Section 118 of the Foreign Assistance Act focuses on the “continuing and accelerating alteration, destruction and loss of tropical forests in developing countries” and mandates that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) take actions which support tropical forest conservation and sustainable management. USAID fulfills this responsibility primarily through programs that conserve forest biodiversity, maintain or increase carbon stocks in forests, or achieve both of these complementary objectives in strategic coordination, where appropriate. This report fulfills the requirement for an annual report on implementation of Section 118.
In FY 2011, USAID invested $232 million in more than 40 countries in forestry – actions which conserve or better manage forests. Of this, $225 million was focused on tropical forests. About $134 million in forestry activities advanced climate change mitigation under the Sustainable Landscapes (GCC-SL) pillar of the Agency’s Global Climate Change portfolio. Approximately $88 million of USAID forestry efforts advanced biodiversity conservation as a key objective, while programs to restore or maintain forests for local services, such as freshwater supply and regulation, or reduced vulnerability to climate change risk factors and storm surge, accounted for about $11 million of forestry activity funding. Figure 1 illustrates how forestry, climate change mitigation and biodiversity funding intersect. Table 1 summarizes USAID FY 2011 funding for biodiversity and forestry activities.