Text: H.R.2264 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Bill Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 108-200 (02/13/2004)

 
[108th Congress Public Law 200]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ200.108]

[[Page 457]]

               CONGO BASIN FOREST PARTNERSHIP ACT OF 2004

[[Page 118 STAT. 458]]

Public Law 108-200
108th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2004 to carry out the Congo 
 Basin Forest Partnership program, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Feb. 
                       13, 2004 -  [H.R. 2264]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Congo Basin Forest 
Partnership Act of 2004.>> assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Congo Basin Forest Partnership Act of 
2004''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The tropical forests of the Congo Basin, located in the 
        Central African countries of Cameroon, the Central African 
        Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial 
        Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Sao 
        Tome/Principe, are second in size only to the tropical forests 
        of the Amazon Basin.
            (2) These forests are a crucial economic resource for the 
        people of the Central African region.
            (3) Congo Basin forests play a critical role in sustaining 
        the environment--absorbing carbon dioxide, cleansing water, and 
        retaining soil.
            (4) Congo Basin forests contain the most diverse grouping of 
        plants and animals in Africa, including rare and endangered 
        species, such as the lowland gorilla, mountain gorilla, 
        chimpanzee, and okapi. These plants and animals are invaluable 
        for many reasons, including their genetic and biochemical 
        information, which could spark advances in medical, 
        agricultural, and industrial technology.
            (5) Logging operations, driven by a growing global demand 
        for tropical hardwoods, are shrinking these forests. One 
        estimate has logging taking out Congo Basin forest area at a 
        rate of twice the size of the State of Rhode Island every year.
            (6) The construction of logging roads and other developments 
        are putting intense hunting pressure on wildlife. At current 
        hunting levels, most species of apes and other primates, large 
        antelope, and elephants will disappear from the Congo Basin, 
        with some becoming extinct.
            (7) If current deforestation and wildlife depletion rates 
        are not reversed, the six countries of the Congo Basin most 
        immediately, but also the world, will pay an immense economic, 
        environmental, and cultural price.
            (8) The United States has an interest in seeing political 
        stability and economic development advance in the Congo Basin

[[Page 118 STAT. 459]]

        countries. This interest will be adversely impacted if current 
        deforestation and wildlife depletion rates are not reversed.
            (9) Poorly managed and nonmanaged logging and hunting 
        threatens to do to the Congo Basin what it did to West Africa, 
        which lost much of its forest and wildlife through over-
        exploitation.
            (10) Purged of wildlife, some Congo Basin forests already 
        are ``empty forests''.
            (11) In an attempt to conserve the forests of the Congo 
        Basin, the region's governments convened the Yaounde (Cameroon) 
        Forest Summit in March 1999.
            (12) In September 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell 
        launched the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) in 
        Johannesburg, South Africa. The CBFP promotes the conservation 
        and sustainable use of the region's forests, for example, by 
        working to combat poaching, illegal logging, and other 
        unsustainable practices, and giving local populations an 
        economic stake in the preservation of the forests, including 
        through the development of ecotourism.
            (13)(A) The United States contribution to the CBFP will 
        focus on conserving 11 key landscapes in 6 countries--Cameroon, 
        the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the 
        Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo--
        identified at the Yaounde Forest Summit as being of the greatest 
        biological importance to the region.
            (B) The United States will fund field-based activities 
        within these 25,000,000 acres that aim to support a network of 
        27 national parks and protected areas and well-managed forestry 
        concessions.
            (C) In this way, the work will build on existing United 
        States efforts, including those of the Central African Regional 
        Program for the Environment (CARPE) of the United States Agency 
        for International Development, which will implement the CBFP.
            (14) The CBFP has broad international financial support, 
        including from non-African governments, the European Commission, 
        the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and 
        numerous nongovernment organizations.
            (15) A dramatic step toward conserving Congo Basin forests 
        has recently been taken by Gabon. In September 2002, President 
        Omar Bongo announced the creation of 13 national parks, 
        representing over 10 percent of Gabon's surface area. 
        Previously, Gabon had no national park system.
            (16) With the CBFP and other initiatives, there exists 
        unprecedented momentum for the conservation of Congo Basin 
        forests.

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
President to carry out the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) program 
$18,600,000 for fiscal year 2004.
    (b) CARPE.--Of the amounts appropriated pursuant to the 
authorization of appropriations in subsection (a), $16,000,000 is 
authorized to be made available to the Central Africa Regional Program 
for the Environment (CARPE) of the United States Agency for 
International Development.

[[Page 118 STAT. 460]]

    (c) Availability.--Amounts appropriated pursuant to the 
authorization of appropriations under subsection (a) are authorized to 
remain available until expended.

    Approved February 13, 2004.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2264:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 149 (2003):
                                    Oct. 7, considered and passed House.
                                    Dec. 9, considered and passed 
                                        Senate, amended.
                                                        Vol. 150 (2004):
                                    Feb. 3, House concurred in Senate 
                                        amendments.

                                  <all>