Since the 1970’s, the US government has allocated funds for biodiversity protection, the majority of which has been channeled through USAID. Each year a new “biodiversity earmark” is set by Congress on behalf of USAID, to be met predominantly through Development Assistance (DA) accounts, and in 2008 the bar reached a pinnacle of $191.5 million. In late 2009, the US pledged unprecedented funding in support of the Copenhagen Accord and the REDD+ Mechanism—$1 billion through 2012—and most of this allotment will likely be channeled through USAID’s ongoing work of forest conservation and protection of ecosystem services (i.e. carbon sequestration).
Together with non-DA money, the US’s biodiversity and forestry programs totaled over $202 million in 2008. Over 20% of funding went to biological hotspots in Brazil, Indonesia, Madagascar, and the Philippines, and another 20% went to regional programs: the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA), and LAC-RSD’s Initiative for Conservation of the Andean Amazon (ICAA). The rest was divided across the developing world according USAID’s biodiversity ranking system.
Summary of USAID Forestry and Biodiversity Measures by Region (FY 2008)