Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA 117,118,119)

Overview

This page provides summaries with links to full text of the sections of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, that place environmental review requirements and related mandates on USAID programming. These are:

FAA 117—Environment and Natural Resources

[ Read Full Text ] Requires USAID to utilize an EIA  process to evaluate the potential impact of USAID’s activities on the environment prior to implementation, and to “fully take into account” environmental sustainability in designing and carrying out its development programs. .

FAA 118 – Tropical Forests

[ Read Full Text ] Recognizes the importance of tropical forests and tree cover, the loss of which seriously threatens development objectives and the environment.

FAA 118 thus requires that: “Each country development strategy statement or other country plan prepared by the Agency for International Development shall include an analysis of:

  1. the actions necessary in that country to achieve conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests, and
  2. the extent to which the actions proposed for support by the Agency meet the needs thus identified.”

ADS 201.3.4 implements this mandate by requiring that an “environmental analysis” conforming to this requirement and that of FAA 119 (see below), be completed in Phase 1 of development of each (CDCS). 

FAA 118 further establishes programming priorities and mandates related to tropical forests. In summary, it requires that the President shall, to the fullest extent feasible:

  1. Prioritize conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests;
  2. a) Emphasize the importance of conservation of tropical forests and the harm caused by their destruction;

b) Identify policies that contribute to deforestation;

  1. Support alternative livelihoods and settlement options to those that may cause deforestation;
  2. Build capacity, provide education, and strengthen institutions around forest management, land use planning and related activities;
  3. Support farming practices that will reduce or help eliminate destructive slash-and-burn agriculture, emphasizing agroforestry and agricultural methods suited to the local environment, in consultation with local people;
  4. Help conserve forests not yet degraded by increasing production on lands already cleared;
  5. support projects and activities to conserve forested watersheds and rehabilitate those that have been deforested;
  6. Support training, research, or related actions to support sustainable or more environmentally sound timber harvesting, removal, and processing practices;
  7. Support research or increased knowledge of tropical forests and identify alternatives to forest destruction, loss, or degradation;
  8. Conserve biological diversity in forest areas through:
    1. cooperation with US Government agencies, other donors, and governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organizations
    2. making establishment of protected areas a condition of support of activities involving forest clearance of degradation
    3. helping developing countries identify tropical forest ecosystems and species in need of protection and establish and maintain appropriate protected areas
  9. increase awareness of USG and other donors of the immediate and long-term value of tropical forests;
  10. utilize resources and abilities of all relevant USG agencies; and
  11. require that any programming affecting tropical forests:
    1. have carefully considered available alternatives to ensure most sustainable land use; and
    2. fully account for environmental impacts of proposed activities on biological diversity in a manner consistent with USAID Environmental Procedures

FAA 119 – Endangered Species

[ Read Full Text ] FAA 119 requires that: “Each country development strategy statement or other country plan prepared by the Agency for International Development shall include an analysis of:

  1. the actions necessary in that country to conserve biological diversity, and
  2. the extent to which the actions proposed for support by the Agency meet the needs thus identified.”

ADS 201.3.4 implements this mandate by requiring that an “environmental analysis” conforming to this requirement and that of FAA 118 (see above), be completed in Phase 1 of development of each Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS). 

FAA 119 further establishes a number of programming mandates related to biodiversity, specifying that “the preservation of animal and plant species through the regulation of the hunting and trade in endangered species, through limitations on the pollution of natural ecosystems, and through the protection of wildlife habitats should be an important objective of the United States development assistance. Further, FAA 119 authorizes assistance to countries in “protecting and maintaining wildlife habitats and in developing sound wildlife management and plant conservation programs,” particularly through establishment of protected areas, development and enforcement of anti-poaching measures; and data collection and analysis pertaining to biological diversity.

Last updated: June 25, 2019

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