WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House of Representatives passed the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Representatives Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), senior Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, to extend the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2018 through fiscal year 2025. This legislation is a companion to S. 4428, sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).
“Tropical forests and coral reefs are some of the most biologically diverse and environmentally important ecosystems anywhere,” Congressman Chabot said. “Today, however, whether it’s deforestation, pollution, overfishing or some other cause, these vital natural resources are threatened around the world. Further, many tropical forests and coral reefs are also located in the developing world where economic realities can often get the better of conservation. It is in the interest of the whole world to protect and responsibly manage these resources. That is why Congressman Brad Sherman and I introduced H.R. 7954. This legislation builds on the important work of the Tropical Forest Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2018, and the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 to preserve these critical ecosystems for future generations.”
“Debt-for-nature programs are a critical tool to protect and preserve tropical forests and coral reefs,” Congressman Sherman said. “The program has already protected millions of acres of tropical forest from deforestation – one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. The Tropical Forest Conservation Reauthorization Act will extend the life of this important program through FY2025, which will ensure the U.S. can continue to contribute to global conservation efforts. I want to thank Congressman Chabot for again including me in this bipartisan effort, and Senators Portman, Udall, Burr, and Schatz in the Senate for their efforts. I was glad to see this important bill pass the House today.”
In 1998, then-Congressman Portman introduced, and Congressmen Chabot and Sherman co-sponsored, the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. This legislation provides for loan forgiveness for developing countries that meet certain benchmarks and agree to contribute instead to tropical forest conservation. Since then, this legislation has enabled the United States to help preserve 67 million acres of tropical forest around the world.
In 2019, the Tropical Forest Conservation Reauthorization Act became law, renewing the program and adding coral reefs. This legislation was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Portman and a bipartisan group of senators, and in the House by Congressmen Chabot and Sherman and several of their colleagues.
The Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2020 provides for continued funding for the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act for fiscal years 2021-2025.
The Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2020 is supported by Conservation International, the World Wildlife Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, and International Paper.