Text: H.R.4959 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/25/2010)

 
[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4959 Introduced in House (IH)]

111th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4959

      To strengthen the capacity of the United States to lead the 
 international community in reversing the trends of renewable natural 
resource degradation around the world that threaten to undermine global 
  prosperity and security and diminish the diversity of life on Earth.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 25, 2010

Mr. Carnahan (for himself, Mr. Fortenberry, Mr. Reichert, Mr. Moran of 
 Virginia, Mr. Sires, Mr. Ehlers, Mrs. Biggert, Mrs. Maloney, and Mr. 
    Dicks) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                      Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
      To strengthen the capacity of the United States to lead the 
 international community in reversing the trends of renewable natural 
resource degradation around the world that threaten to undermine global 
  prosperity and security and diminish the diversity of life on Earth.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Global Conservation Act of 2010''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Five hundred million people in developing countries 
        depend on fresh water from natural areas that are under threat 
        of degradation.
            (2) Two billion people depend on rapidly diminishing fish 
        stocks for a significant source of their daily protein.
            (3) Wild species provide more than $300,000,000,000 in 
        benefits to world agriculture from natural pest control and the 
        pollination of two-thirds of the crop species that feed the 
        world.
            (4) Plant breeding programs involving genetic enhancements 
        from the wild relatives of agricultural crops have helped feed 
        billions of people around the world and are valued at 
        $115,000,000,000 per year.
            (5) Human degradation of and encroachment into natural 
        ecosystems such as rainforests increases opportunities for the 
        outbreak and spread of animal-borne infectious diseases--
        similar to AIDS, SARS, avian flu, malaria, schistosomiasis, 
        tuberculosis, and yellow fever--that could cause high levels of 
        mortality and affect major global industries including travel, 
        trade, tourism, food production, and finance.
            (6) Forests prevent catastrophic flooding and severe 
        drought, and coral reefs and mangroves reduce the impact of 
        large storms on coastal populations saving $9,000,000,000 in 
        damages each year and reducing outlays for disaster assistance.
            (7) The destruction of forests mostly in developing 
        countries releases more greenhouse gases than the entire world 
        transportation sector. As one of the most cost effective ways 
        to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a global forest 
        conservation program could help reduce the cost to the United 
        States of efforts to reduce emissions.
            (8) More than half of the most prescribed medicines in the 
        United States are derived directly from natural compounds or 
        patterned after them. Due to the loss of natural areas and 
        compounds from wild species, one marketable prescription drug 
        is estimated to be lost every two years.
            (9) The U.S. National Intelligence Council expects 
        demographic trends and natural resource scarcities relating to 
        water, food, arable land, and energy sources to lead to 
        instabilities and conflict in the years ahead.
            (10) Illegal logging, fishing, and mining in developing 
        countries flood the international market with low-cost products 
        that undercut the competitiveness of responsible companies in 
        the United States. In the absence of competition from illegal 
        producers, the United States would be able to increase wood 
        product exports by $460,000,000 a year.
            (11) Sound natural resource management, healthy levels of 
        species diversity, and functioning natural ecosystems are vital 
        to alleviating poverty for many communities in developing 
        countries that depend on these resources for food, medicine, 
        housing material, and other necessities.
            (12) Women are especially vulnerable to the threat of 
        natural resource degradation because they produce most of the 
        food and collect most of the firewood in many regions, comprise 
        a large portion of small landholders and small-scale producers, 
        face heightened food insecurity, and have less access to land, 
        other natural resources, credit and resource management 
        assistance.
            (13) The initial stages of a major extinction crisis are 
        occurring now, and as many as two-thirds of all known species 
        could be near extinction by the end of this century. Three-
        quarters of the world's terrestrial species are in developing 
        countries that are rapidly destroying their natural areas and 
        habitats.
            (14) The United States does not have a strategy for 
        reversing any of the major renewable natural resource depletion 
        trends around the world and the threats they pose to the 
        nation's health, security, or economy.
            (15) Several executive branch agencies are engaged in some 
        aspect of international conservation, yet their efforts are not 
        coordinated in a manner that maximizes the effectiveness of the 
        United States' international conservation efforts overall.
            (16) Participation by the United States in multilateral 
        efforts to conserve natural resources, such as through the 
        World Bank and the Global Environmental Facility, leverages 
        financial commitments by other countries by a much as 14 to 
        one.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Developing countries; developing world.--The terms 
        ``developing countries'' and ``developing world'' mean a 
        country or countries with a relatively low level of material 
        well being and considered ``developing'' by the World Bank's 
        2009 Country Classification System with 2008 Gross National 
        Income per capita below $11,905.
            (2) Hotspot regions.--The term ``hotspot regions'' means 
        regions of the developing world that contain an unusually high 
        concentration of species found nowhere else and that have lost 
        at least 70 percent of their original extent.
            (3) Natural resources or renewable natural resources.--The 
        terms ``natural resources'' and ``renewable natural resources'' 
        mean natural resources, including soils, forests, animal and 
        plant populations and products, coral reefs, and water but do 
        not include nonrenewable natural resources such as minerals, 
        oil, and other fossil fuels.
            (4) Sustainable forest management certification system.--
        The term ``sustainable forest management certification system'' 
        means a system of forest monitoring and forest products 
        tracking designed to ensure that forest products are produced 
        using methods that take into account a variety of widely 
        accepted environmental, social, and economic criteria.
            (5) Threatened species.--The term ``threatened species'' 
        means, at a minimum, species identified by the International 
        Union for the Conservation of Nature and its constituent 
        networks of governments, specialist groups, and other 
        stakeholders as having a high probability of global extinction.
            (6) Wilderness.--The term ``wilderness'' means areas of the 
        developing world larger than 2,500,000 acres and more than 70 
        percent intact.

SEC. 4. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to strengthen United States leadership 
and the effectiveness of the United States response to the worldwide 
natural resource and biodiversity depletion crisis under existing 
statutory authority governing United States international assistance 
for conservation by--
            (1) establishing a comprehensive global natural resource 
        and biodiversity conservation assistance strategy for United 
        States Government activities assisting developing countries 
        that includes a plan for--
                    (A) addressing major natural resource degradation 
                trends relating to human well-being and environmental 
                sustainability such as loss of soils, watersheds, 
                wilderness, fish stocks, forests, species, and other 
                critical resources;
                    (B) identifying clear goals, priorities, and 
                benchmarks of success;
                    (C) the phased expansion of existing critical 
                programs where necessary;
                    (D) improved coordination among executive branch 
                agencies engaged in international conservation in order 
                to clarify roles, reduce duplication, and enhance 
                effectiveness; and
                    (E) improved integration of conservation goals 
                within the development, security, and other foreign 
                policy priorities of the United States;
            (2) providing authorization for funding for United States 
        efforts to help address the major threats to natural resources, 
        species, and ecosystems in developing countries; and
            (3) improving coordination among the United States, foreign 
        governments, and international organizations in effectively 
        delivering conservation assistance through governments, 
        multilateral organizations, private organizations, and local 
        communities and community partnerships.

              TITLE I--POLICY PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION

SEC. 101. COMPREHENSIVE UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATION 
              STRATEGY.

    (a) In General.--The President, acting through the Coordinator for 
Global Conservation designated pursuant section 102, shall, not later 
than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, establish a 
comprehensive and integrated strategy (hereafter referred to as the 
``International Conservation Strategy'') to help combat global natural 
resource and biodiversity degradation in developing countries and that 
builds on existing bilateral and multilateral programs and strengthens 
the capacity of the United States to collaborate with developing 
countries and other donor countries and the private sector and be an 
effective leader of an international effort of such Strategy.
    (b) Programmatic Approach.--The International Conservation Strategy 
established pursuant to subsection (a) shall provide a comprehensive 
Government-wide plan of action to address global natural resource and 
biodiversity degradation that identifies specific and measurable goals, 
benchmarks, and time frames, including--
            (1) advancing conservation in the world's most ecologically 
        and economically important terrestrial wilderness areas and 
        marine ecosystems such that conservation or sustainable 
        development consistent with long-term conservation has been 
        achieved on an area of land exceeding 2,000,000 square miles 
        and an area of sea exceeding 6,000,000 square miles;
            (2) protecting 34 discrete hotspot regions that provide a 
        high level of economic benefit to human communities as well as 
        a high concentration of genetic and other natural resources;
            (3) helping developing countries address unlawful, 
        unreported, and unregulated fishing in ten developing countries 
        where fish stocks are severely depleted and regional fishing 
        economies threatened through increased surveillance and 
        enforcement;
            (4) safeguarding natural areas providing fresh water to 12 
        major urban centers in developing countries or 50,000,000 
        people in developing countries;
            (5) advancing enforcement efforts against unlawful wildlife 
        trafficking operations in ten centers of the unlawful global 
        wildlife trade;
            (6) stabilizing or reversing renewable natural resource 
        scarcity trends in three regions that are vulnerable to 
        conflict, instability, or mass migration from natural resource 
        depletion; and
            (7) expanding substantially the amount of economically and 
        ecologically significant forested land under a credible 
        sustainable forest management certification system.
    (c) Coordination and Leverage.--The International Conservation 
Strategy shall coordinate and leverage the participation of relevant 
executive branch agencies, foreign governments, and the private sector 
in ways that--
            (1) clarify United States efforts to address the 
        conservation crisis within the broader United States 
        development, foreign policy, and security agendas;
            (2) establish policy guidance to link investments in 
        specific conservation programs to the broader goals of 
        advancing economic development, alleviating poverty, improving 
        United States economic competitiveness, protecting global 
        public health, improving the access of women to natural 
        resources, and reducing resource scarcities that have the 
        potential to lead to civil instabilities, mass migrations, and 
        conflict;
            (3) reflect Government-wide policy that encompasses the 
        programs of and reduces duplication among executive branch 
        agencies that influence or engage in international 
        conservation;
            (4) provide a plan to identify and improve United States 
        policies that could be undermining the conservation of critical 
        natural resources and biodiversity abroad; and
            (5) seek to encourage and leverage participation from the 
        private sector, other donor governments, governments of 
        developing countries, international financial institutions, and 
        other international organizations to implement such Strategy.
    (d) Revision.--Not later than five years after the International 
Conservation Strategy is established, such Strategy shall be revised to 
reflect--
            (1) new information collected pursuant to the 
        implementation of such Strategy;
            (2) advances in the understanding of biological diversity, 
        the economic and security impacts of renewable natural resource 
        degradation, and climate change; and
            (3) the impacts of climate change on conservation, 
        biodiversity, and human needs.

SEC. 102. POLICY IMPLEMENTATION.

    (a) Coordinator.--The President shall designate an individual to 
serve in the Executive Office of the President as the Coordinator for 
Global Conservation (hereafter referred to as the ``Coordinator''). The 
Coordinator shall--
            (1) advise the President on international conservation-
        related issues;
            (2) oversee the development and implementation of the 
        International Conservation Strategy established pursuant to 
        section 101(a);
            (3) enhance program and policy coordination among the 
        relevant executive branch agencies in implementing the 
        International Conservation Strategy by ensuring that each 
        relevant executive branch agency undertakes programs primarily 
        in those areas where each such agency has the greatest 
        expertise, technical capabilities, and potential for success 
        and ensuring that agencies avoid duplication of effort;
            (4) evaluate the effectiveness of the international 
        conservation programs of the relevant executive branch agencies 
        in meeting the goals of the International Conservation Strategy 
        by developing and applying specific performance measurements;
            (5) assess and certify the adequacy of the budgets for the 
        international conservation programs of the relevant executive 
        branch agencies in meeting the goals of the International 
        Conservation Strategy, and submit to the heads of the 
        departments and agencies with responsibilities under such 
        Strategy by July 1 of each year budget recommendations, 
        including requests for specific initiatives that are consistent 
        with the President's priorities under such Strategy;
            (6) take such actions as are necessary to ensure that the 
        climate change, export and business development, trade, and 
        development and humanitarian assistance polices of the various 
        executive branch agencies advance the interests of the United 
        States in conserving critical global natural resources and 
        biodiversity;
            (7) identify innovative pilot projects or underfunded 
        programs for early or immediate funding that are important for 
        demonstrating or further developing conservation methodologies 
        or approaches likely to be important to the success of the 
        International Conservation Strategy;
            (8) identify innovative pilot projects or underfunded 
        programs that result in expanding the access of women to 
        sustainably managed natural resources and to techniques for 
        improved natural resource management;
            (9) expand significantly the role of private sector 
        leveraging in United States bilateral global conservation 
        assistance by substantially expanding programs that leverage 
        private sector contributions, such as the Agency for 
        International Development's Global Development Alliance in the 
        conservation sector; and
            (10) take such actions as are necessary to use diplomatic 
        mechanisms, relevant international institutions and agreements, 
        and other appropriate mechanisms to lead other countries toward 
        the goals and actions of the International Conservation 
        Strategy, together with commitments of increased funding for 
        meeting such goals.
    (b) Interagency Working Group on Global Conservation.--
            (1) Establishment.--The Coordinator shall establish in the 
        executive branch the Interagency Working Group on Global 
        Conservation (hereafter referred to as ``the interagency 
        group'').
            (2) Duties.--The interagency group shall--
                    (A) advise the Coordinator on the development and 
                implementation of the International Conservation 
                Strategy;
                    (B) assist the Coordinator in discharging the 
                responsibilities of the Coordinator specified in 
                subsection (a);
                    (C) review policies that may be obstacles to 
                achieving the goals of the International Conservation 
                Strategy;
                    (D) oversee and report on the implementation of the 
                strategy within the relevant executive branch agencies;
                    (E) advise the Coordinator of measures to increase 
                appropriate agency participation in and interagency 
                coordination on conservation projects; and
                    (F) meet regularly to review progress on the 
                objectives described in subparagraphs (A) through (E).
            (3) Membership.--The interagency group shall consist of 
        officials in relevant executive branch agencies responsible for 
        overseeing and implementing programs that conduct international 
        conservation activities or affect the ability of the United 
        States to achieve the goals of the International Conservation 
        Strategy, as well as officials capable of providing information 
        to the Coordinator that can aid in the development and 
        implementation of such Strategy.

SEC. 103. PRESIDENT'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON GLOBAL CONSERVATION.

    (a) Establishment.--The President shall establish the President's 
Advisory Committee for Global Conservation (hereafter referred to as 
``the Advisory Committee'') to ensure that the best scientific 
expertise and the concerns of relevant public constituencies are 
reflected in the international conservation policies of the United 
States.
    (b) Duties.--The Advisory Committee shall--
            (1) advise the President on the development and 
        implementation of the International Conservation Strategy 
        established pursuant to section 101(a);
            (2) assist the Coordinator in the implementation of the 
        Coordinator's responsibilities in accordance with section 102;
            (3) review periodically the progress of such Strategy and 
        at least on an annual basis bring to the attention of the 
        Coordinator innovative pilot projects that further develop 
        conservation methodologies likely to be important to the 
        success of the International Conservation Strategy; and
            (4) take steps to educate the public about the global 
        conservation programs of the United States.
    (c) Membership.--The Advisory Committee shall consist of at least 
25 members, of whom--
            (1) not fewer than four shall be selected from 
        representatives of United States universities or 
        nongovernmental organizations and have an expertise in 
        international conservation;
            (2) not fewer than two shall be selected from 
        representatives of United States universities or 
        nongovernmental organizations and have an expertise in the 
        relationship among natural resources, biodiversity, economic 
        development, and poverty alleviation;
            (3) not fewer than two shall be selected from 
        representatives of United States private businesses or trade 
        associations and have an expertise in the relationship between 
        global natural resource conservation and the competitiveness of 
        the United States economy or key industries;
            (4) not fewer than two shall be former members of Congress 
        or former high level officials in the executive branch;
            (5) not fewer than two shall represent religious 
        institutions or communities of faith;
            (6) not fewer than one shall be an expert on the effects of 
        natural resource degradation on women's lives and livelihoods;
            (7) not fewer than one shall be selected from a zoological 
        institution with expertise in in situ and ex situ conservation;
            (8) not fewer than one shall be selected from 
        representatives of United States universities or 
        nongovernmental organizations and have an expertise in global 
        freshwater water supply;
            (9) not fewer than one shall be selected from 
        representatives of United States universities or 
        nongovernmental organizations and have an expertise in the 
        relationship between natural resource conservation and food 
        security;
            (10) not fewer than one shall be selected from 
        representatives of United States universities or 
        nongovernmental organizations and have an expertise in the 
        effects of climate change on natural resources and biological 
        diversity;
            (11) not fewer than one shall be a former member of the 
        United States Armed Forces and have an expertise in natural 
        resource scarcity and conflict and security issues;
            (12) not fewer than one shall be selected from 
        representatives of United States universities or 
        nongovernmental organizations and have an expertise in 
        infectious diseases that can be shared between animal and human 
        populations; and
            (13) not fewer than one shall be selected from the arts or 
        the media.
    (d) Period of Appointment.--Each member of the Advisory Committee 
shall be appointed for a term of three years except that of the initial 
members of the committee in which one-third of the members shall be 
appointed for a term of two years, one-third shall be appointed for a 
term of three years, and one-third shall be appointed for a term of 
four years.
    (e) Meetings.--The Advisory Committee shall convene at the request 
of the chairperson who shall be selected by the Coordinator or, at the 
discretion of the Coordinator, selected by a majority vote of the 
members of the Advisory Committee.
    (f) Reporting.--The Advisory Committee shall report to the 
Coordinator on its deliberations, conclusions, and recommendations.
    (g) Expenses.--The members of the Advisory Committee shall be 
allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at 
rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of 
chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes 
or regular places of business in performance of services for the 
committee.
    (h) Exemption.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) 
shall not apply to the work process and recommendations of the Advisory 
Committee.

SEC. 104. REPORTING.

    (a) Annual Reports, Including Best Practices Reports.--Not later 
than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act and annually 
thereafter, the President shall transmit to the Committee on Foreign 
Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign 
Relations of the Senate a report on the development and implementation 
of the International Conservation Strategy established pursuant to 
section 101(a) assessing progress made during the preceding year and 
highlighting the programs receiving financial assistance from the 
United States that have the potential for replication or adaptation, 
particularly at low cost, across international conservation programs.
    (b) Program Review.--Not later than four years after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to the 
committees referred to in subsection (a) a report assessing progress 
made during the preceding four years and evaluating the effectiveness 
of United States global conservation programs in achieving the 
International Conservation Strategy.
    (c) Publication of Reports.--The Coordinator shall ensure that all 
reports required by this section are published on the White House Web 
site or another appropriate Web site.

SEC. 105. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be 
necessary to carry out this title.

                    TITLE II--MULTILATERAL PROGRAMS

SEC. 201. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this title is to leverage significantly United 
States financial commitments to global natural resources conservation 
by encouraging other countries to make substantial commitments of 
funding and other forms of assistance to a comprehensive and 
coordinated international natural resource and biodiversity 
conservation assistance strategy in order to promote economic 
development, human health, food and water security, environmental 
sustainability, the protection of biodiversity, and local and regional 
security.

SEC. 202. DIPLOMATIC GOALS AND VENUES.

    (a) Goals.--Congress urges the President to work with the world's 
major foreign assistance donor countries to--
            (1) develop a comprehensive and coordinated international 
        conservation assistance strategy consistent with the priorities 
        identified in the United States International Conservation 
        Strategy established pursuant to section 101(a);
            (2) identify innovative and efficient multilateral 
        mechanisms that can be used to coordinate international action 
        by all participating donor countries, identify and reduce 
        duplication of efforts among such donors, achieve the most cost 
        effective investments, and leverage international foreign 
        assistance with meaningful financial and other commitments in 
        recipient countries;
            (3) agree on funding requirements and funding goals from 
        all participating donor countries;
            (4) negotiate a timetable for achieving such Strategy's 
        goals; and
            (5) promote existing multilateral initiatives designed to 
        identify meaningful levels of interim funding for forest 
        conservation in developing countries in advance of the 
        implementation of any international program to reduce 
        greenhouse gas emissions from forest destruction and 
        degradation.
    (b) Venues.--Congress urges the President to explore opportunities 
for achieving the goals identified in this section within the context 
of United States bilateral diplomacy with other important international 
donor countries, bilateral diplomacy with newly emerging donor 
countries, and all appropriate multilateral venues.
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