Text: H.R.2185 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (10/15/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2185


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 15, 2007

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


AN ACT

To amend the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 to provide debt relief to developing countries that take action to protect tropical forests and coral reefs and associated coastal marine ecosystems, to reauthorize such Act through fiscal year 2010, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Findings and purposes.

(a) Findings.—Subsection (a) of section 802 of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431) is amended—

(1) in paragraphs (1), (6), and (7), by striking “tropical forests” each place it appears and inserting “tropical forests and coral reefs and associated coastal marine ecosystems”;

(2) by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (7) as paragraphs (4) through (8), respectively;

(3) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:

“(3) Coral reefs and associated coastal marine ecosystems provide a wide range of benefits to mankind by—

“(A) harboring more species per unit area than any other marine habitat, providing the basis for developing pharmaceutical products and fostering a growing marine tourism sector;  

“(B) providing a major source of food and jobs for hundreds of millions of coastal residents;   and

“(C) serving as natural storm barriers, thus protecting vulnerable shorelines and communities from storm waves and erosion.”; and

(4) in paragraph (4) (as redesignated)—

(A) by inserting “and coral reef and associated coastal marine ecosystems” after “forest resources”; and

(B) by inserting “and coral reef and associated coastal marine ecosystem exploitation” after “tropical deforestation”.

(b) Purposes.—Subsection (b) of such section is amended—

(1) in paragraphs (1), (3), and (4), by striking “tropical forests” each place it appears and inserting “tropical forests and coral reefs and associated coastal marine ecosystems”; and

(2) in paragraph (2)—

(A) by striking “tropical forests” the first and third place it appears and inserting “tropical forests and coral reefs and associated coastal marine ecosystems”;

(B) by striking “tropical forests” the second place it appears and inserting “areas”; and

(C) by inserting at the end before the semicolon the following: “and unsustainable coral reef and associated coastal marine ecosystem exploitation”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

Section 803 of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431a) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (2)(A), by striking “Committee on International Relations” and inserting “Committee on Foreign Affairs”;

(2) by striking paragraphs (4), (7), (8), and (9);

(3) in paragraph (5)—

(A) in the heading, by striking “tropical forest” and inserting “tropical forest or coral reef or associated coastal marine ecosystem”;

(B) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking “tropical forest” and inserting “tropical forest or coral reef or associated coastal marine ecosystem”; and

(C) in subparagraph (B)—

(i) by striking “tropical forest” and inserting “tropical forest or coral reef or associated coastal marine ecosystem”; and

(ii) by striking “tropical forests” and inserting “tropical forests or coral reefs or associated coastal marine ecosystems”;

(4) by redesignating paragraphs (5) and (6) as paragraphs (9) and (10), respectively; and

(5) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:

“(4) CONSERVATION AGREEMENT.—The term ‘Conservation Agreement’ or ‘Agreement’ means a Conservation Agreement provided for in section 809.

“(5) CONSERVATION FACILITY.—The term ‘Conservation Facility’ or ‘Facility’ means the Conservation Facility established in the Department of the Treasury by section 804.

“(6) CONSERVATION FUND.—The term ‘Conservation Fund’ or ‘Fund’ means a Conservation Fund provided for in section 810.

“(7) CORAL.—The term ‘coral’ means species of the phylum Cnidaria, including—

“(A) all species of the orders Antipatharia (black corals), Scleractinia (stony corals), Alcyonacea (soft corals), Gorgonacea (horny corals), Stolonifera (organpipe corals and others), and Coenothecalia (blue coral), of the class Anthozoa; and

“(B) all species of the order Hydrocorallina (fire corals and hydrocorals) of the class Hydrozoa.

“(8) CORAL REEF.—The term ‘coral reef’ means any reef or shoal composed primarily of corals.”.

SEC. 3. Establishment of the Facility.

Section 804 of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1988 (22 U.S.C. 2431b) is amended by striking “Tropical Forest Facility” and inserting “Conservation Facility”.

SEC. 4. Eligibility for benefits.

Section 805(a) of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431c(a)) is amended by striking “tropical forest” and inserting “tropical forest or coral reef or associated coastal marine ecosystem”.

SEC. 5. Reduction of debt owed to the United States as a result of concessional loans under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

(a) Additional terms and conditions.—Subsection (c)(2) of section 806 of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431d) is amended by striking “Tropical Forest Fund” and inserting “Conservation Fund”.

(b) Authorization of appropriations.—Subsection (d)(6) of such section is amended by striking “fiscal year 2007” and inserting “each of the fiscal years 2007 through 2010”.

(c) Use of funds To conduct program audits, evaluations, monitoring, and administration.—Subsection (e) of such section is amended to read as follows:

“(e) Use of funds To conduct program audits, evaluations, monitoring, and administration.—Of the amounts made available to carry out this part for a fiscal year, up to $300,000 is authorized to be made available to carry out audits, evaluations, monitoring, and administration of programs under this part, including personnel costs associated with such audits, evaluations, monitoring, and administration.”.

SEC. 6. Reduction of debt owed to the United States as a result of credits extended under title I of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954.

Section 807(c)(2) of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431e(c)(2)) is amended by striking “Tropical Forest Fund” and inserting “Conservation Fund”.

SEC. 7. United States Government representation on oversight bodies for grants from debt-for-nature swaps and debt-buybacks.

Section 808(a)(5) of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431f(a)(5)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(C) UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATION ON THE ADMINISTERING BODY.—One or more individuals appointed by the United States Government may serve in an official capacity on the administering body that oversees the implementation of grants arising from this debt-for-nature swap or debt buy-back regardless of whether the United States is a party to any agreement between the eligible purchaser and the government of the beneficiary country.”.

SEC. 8. Conservation agreement.

(a) Authority.—Subsection (a) of section 809 of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431g) is amended—

(1) by striking “(a) Authority.—” and all that follows through “The Secretary of State” and inserting “(a) Authority.—The Secretary of State”;

(2) by striking “Tropical Forest Agreement” and inserting “Conservation Agreement”; and

(3) by striking paragraph (2).

(b) Administering body.—Subsection (c)(2)(A) of such section is amended—

(1) in clause (i), by inserting at the end before the semicolon the following: “to serve in an official capacity”; and

(2) in clause (iii)(III), by inserting “or marine” after “forestry”.

(c) Eligible activities.—Subsection (d) of such section is amended—

(1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking “the tropical forests” and inserting “tropical forests or coral reefs or associated coastal marine ecosystems”;

(2) in paragraph (2), by inserting “and water” after “land”;

(3) in paragraph (5), by striking “tropical forest”; and

(4) in paragraph (6), by striking “living in or near a tropical forest in a manner consistent with protecting such tropical forest” and inserting “dependent on a tropical forest or coral reef or associated coastal marine ecosystem in a manner consistent with protecting and conserving such resources”.

(d) Grant recipients.—Subsection (e)(1)(A) of such section is amended by inserting “marine,” after “forestry,”.

(e) Review of larger grants.—Subsection (f) of such section is amended to read as follows:

“(f) Review of larger grants.—Any grant of more than $250,000 from a Fund shall be approved by the Government of the United States and the government of the beneficiary country.”.

(f) Conforming amendment.—The heading of such section is amended by striking “tropical forest” and inserting “conservation”.

SEC. 9. Conservation fund.

(a) Establishment.—Subsection (a) of section 810 of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431h) is amended—

(1) by striking “Tropical Forest Agreement” and inserting “Conservation Agreement”; and

(2) by striking “Tropical Forest Fund” and inserting “Conservation Fund”.

(b) Technical and conforming amendments.—Such section is amended—

(1) in subsection (b), by striking “terms as conditions” and inserting “terms and conditions”; and

(2) in the heading, by striking “tropical forest” and inserting “conservation”.

SEC. 10. Board.

Section 811 of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431i) is hereby repealed.

SEC. 11. Annual reports to the Congress.

Section 813 of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2431k) is amended—

(1) by striking “(a) In general.—”;

(2) by striking “December 31” and inserting “April 15”;

(3) by striking “fiscal year” each place it appears and inserting “calendar year”; and

(4) by striking subsection (b).

SEC. 12. Technical and conforming amendments.

(a) Part heading.—The heading of part V of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 is amended by striking “tropical forests” and inserting “tropical forests or coral reefs or associated coastal marine ecosystems”.

(b) Short title.—

(1) AMENDMENT.—Section 801 of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 2151 note) is amended by striking “Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998” and inserting “Tropical Forest and Coral Conservation Act of 2007”.

(2) REFERENCES.—Any reference in a law, regulation, document, or other record of the United States to the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 shall be deemed to be a reference to the Tropical Forest and Coral Conservation Act of 2007.

(3) AVAILABILITY OF UNOBLIGATED OR UNEXPENDED FUNDS.—Amounts appropriated to carry out the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 (as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act) that are unobligated or unexpended as of the date of the enactment of this Act may be used to carry out the Tropical Forest and Coral Conservation Act of 2007.

(c) Redesignation.—Part V of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2431 et seq.) is amended by redesignating sections 812 and 813 as sections 811 and 812, respectively.

(d) Other amendments.—Section 703(a)(5) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2430b(a)(5)) is amended—

(1) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking “or, as appropriate in exceptional circumstances,” and inserting “or”; and

(2) in subparagraph (A), by striking “or an arrangement under the structural adjustment facility or enhanced structural adjustment facility, or in exceptional circumstances, a Fund monitored program or its equivalent,” and inserting “an arrangement under the structural adjustment facility or enhanced structural adjustment facility, a Fund monitored program, or is implementing sound macroeconomic policies,”.

Passed the House of Representatives October 9, 2007.

    Attest: lorraine c. miller,   
    Clerk.