TFG Investigation Leads to More Money Spent Saving Forests
In April last year, TFG revealed a disturbing fact: the US government was touting its tropical forest protection programs (see page 118) as an integral part of its overall climate change policy. What wasn’t mentioned at the time was that not a single deal under the largest federal program dedicated for conserving tropical forests, the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, had been executed in 18 months . We urged readers of the TFG website to email President Bush himself, and ask him to get busy.
We’ve got some good news to report…since TFG’s investigation, more than $ 26 million has been spent in three countries on forest conservation projects. These monies help real on-the-ground efforts to save and rebuild tropical forests. They monies are designed to help store and sequester carbon and fight climate change, conserve biological diversity and help people develop sustainable livelihoods.
At least we think so. Public information on TFCA deals from the Department of Treasury is rather scant. TFG is having a hard time telling if these monies are being used equitably and efficiently. But see for yourself below what wonderful places are now being protected, thanks in part due to the collective emails of our readers. The few details about these conservation deals can be found at the TFCA’s project website.
September 2004. A $6.5 million contribution for seven priority sites in Jamaica. This is last deal announced in 2004, and no forest conserving agreements were made in 2005.
April 2006 TFG launches its investigation revealing that the Tropical Forest Conservation Act had not made any new conservation investments in 18 months, despite grand-standing about its program to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. TFG calls for citizens to write federal officials.
After almost 20 months of TFCA hibernation, the US State Department announced $4.8 million in TFCA funds for a deal in Paraguay, that is helping protect: San Rafael National Park Reserve, and Caazapa National Park, Ybyturuzu Managed Resources Reserve, Tapyta Private Nature Reserve, Ybycui National Park, and Ypeti Private Nature Reserve.
TFCA announces an agreement in Guatemala, in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, including $15 million in US government funds. The agreement supports activities in 40% of the nation’s territory, including: the Motagua-Polochic-Caribbean Coast, the Western Volcanic Chain, the Cuchumatanes region and the May Biosphere Reserve
TFCA announces a deal in Botswana for almost $7million, for conservation in Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park and other tropical forest conservation and restoration activities throughout the country.
Current Re-Authorization Weakens Forest Funding
TFG needs your help again. The Treasury Department says there aren’t enough places to spend money to save forests….if you can believe that! So rather than get busy by helping more countries save forests, they are proposing to dilute the TFCA by giving some of the limited money to save coral reefs. Its not that TFG doesn’t love coral reefs as much as the next person…So please help us generate more money for both saving tropical forests AND coral reefs, not OR coral reefs. Please help TFG educate congress about the importance of saving all types of threatened ecosystems by asking congress to either fund the new joint forest-coral initiative with more money, or keeping the forest money intact and finding new revenues for coral reefs. More…