Government and Politics
December 8, 2022
Portman, Coons Praise Inclusion of Tropical Forest Conservation Act Reauthorization in FY 2023 NDAA
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), applauded the inclusion of their legislation to reauthorize the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The FY2023 NDAA will reauthorize the program through FY2027 at $20 million per year. The TFCA program has saved over 67 million acres of tropical forest by allowing developing countries that meet certain political and economic criteria to be relieved of debt owed to the United States in exchange for their conservation efforts.
“I am pleased that my legislation to reauthorize the Tropical Forest Conservation Act was included in the FY23 NDAA,” said Portman, co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus. “The TFCA program is a successful, targeted program that has preserved more than 67 million acres of tropical forest since it was created in 1998. The TFCA program strengthens ties with countries that could become significant economic and national security partners with the United States, and it also takes significant strides to protect our natural resources for the next generation to enjoy.”
“I’m proud that the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act (TFCA) will be included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, continuing to strengthen our relationships with other countries while protecting critical ecosystems around the world,” said Sen. Coons, co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus. “I applaud Senator Portman for his decades of leadership on conservation, including creating and sustaining our country’s debt-for-nature swap program. The tropical forests and coral reef ecosystems that have been saved because of TFCA will be a part of his legacy here.”
NOTE: Portman authored the TFCA program as a member of the House of Representatives in 1998 (P.L. 105-214). Since its inception, this program has helped protect more than 67 million acres of tropical forests, which has preserved native wildlife and ecosystems and protected the environment by sequestering more than 55 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. In January 2019, President Trump signed into law legislation introduced by Senators Portman, Udall, Burr, Schatz, and Whitehouse to reauthorize the TFCA program for FY 2019 and FY 2020 and, for the first time, expand the program to include protection of coral reef ecosystems.
Senator Portman led the introduction of new legislation in February 2021 with Senators Coons, Burr, Schatz, and Whitehouse to reauthorize the program for another five years at $20 million per year. Earlier this year, Portman applauded the finalization of a TFCA agreement between the U.S. Government and the Republic of El Salvador. This bilateral agreement is redirecting approximately $20 million in concessional debt owed by El Salvador to a conservation fund over a period of 10 years. This agreement with El Salvador was the first TFCA agreement since 2014, for a total of 21 agreements with 14 countries implemented since the program was created, and the second agreement with El Salvador through the TFCA program.