WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed H.R. 241, the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Brad Sherman (D-CA). This legislation protects tropical forests and coral reefs in developing countries by reauthorizing the Tropical Forest and Coral Reed Conservation Act through FY2026.
“Tropical forests and coral reefs are in danger around the world,” Rep. Chabot said. “The slow drip of deforestation, pollution, and overfishing deplete vital natural resources and rob the people of developing countries of critical natural resources. Since, the original introduction of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998, this legislation has helped preserve 67 million acres of tropical forest around the world. In terms of carbon emissions, that is the equivalent of taking 11 million cars off the road. This legislation does development right. This is not putting money into a pipedream with questionable results. Under this program, inhabitants of our world’s tropical forests become more self-reliant, setting developing countries up to take care of these natural resources on their own.”
“The Tropical Forest Conservation Act has already protected millions of acres of tropical forest from deforestation – one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. This bill will extend the life of this important program through FY2026, which will ensure the U.S. can continue to contribute to global conservation efforts,” Rep. Sherman said. “I want to thank Congressman Chabot for again including me in this bipartisan effort, and bringing this bill to an early mark up of the Foreign Affairs Committee. I hope to see its quick passage by the House and subsequently into law to ensure millions of additional acres of tropical forests and coral reefs are protected.”
In 1998, then-Congressman Rob 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 2021 provides for continued funding for the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act for fiscal years 2022-2026.
The Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2021 is supported by Conservation International, the World Wildlife Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, and International Paper.