The MSCF provides technical and financial assistance to local communities, wildlife authorities,
and NGOs in developing countries for conserving specific species, including African and Asian
elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers, great apes, and marine turtles. The MSCF is separated into several
sub-funds that support conservation efforts benefitting certain species, often in conjunction with
efforts under CITES. The sub-funds provide grants to address habitat conservation, law
enforcement, and technical assistance for conserving species under the MSCF. A summary of the
funds is below.
 The African and Asian Elephant Conservation Fund provides funding for projects
for research, conservation, and the management and protection of African and

52 FWS, “ Wildlife Conservation Capacity Development in Central Africa,” fact sheet, at https://www.fws.gov/
53 FWS, Budget Justification and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2020 , at https://www.fws.gov/budget/2020/
54 Executive Order 13773, “Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to T ransnational Criminal
Organizations and Preventing International T rafficking,” 82 Federal Register 10691, February 14, 2017.
55 FWS, FY2021 Budget Justification.
56 FWS, FY2021 Budget Justification.
57 Smriti Mallapaty, “Scientists call for pandemic investigations to focus on wildlife trade,” Nature, vol. 583, no. 344
(July 10, 2020). Hereinafter Mallapaty, “Scientists call for pandemic investigations,” 2020.
58 Mallapaty, “Scientists call for pandemic investigations,” 2020 .
59 For more on FWS and other agency law enforcement efforts to counter wildlife crimes, see CRS In Focus IF11605,
Wildlife Trafficking: International Law Enforcem ent Responses, by Katarina C. O'Regan.
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Asian elephants and their habitats. Appropriations are authorized for $5.0 mil ion
annual y from FY2019 to FY2023.
 The Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund approves grants for other nations
and to CITES for programs assisting in direct and indirect conservation of
rhinoceroses and tigers in Asia and Africa. Further, it prohibits the sale, import,
and export of products derived from any rhinoceros and tiger species.
Appropriations are authorized for $10.0 mil ion annual y from FY2019 to
 The Great Ape Conservation Fund provides grants to foreign governments, the
CITES Secretariat, and NGOs for the conservation of great apes and their
habitats. Appropriations are authorized for $5.0 mil ion annual y from FY2019 to
 The Marine Turtle Conservation Fund provides grants for the conservation of
marine turtles and their nesting habitats. It is authorized to receive $5.0 mil ion in
annual appropriations from FY2019 to FY2023 for conservation efforts.
Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund
The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund (NMBCF) provides grants for the
conservation of hundreds of bird species that migrate among North America, South America, and
the Caribbean.60 The goal of the NMBCF is to foster and support initiatives that bolster
cooperation international y for the conservation of bird populations. The program provides
matching grants for neotropical migratory bird conservation projects throughout the Western
Hemisphere,61 with at least 75% of funding going to projects in foreign countries. Since 2002, the
NMBCA has provided nearly $75.0 mil ion in grants to support 628 projects in 36 countries.
These projects have addressed 5 mil ion acres of bird habitat and leveraged an additional $286.0
mil ion for conservation, according to FWS.62
U.S. Forest Service (Department of Agriculture)
The FS International Programs office promotes sustainable forest management and biodiversity
conservation international y. The office has three main units: (1) Technical Cooperation, (2)
Policy, and (3) Disaster Assistance Response. The office supports specific activities, including
managing protected areas; protecting migratory species; engaging in landscape-level forest
planning; providing fire management training; curbing invasive species; preventing il egal
logging; promoting forest certification; reducing the impacts of forest use; and developing
nontimber forest products. The office has activities and projects in Latin America, Asia, and
Africa. In addition, USAID occasional y partners with FS under an interagency agreement to
support sustainable landscape activities.

60 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Leveraging Funds for Effective Conservation in the Americas: The Neotropical
Migratory Bird Conservation Act
, September 2018, at https://www.fws.gov/birds/grants/neotropical-migratory-bird-
61 T he program benefits approximately 386 bird species that breed in the United States or Canada and spend winter in
Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, or South America.
62 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, July 21, 2020, at
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Issues for Congress
Congress may consider the following issues as it authorizes, appropriates funding for, and
continues oversight of U.S. international conservation activities.
Level of Funding for International Conservation
A perennial debate about U.S. international conservation assistance is how much, if any, funding
to provide—and implicitly, how to prioritize international conservation vis-à-vis other U.S.
foreign aid and policy priorities. Recently, congressional concerns over global conservation
efforts escalated in the wake of an IPBES report asserting a significant loss in biodiversity due to
human interactions with natural resources.63 The decline in biodiversity al eged in the IPBES
report may raise questions about the efficacy and proper funding levels for biodiversity efforts.
In FY2019 and FY2020, Congress appropriated funds above the Trump Administration’s request
for biodiversity funding for USAID; in FY2021, Congress appropriated more than three times the
Administration’s request.64 In addition, the Trump Administration proposed to eliminate the FS
International Programs office to focus on several domestic forest activities, including improving
conditions of forests and grasslands, enhancing rural economies, and reducing wildland fire risk.65
Congress did not approve the Administration’s request and provided $12.0 mil ion for the FS
International Programs for FY2020 and $15.4 mil ion for FY2021.
Some critics of foreign assistance as a whole have asserted that the United States provides
overseas development assistance to the detriment of domestic programs, and aid recipients or
private entities should do more to advance international assistance goals.66 This sentiment has
also been applied to international conservation activities. For example, some observers assert that
the United States should reduce conservation assistance funding and encourage recipient
countries to increase their contributions to conservation within their countries.67 Some
policymakers propose a different perspective, arguing that recipient countries justifiably focus
their domestic spending on other priorities, such as poverty al eviation, health care, and
infrastructure, leaving few resources for conservation. They argue that wealthier countries, such
as the United States, could fil in this shortage of funding for conservation—a key justification for
debt-for-nature exchanges, which Congress has funded for tropical forests and coral reefs.68
Results from a 2013 study support this position.69 The study found that 40 of the most severely
underfunded countries70 for biodiversity conservation contain 32% of al threatened mammalian

63 Díaz et al., Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services, 2019.
64 T he Administration’s FY2021 request for biodiversity funding under USAID was $91.1 million; Congress
appropriated $320.0 million.
65 USAID, U.S. Forest Service (FS), FY2020 Budget Justification, March 2019, at https://www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/
files/media_wysiwyg/usfs-fy-2020-budget -justification.pdf.
66 Angus Deaton, “T he U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem,” New York Times, January 24, 2018.
67 James Roberts and Brett Schaefer, An Overhaul of America’s Foreign Assistance Programs Is Long Overdue, T he
Heritage Foundation, September 19, 2017, at https://www.heritage.org/global-politics/report/overhaul-americas-
68 Annie Haakenstad et al., “T he Financing Gaps Framework: Using Need, Potential Spending and Expected Spending
to Allocate Development Assistance for Health,” Health Policy Plan, vol. 33, no. 1 (2018).
69 Anthony Waldron et al., “T argeting Global Conservation Funding to Limit Immediate Biodiversity Declines,”
Proceedings of the National Academ y of Sciences, vol. 110, no. 29 (July 16, 2013), pp. 12144 -12148. Hereinafter
Waldron et al., “T argeting Global Conservation Funding,” 2013.
70 Underfunded countries are determined by comparing known current levels of spending wit h a model’s expectation of
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biodiversity. The authors argued that modest increases in international conservation assistance for
these countries could lead to proportional y larger improvements in biodiversity.71
Advocates of U.S. international conservation funding often assert that preserving wildlife and
ecosystems in developing countries benefits the American people by sustaining global public
goods—for example, by preserving tropical forests that serve as natural carbon sinks; sustaining
biodiversity resources that sequester zoonotic diseases or provide natural substances for
pharmaceuticals; or protecting the intrinsic value of diverse species and ecosystems.72 However,
some policymakers who advocate for reducing U.S. international conservation funding contend
that some recipient countries may reduce their own conservation spending in light of funding
gaps fil ed by international aid, resulting in a zero net benefit for conservation. To counter this
possibility, some suggest establishing conditions or assurances that countries would not reduce
domestic conservation budgets upon receiving conservation aid. These types of assurances are
embedded in some U.S. domestic conservation programs, such as the Great Lakes Restoration
Questions about how international conservation might benefit the United States sometimes arise
in congressional consideration of appropriations. Some policymakers contend there are few—if
any—benefits from U.S. international conservation efforts, an assertion that has been supported
by some academic and oversight studies.74 For example, the Government Accountability Office
(GAO) in 2017 conducted an audit of U.S. overseas activities to combat wildlife trafficking and
found that the results of such activities were unclear, in part because agencies administering the
programs had not set performance targets for their respective efforts.75 Other policymakers
counter that U.S. investments may leverage funding from private sector firms and other entities
within beneficiary countries to expand international conservation programs’ scales, thereby
increasing the potential benefits.76 For example, in FY2018, according to USAID, a partnership
between USAID and Coca-Cola, Natura, and the NGO Sitawi Finance for Good led to the
conservation of freshwater fish in the Amazon and yielded economic benefits for 6,150 families
in protected areas in the Brazilian state of Amazonas.77
Some stakeholders might also contend that foreign assistance for some international conservation
issues could address security or global health concerns.78 For example, assistance for addressing

71 Waldron et al., “T argeting Global Conservation Funding,” 2013, pp. 12144 -12148.
72 For example, see Andrew Balmford et al., “Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature,” Science, vol. 297, no.
5583 (August 9, 2002), pp. 950-953.
73 See 33 U.S.C. §1268(c)(7)(F).
74 See, for example, one such study conducted using Madagascar as a test case. Patrick O. Waeber et al., “How
Effective Have T hirty Years of Internationally Driven Conservation and Development Efforts Been in Mada gascar?”
PLoS ONE vol. 11, no. 8 (August 2016).
75 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Agencies Are Taking a Range of
Actions, But Task Force Lacks Perform ance Targets for Assessing Progress
, GAO 16-717, September 2016.
76 Efforts to create investment models for private investment to deliver returns and conservation outcomes are the
objective of some conservation organizations. For example, see “Meeting Global Conservation Challenges,” Nature
Clim ate Change
, vol. 6, no. 891 (September 28, 2016).
77 USAID, U.S. Agency for International Development Report to Congress on Programs in Forestry and the
Conservation of Biodiversity During Fiscal Year 2018: Results and Funding , at https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/
files/documents/1865/USAID-Report -to-Congress-on-Forestry-and-Biodiversity_FY_2018.pdf.
78 For example, see Francis Masse and Jared D. Margulies, “T he Geopolitical Ecology of Conservation: T he
Emergence of Illegal Wildlife T rade as National Security Interest and the Re-shaping of US Foreign Conservation
Assistance,” World Development, vol. 132 (August 2020), pp. 1-15.
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international wildlife trafficking might deprive foreign armed groups of financing or lower
imports of il egal y traded wildlife into the United States and thus prevent the entry of zoonotic
diseases that could be carried by il egal y traded wildlife and wildlife products.79 Some critics
may counter that the United States could bolster national security and health in other, more direct
Goals and Objectives of Foreign Conservation Assistance
Congress appropriates U.S. international conservation assistance funding to multiple federal
departments and agencies, and funds are spread out over many different programs. There is no
centralized plan or framework for distributing the funds or evaluating the success of al
conservation assistance to foreign countries. Certain agencies focus their funding according to
program goals and priorities, which range from protecting certain species (e.g., rhinoceroses and
elephants) to restoring landscapes (e.g., tropical forests). In some cases, interagency international
conservation efforts and criteria might not be aligned. For example, while USAID’s Biodiversity
Code establishes a set of criteria for implementing biodiversity programs, the sustainable
landscapes sector under USAID programming does not appear to operate under similar criteria. In
the absence of a holistic program or initiative, agencies might group existing programs or projects
together to report progress toward an objective.
Some policymakers might contend that if al U.S. international conservation assistance were
organized and spent according to a set of whole-of-government priorities or an overarching
framework, this could lead to the development of conservation goals and focus U.S. funding
toward achieving those goals. This could enable greater congressional oversight of conservation
assistance and help measure progress on international conservation initiatives. An initiative under
USAID discusses an intra-agency approach with USAID and six nongovernmental organizations.
USAID’s Global Conservation Project aims to conserve global y significant areas of biodiversity
at multiple scales, from the community level to large landscapes and seascapes that cross political
boundaries.80 According to USAID, this is the only global conservation initiative within the
Some other policymakers might oppose a holistic approach and argue that existing agency-led
conservation programs should be guided by their specific legislative authorities. For example,
several laws authorize international conservation activities with specific objectives that address
certain species or landscapes. Policymakers might argue that these laws and programs reflect the
wil of constituents and that conservation is too broad to be addressed under one plan. They might
argue that the effectiveness of addressing specific issues, such as wildlife trafficking, might be
diluted under an overarching plan or agenda.
This issue is exemplified by debates over the scope of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act and
debt-for-nature swaps. Some policymakers wanted to expand the use of debt-for-nature swaps
under the law to al forest and ocean resources.81 Others argued for keeping the law focused on
tropical forests, arguing that with limited funds, the most effective use of the law would be

79 Vanda Felbab-Brown, The Extinction Market: Wildlife Trafficking and How to Counter It (Oxford University Press,
2017), p. 288.
80 USAID, USAID Global Conservation Program , 2021.
81 Senator Rob Portman, “Portman, Bipartisan Senate Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Promote Conservation and
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” press release, May 3, 2017, at https://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/
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conserving tropical forests. Ultimately, the law was amended in 2019 to address tropical forests
and coral reef ecosystems (see the “Tropical Forest Conservation Act” section, above).
Interagency Coordination
With international conservation assistance largely implemented by individual agencies, some
have questioned whether interagency coordination is possible and effective. For example, in
2017, GAO found that although U.S. government efforts to reduce wildlife trafficking in
Southeast Asia were making some progress, “disagreement on roles and responsibilities” had
proved chal enging. To address these chal enges, GAO recommended that State, DOI, and
USAID each clarify their respective roles and responsibilities related to wildlife trafficking
programs in Southeast Asia. Each agency agreed with, and reportedly implemented, the GAO
Congress may seek to understand how U.S. government entities are coordinating their
international conservation efforts and where there might be areas for greater efficiency and
effectiveness. Some policymakers might propose an interagency task force to coordinate
conservation activities in similar landscapes or countries. Further, some might contend that
sharing expertise among agencies or pooling resources and efforts could increase the efficiency
and effectiveness of implementing conservation programs. Other policymakers might argue that
disrupting the status quo may be detrimental. They might point to existing coordination, such as
FWS and State collaboration on addressing wildlife trafficking in foreign countries and the
presence of FWS officers in certain U.S. embassies abroad to participate in international criminal
investigations of wildlife trafficking and wildlife enforcement networks.
The outbreak of COVID-19 and the potential emergence of zoonotic diseases global y have
stimulated these discussions. Some Members of Congress have introduced bil s that direct
interagency collaboration to identify zoonotic diseases and study factors that contribute to their
emergence. For example, under S. 37 and H.R. 151 in the 117th Congress, USAID would
collaborate with other federal agencies to implement programs aimed at reducing the risks of
emerging infectious diseases. These programs may include efforts to conserve biodiversity,
improve food security, and minimize the human-wildlife interface by preventing the degradation
and fragmentation of ecosystems, among other activities.
Alignment with Host Country Priorities and
Length of Commitment
Congressional oversight of international conservation activities may include questions about
whether federal programs and activities align with recipient countries’ conservation priorities.
Some stakeholders argue that foreign assistance programs meet their objectives only when they
align with recipient countries’ priorities.83 For example, one study found that if the needs of the
developing country were aligned with those of the conservation projects, then the probability of
success would increase, as the developing country can implement policies that would support the

82 GAO, Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Agencies Are Taking Action to Reduce Demand but Could Improve
Collaboration in Southeast Asia
, GAO-18-7, Oct ober 12, 2017, at https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-7#summary.
83 For example, see Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness,
2005, at https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/9789264098084-en.pdf?expires=1597420266&id=id&accname=
ocid195520&checksum=6416CCB99F17932468962E5EB606C305 .
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project.84 The same study argues that biodiversity conservation can have policy and project goals
that may contradict a nation’s poverty reduction goals. If the nation’s poor were overhunting or
converting larger tracts of biodiverse land to farmland, then biodiversity policies may not
succeed, according to the study.85
Some policymakers contend that successful international conservation initiatives are implemented
through long-term rather than short-term efforts, implying that long-term commitments to
conservation aid might be a better approach. For example, some point to long-term aid to Brazil
for strengthening the structures for monitoring and managing reserves and forests as an effective
use of aid. Some stakeholders might counter this approach by suggesting that short-term
conservation actions are more effective when addressing dire environmental issues that emerge
quickly. For example, conservation actions to prevent a species from going extinct or save an
ecosystem from burning (e.g., forest fires in Australia) might be more effective if implemented by
short-term rather than long-term efforts.
Congress might consider these findings when deliberating international conservation assistance.
Members might view a holistic approach to conservation that would take into account
development goals and aspirations by recipient countries and focus on long-term conservation
initiatives. In contrast, Congress might focus on international conservation priorities that would
focus on specific species or ecosystems that have broad constituent support, such as African
elephant conservation or coral reefs.
Foreign Assistance for Conservation and Consequences for Human
Human rights advocates and organizations representing Indigenous communities have
periodical y asserted that international conservation programs can result in forced displacement,
in security force abuses against local communities, or both. For example, a 2019 news article
al eged that people living near national parks in Nepal and near national parks in several central
African countries were abused as a result of counter-poaching operations by local park rangers.86
Al egations that Nepal park rangers had tortured and kil ed a suspected poacher near Chitwan
Forest in 2006 were central to the article. Other reports of human rights abuses associated with
conservation have surfaced throughout the world. For example, some observers al ege human
rights abuses by park rangers in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of the Congo, and
some Indigenous rights groups al ege that this park’s creation dispossessed local communities of
their lands without consent. Local government officials have denied these al egations.87

84 Zdenek Oprsal and Jaromir Harmacek, “Is Foreign Aid Responsive to Environmental Needs and Performance of
Developing Countries? Case Study of the Czech Republic,” Sustainability, vol. 11, no. 401 (2019), p. 10. Hereinafter,
Oprsal and Harmacek, “Is Foreign Aid Responsive?”
85 Oprsal and Harmacek, “Is Foreign Aid Responsive?”
86 T om Warren and Katie Baker, “WWF Funds Guards Who Have T ortured and Killed People,” BuzzFeed News,
March 4, 2019.
87 See, for example, Inés Ayari and Simon Counsell, The Human Cost of Conservation in the Republic of Congo ,
Rainforest Foundation UK, December 2017; Survival International, How Will We Survive? The destruction of Congo
Basin tribes in the nam e of conservation
, 2017. T he Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park (NNNP) is managed by the
Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation, a public-private partnership between the Congolese government’s Ministry for Forest
Economy and the Wildlife Conservation Society, a nonprofit conservation organization. NNNP has received funding
from USAID, FWS, State, FS, and various private, international, and nongovernmental donors.
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Some Members of Congress have expressed concern that U.S. international conservation aid has
been used to fund organizations implicated in human rights violations. In response to the 2019
news article mentioned above, Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Eliot Engel cal ed for an
investigation into U.S. funding administered by FWS for the international conservation
organizations that support anti-poaching efforts in Nepal.88 Further, in response to these
al egations, DOI stated that certain funding would be withheld until an internal review of the
matter was complete.89 Other donors (including the British and German parliaments) also have
investigated al eged human rights abuses as a result of conservation projects.90
GAO conducted an analysis of human rights abuse al egations in overseas conservation programs
in 2020.91 GAO found that federal agencies vetted park rangers who received funding through the
Leahy Process. The Leahy Process is guided by two laws that prohibit the United States from
using certain funds to support foreign security forces when credible information shows the forces
have committed a gross violation of human rights.92 The laws lay out a process for vetting
recipients of aid that is conducted by the Department of State or Defense, where applicable. The
respective agency assesses available information about the recipient’s human rights records as
part of this process.93 GAO also found that U.S. agencies responded to al egations of human
rights abuses in different ways. For example, GAO reported that USAID responded to al egations
with more training on human rights issues for park rangers and conducted site visits to further
understand al egations. DOI has put a hold on international conservation funding and is
conducting more in-depth inquiries into human rights abuses, as discussed.
Congress responded to this issue in the explanatory statement for P.L. 116-260 (Consolidated
Appropriations Act, FY2021). Congress directed agencies to follow the House Report (116-444)
accompanying H.R. 7608 with regard to funds made available for national parks and protected
areas. The report states that agreements obligating funds shal include provisions that require
 information on the proposed project and its potential impacts is shared with local
communities and the “free, prior, and informed consent of affected indigenous
communities is obtained in accordance with international standards”;
 the proposed project’s potential effects on land or resource claims made by local
communities or Indigenous peoples are considered and addressed in management

88 Michael Burke, “Lawmakers Call for Investigation into World Wildlife Fund,” The Hill, March 5, 2019.
89 Letter from Susan Combs, assistant secretary of Policy, Management, and Budget for the Department of the Interior,
to Representative Raúl Grijalva, chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, September 19, 2019.
90 For example, see Karen McVeigh, “British Watchdog Launches Inquiry into WWF Abuse Allegations,” The
, April 4, 2019.
91 GAO, Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Agencies Work to Address Human Rights Abuse, GAO-21-139R, October 2,
2020, pp. 1-16, at https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-21-139r.pdf.
92 See 22 U.S.C. § 2378d, which is applicable to assistance furnished under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the
Arms Export Control Act, and 10 U.S.C. § 362, which is applicable to funds appropriated to the Department of
Defense. T he Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 defines gross violations of internationally recognized hum an rights to
include torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; prolonged detention without charges; causing
the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons; or other flagrant denial of the
right to life, liberty, and the security of persons (22 U.S.C. § 2151n(a) and 22 U.S.C. § 2304(a)(4)). According to GAO,
“while these definitions do not apply to the Leahy provision codified at 2 2 U.S.C. § 2378d, the State Department has
adopted them in implementing its Leahy vetting program.”
93 For more information, see U.S. Department of State, About the Leahy Law, fact sheet, January 20, 2021, at
https://www.state.gov/key-topics-bureau-of-democracy-human-rights-and-labor/human-rights/leahy-law-fact -sheet/.
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 eco-guards, park rangers, and other law enforcement personnel authorized to
protect biodiversity are trained and monitored; and
 mechanisms exist for victims of human rights violations and other misconduct.
Congress might consider evaluating these guidelines to determine if they are sufficient to address
human rights concerns or if further oversight or legislation is needed to impose additional
conditions on grant recipients. Congress also might consider whether these guidelines should be
applicable to overseas assistance directed for al types of conservation.
Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples
Areas of the world that are home to large concentrations of Indigenous peoples and low-income
communities are often prone to the negative effects of climate change, biodiversity loss,
ecosystem degradation, and other conservation-related chal enges.94 Congress might consider
whether foreign assistance for conservation aids or hinders Indigenous and low-income
communities in recipient countries. Some human rights advocates argue that efforts to conserve
habitats or sustainably manage lands could force Indigenous peoples out of their ancestral
homelands and deprive them of their livelihoods.95 They argue that conservation assistance may
not address or mitigate externalities that affect the livelihoods of these populations.96 For
example, international efforts to shut down wildlife markets to prevent the spread of zoonotic
diseases and lower wildlife trafficking may have the unintended consequence of diminishing
protein options for Indigenous or low-income people with little access to markets with meat from
domesticated animals. Some conservation advocates counter that conservation assistance and
activities can enhance the wel -being of Indigenous people by involving them in securing the
sustainability and longevity of natural habitats and lands and by protecting the ecosystems they
depend on from destruction at the hands of local government, private sector initiatives, and
U.S. government entities involved in international conservation activities differ in their
approaches to involving Indigenous peoples and other local communities as potential
stakeholders in conservation efforts. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (recently
reconstituted as the U.S. Development Finance Corporation), for instance, maintained a policy to
attain “consent” of Indigenous peoples for programs; State and Treasury suggest the need for
“consultation.”98 USAID, in its new policy on Indigenous peoples, encourages attaining free,
prior, and informed consent as a “best practice” but also refers to the U.S. Announcement of
Support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a “cal for a process of
meaningful consultation with [traditional] leaders, but not necessarily the agreement of those
leaders, before the actions addressed in those consultations are taken.”99
Congress could seek to clarify the U.S. position on requirements for attaining the consent of
Indigenous peoples in U.S. conservation programs, including by considering the establishment of

94 Sandra Díaz et al., Summary for Policymakers of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem
Services of the Intergovernm ental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
, IPBES, 2019, pp.
95 Jeremy Hance, “Conservation’s People Problem,” Mongabay, 2016. Hereinafter Hance, “ Conservation’s People
Problem,” 2016.
96 Hance, “Conservation’s People Problem,” 2016.
97 Claudia Sobrevila, The Role of Indigenous Peoples in Biodiversity Conservation: The Natural but Often Forgotten
, World Bank, working paper no. 44300, 2008.
98 USAID, Biodiversity and Development Handbook, 2015, p. 83.
99 USAID, Policy on Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, March 2020, p. 21.
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a U.S. government position on the matter. For example, Congress might consider questions that
would elucidate the requirement under P.L. 116-260 that asks for the “free, prior, and informed
consent” of Indigenous communities affected by projects. Some questions might include what
information should be passed to Indigenous communities, what form their consent should be in,
and how to collaborate with the national government where Indigenous communities are located.
Congress also could consider policy mechanisms to integrate conservation programs with the
livelihoods of Indigenous peoples.
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Appendix. Selected Appropriations for
International Conservation Activities

Table A-1. Enacted Appropriations for Selected Federal Programs That Address
International Conservation, FY2018 to FY2021
(in mil ions of U.S. dol ars)
FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
U.S. Agency for
Biodiversity conservation
Not less
Not less
activities conducted by USAID
aim to help developing countries
maintain biodiversity and habitats
and the environmental services
they provide. USAID funds
projects and activities in
approximately 60 countries
throughout the world and
emphasizes sustainable
development and community-
based conservation. Efforts
began in the 1970s to address
the conservation of forests and
expanded to address biological
diversity and tropical
deforestation in the 1980s.
Biodiversity conservation
activities are broadly authorized
by §119 of the Foreign
Assistance Act of 1961 (22
U.S.C. §2151q).
USAID funds to
This category covers funding
Not less
Not less
Not less
Not less
address wildlife
under several programs that
poaching and
address wildlife trafficking. A
portion of funds are
appropriated to in-country
programs in Africa and Asia.
Another portion of funding is
appropriated to the International
Narcotics Control and Law
Enforcement Program to
develop criminal justice systems
and capabilities in foreign
countries. Wildlife trafficking is
one of the il icit international
crimes in the purview of this
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U.S. Funding for International Conservation and Biodiversity

FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
This funding covers international
treaties that address
conservation, including the
Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
U.N. Convention to Combat
Desertification; RAMSAR
Convention on Wetlands;
Intergovernmental Platform for
Biodiversity and Ecosystem
Services; U.N. Forum on Forests;
International Tropical Timber
Organization; and the Food and
Agriculture Organization’s
National Forest Program Facility.
U.N. Environment
This funding goes towards the
U.N. Environment Program
(UNEP), which promotes
environmental sustainability
global y. UNEP works in themes
related to climate change,
disasters, ecosystems,
environmental governance,
chemicals and waste, resource
efficiency, and sustainability.
U.S. Department
The GEF is a multilateral
of the Treasury
environmental trust fund that
supports projects with global
environmental benefits related to
Facility (GEF)
six areas: biodiversity, climate
change, international waters, the
ozone layer, land degradation,
and persistent organic pol utants.
Al ocation of funding across
these six areas has varied by
year. Established in 1991, the
GEF has received funds from the
United States annual y since
U.S. Department
The TFCA (22 U.S.C. §2431 et
of the Treasury
seq.) authorizes debt-for-nature
Tropical Forest
transactions, where developing
Conservation Act
country debt is exchanged for
local funds to conserve tropical
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U.S. Funding for International Conservation and Biodiversity

FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
U.S. Department
The Sustainable Landscapes
No less
Not less
Not less
Not less
of State (State)
program aims to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions from
deforestation and forest
degradation. USAID and State
draw funds for bilateral and
regional Sustainable Landscape
programming from larger
accounts in their budgets,
including Development
Assistance, Economic Support
Fund, and International
Organizations and Programs.
U.S. Fish and
The MSCF supports
Wildlife Service
conservation efforts benefitting
certain species, often in
conjunction with efforts under
CITES (to which the United
States is a party). The MSCF
Fund (MSCF)
provides funding to a range of
countries for the conservation of
African and Asian elephants,
rhinoceroses, tigers, great apes,
tortoises, freshwater turtles, and
marine turtles. This funding
provides grants that target
species and address habitat
conservation, law enforcement,
and technical assistance for
conserving species under the
FWS Neotropical
This funding provides grants for
Migratory Bird
the conservation of hundreds of
bird species that migrate among
North America, South America,
and the Caribbean.
FWS International
The FWS International Affairs
Affairs Program
program addresses wildlife
conservation, wildlife trade, and
the implementation of several
U.S. wildlife laws. This office also
coordinates programs that
address forest conservation
indirectly by supporting the
conservation of species and
ecosystems. Program
components include
International Conservation and
International Wildlife Trade
discussed below.

This program consists of species
and regional programs that
Conservation provide technical and financial
assistance to conserve high-
priority species and habitats.
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FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021

This program is responsible for
implementing CITES and various
domestic laws of the United
States to ensure that the
international wildlife trade is not
harmful to endangered and
threatened wildlife around the
U.S. Forest
The FS International Programs
Service (FS)
office promotes sustainable
forest management and
biodiversity conservation
international y. The office has
three main units: Technical
Cooperation, Policy, and
Disaster Assistance Response.
Specific activities include
managing protected areas,
protecting migratory species,
engaging in landscape-level forest
planning, providing fire
management training, curbing
invasive species, preventing il egal
logging, promoting forest
certification, reducing the
impacts of forest use, and the
development of nontimber forest
Sources: P.L. 116-94, P.L. 116-6, P.L. 115-141; accompanying committee reports for Interior, Environment, and
Related Agencies and for State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and FY2022 congressional budget
justifications for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and for State, Foreign Operations, and Related
Notes: FY2020 appropriations for biodiversity programs under USAID identify funding for some conservation
programs in the explanatory statement, including the Andean Amazon Program ($24.5 mil ion); Brazilian Amazon
Program ($11.0 mil ion); Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment ($43.0 mil ion); and Great Apes
Conservation ($40.0 mil ion); among others.

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Author Information

Pervaze A. Sheikh
Katarina C. O'Regan
Specialist in Natural Resources Policy
Analyst in Foreign Policy

Nick M. Brown
Richard K. Lattanzio
Analyst in Foreign Assistance and Foreign Policy
Specialist in Environmental Policy

Emily M. Morgenstern

Analyst in Foreign Assistance and Foreign Policy

Lucas Bermejo, former research associate, authored and contributed to earlier versions of this work.

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