[Congressional Bills 112th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1023 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

  1st Session
                                S. 1023

 To authorize the President to provide assistance to the Government of 
  Haiti to end within 5 years the deforestation in Haiti and restore 
  within 30 years the extent of tropical forest cover in existence in 
                 Haiti in 1990, and for other purposes.



                              May 18, 2011

  Mr. Durbin (for himself, Ms. Collins, and Mr. Kerry) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                           Foreign Relations


                                 A BILL

 To authorize the President to provide assistance to the Government of 
  Haiti to end within 5 years the deforestation in Haiti and restore 
  within 30 years the extent of tropical forest cover in existence in 
                 Haiti in 1990, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Haiti Reforestation Act of 2011''.


    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) the established policy of the Federal Government is to 
        support and seek protection of tropical forests around the 
            (2) tropical forests provide a wide range of benefits by--
                    (A) harboring a major portion of the biological and 
                terrestrial resources of Earth and providing habitats 
                for an estimated 10,000,000 to 30,000,000 plant and 
                animal species, including species essential to medical 
                research and agricultural productivity;
                    (B) playing a critical role as carbon sinks that 
                reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as 1 hectare 
                of tropical forest can absorb up to approximately 3 
                tons of carbon dioxide per year, thus moderating 
                potential global climate change; and
                    (C) regulating hydrological cycles upon which 
                agricultural and coastal resources depend;
            (3) tropical forests are also a key factor in reducing 
        rates of soil loss, particularly on hilly terrain;
            (4) while international efforts to stem the tide of 
        tropical deforestation have accelerated during the past 2 
        decades, the rapid rate of tropical deforestation continues 
            (5) in 1923, over 60 percent of the land of Haiti was 
        forested but, by 2006, that percentage had decreased to less 
        than 2 percent;
            (6) during the period beginning in 2000 and ending in 2005, 
        the deforestation rate in Haiti accelerated by more than 20 
        percent over the deforestation rate in Haiti during the period 
        beginning in 1990 and ending in 1999;
            (7) as a result, during the period described in paragraph 
        (6), Haiti lost--
                    (A) nearly 10 percent (approximately 11,000 
                hectares) of the forest cover of Haiti; and
                    (B) approximately 22 percent of the total forest 
                and woodland habitat of Haiti;
            (8) poverty and economic pressures are--
                    (A) two factors that underlie the tropical 
                deforestation of Haiti; and
                    (B) manifested particularly through the clearing of 
                vast areas of forest for conversion to agricultural 
            (9) 80 percent of the population of Haiti lives below the 
        poverty line;
            (10) two-thirds of the population of Haiti depend on the 
        agricultural sector, which consists mainly of small-scale 
        subsistence farming;
            (11) 60 percent of the population of Haiti relies on 
        charcoal produced from cutting down trees for cooking fuel;
            (12) soil erosion represents the most direct effect of the 
        deforestation of Haiti, as the erosion has--
                    (A) lowered the productivity of the land due to the 
                poor soils underlying the tropical forests;
                    (B) worsened the severity of droughts and flooding 
                    (C) led to further deforestation;
                    (D) significantly decreased the quality and, as a 
                result, quantity of freshwater and clean drinking water 
                available to the population of Haiti; and
                    (E) increased the pressure on the remaining land 
                and trees in Haiti;
            (13) tropical forests provide forest cover to soften the 
        effect of heavy rains and reduce erosion by anchoring the soil 
        with their roots;
            (14) when trees are cleared, rainfall runs off the soil 
        more quickly and contributes to floods and further erosion;
            (15) in 2004, Hurricane Jeanne struck Haiti, killing 
        approximately 3,000, and affecting over 200,000, people, partly 
        because deforestation had resulted in the clearing of large 
        hillsides, which enabled rainwater to run off directly to 
        settlements located at the bottom of the slopes;
            (16) research conducted by the United Nations Environmental 
        Programme has revealed a direct (89 percent) correlation 
        between the extent of the deforestation of a country and the 
        incidence of victims per weather event in the country;
            (17) the consequences of the January 2010 earthquake in 
        Haiti, which destroyed much of the infrastructure of Port au 
        Prince, were greater because of deforestation which reduced 
        hillside stability and increased the likelihood of mudslides, 
        soil erosion, and flooding--factors that also negatively 
        impacted the water supply and heightened concerns for the 
        spread of waterborne diseases;
            (18) finding economic benefits for local communities from 
        sustainable uses of tropical forests is critical for the long-
        term protection of the tropical forests in Haiti;
            (19) on July 29, 2010, the Supplemental Appropriations Act 
        of 2010 (Public Law 111-212) was enacted into law, which 
        included $25,000,000 for ``the reforestation and other 
        restoration of Haiti's key watersheds''; and
            (20) tropical reforestation efforts would provide new 
        sources of jobs, income, and investments in Haiti by--
                    (A) providing employment opportunities in tree 
                seedling programs, contract tree planting and 
                management, sustainable agricultural initiatives, 
                sustainable and managed timber harvesting, and wood 
                products milling and finishing services; and
                    (B) enhancing community enterprises that generate 
                income through the trading of sustainable forest 
                resources, many of which exist on small scales in Haiti 
                and in the rest of the region.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to provide assistance to 
the Government of Haiti to develop and implement, or improve, 
nationally appropriate policies and actions--
            (1) to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in 
            (2) to increase annual rates of afforestation and 
        reforestation in a measurable, reportable, and verifiable 
                    (A) to restore social and economic conditions for 
                environmental recovery of 35 percent of Haiti's land 
                surface area within 5 years after the date of enactment 
                of this Act;
                    (B) to restore within 30 years after the date of 
                enactment of this Act the forest cover of Haiti to at 
                least 10 percent of the land in Haiti; and
                    (C) to establish within 10 years after the date of 
                enactment of this Act agroforestry cover of land in 
                Haiti to more than 25 percent; and
            (3) to improve sustainable resource management at the 
        watershed scale.


    In this Act:
            (1) Afforestation.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``afforestation'' means 
                the establishment of a new forest through the seeding 
                of, or planting of trees on, a parcel of nonforested 
                    (B) Inclusion.--The term ``afforestation'' 
                            (i) the introduction of a tree species to a 
                        parcel of nonforested land of which the species 
                        is not a native species; and
                            (ii) the increase of tree cover through 
            (2) Agroforestry.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``agroforestry'' refers 
                to systems in which perennial trees or shrubs are 
                integrated with crops or livestock, and where 
                perennials constitute a minimum 10 percent of ground 
                    (B) Inclusion.--Actual forest cover resulting from 
                agroforestry programs can be counted toward the total 
                forest cover goal set forth in section (2)(b).
            (3) Appropriate committees of congress.--The term 
        ``appropriate committees of Congress'' means--
                    (A) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
                    (B) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
            (4) Deforestation.--The term ``deforestation'' refers to 
        the conversion of forest to another land use or the long term 
        reduction of the tree canopy.
            (5) Forest.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``forest'' means a 
                terrestrial ecosystem containing native tree species 
                generated and maintained primarily through natural 
                ecological and evolutionary processes.
                    (B) Exclusion.--The term ``forest'' does not 
                include plantations, such as crops of trees planted 
                primarily by humans for the purposes of harvesting.
            (6) Reforestation.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``reforestation'' refers 
                to the establishment of forest on lands that were 
                previously considered as forest, but which have been 
                    (B) Inclusion.--The term ``reforestation'' includes 
                the increase of tree cover through plantations.

                                OF HAITI


    (a) Authority.--
            (1) In general.--In accordance with section 117 of the 
        Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151p) and consistent 
        with the provisions of paragraph (2), the President is 
        authorized to provide assistance to the Government of Haiti in 
        the form of financial assistance, technology transfers, or 
        capacity building assistance for the conduct of activities to 
        develop and implement 1 or more forestation proposals under 
        paragraph (2)--
                    (A) to reduce the deforestation of Haiti; and
                    (B) to increase the rates of afforestation and 
                reforestation in Haiti.
            (2) Proposals.--
                    (A) In general.--Assistance under this title may be 
                provided to the Government of Haiti to implement one or 
                more proposals that contain--
                            (i) a description of each policy and 
                        initiative to be carried out using the 
                            (ii) adequate documentation to ensure, as 
                        determined by the President, that--
                                    (I) each policy and initiative will 
                                            (aa) carried out and 
                                        managed in accordance with 
                                        widely accepted environmentally 
                                        sustainable forestry and 
                                        agricultural practices; and
                                            (bb) designed and 
                                        implemented in a manner by 
                                        which to improve the governance 
                                        of forests by building 
                                        governmental capacity to be 
                                        more transparent, inclusive, 
                                        accountable, and coordinated in 
                                        decisionmaking processes and 
                                        the implementation of the 
                                        policy or initiative; and
                                    (II) the proposals will further 
                                establish and enforce legal regimes, 
                                standards, and safeguards designed to 
                                ensure that members of local 
                                communities in affected areas, as 
                                partners and primary stakeholders, will 
                                be engaged in the design, planning, 
                                implementation, monitoring, and 
                                evaluation of the policies and 
                                initiatives; and
                            (iii) a description of how the proposal or 
                        proposals support and aid forest restoration 
                        efforts consistent with the purpose set forth 
                        in section 2(b).
                    (B) Determination of compatibility with certain 
                programs.--In evaluating each proposal under 
                subparagraph (A), the President shall ensure that each 
                policy and initiative described in the proposal 
                submitted by the Government of Haiti under that 
                subparagraph is compatible with--
                            (i) broader development, poverty 
                        alleviation, sustainable energy usage, and 
                        natural resource conservation objectives and 
                        initiatives in Haiti;
                            (ii) the development, poverty alleviation, 
                        disaster risk management, and climate 
                        resilience programs of the United States Agency 
                        for International Development, including those 
                        involving technical support from the United 
                        States Forest Service; and
                            (iii) activities of international 
                        organizations and multilateral development 
    (b) Eligible Activities.--Any assistance received by the Government 
of Haiti under subsection (a)(1) shall be conditional upon development 
and implementation of a proposal under subsection (a)(2), which may 
            (1) the provision of technologies and associated support 
        for activities to reduce deforestation or increase 
        afforestation and reforestation rates, including--
                    (A) fire reduction initiatives;
                    (B) forest law enforcement initiatives;
                    (C) the development of timber tracking systems;
                    (D) the development of cooking fuel substitutes;
                    (E) initiatives to increase agricultural 
                    (F) tree-planting initiatives; and
                    (G) programs that are designed to focus on market-
                based solutions, including programs that leverage the 
                international carbon-offset market;
            (2) the enhancement and expansion of governmental and 
        nongovernmental institutional capacity to effectively design 
        and implement a proposal developed under subsection (a)(2) 
        through initiatives, including--
                    (A) the establishment of transparent, accountable, 
                and inclusive decisionmaking processes relating to all 
                stakeholders (including affected local communities);
                    (B) the promotion of enhanced coordination among 
                ministries and agencies responsible for agroecological 
                zoning, mapping, land planning and permitting, 
                sustainable agriculture, forestry, and law enforcement; 
                    (C) the clarification of land tenure and resource 
                rights of affected communities, including local 
            (3) the development and support of institutional capacity 
        to measure, verify, and report the activities carried out by 
        the Government of Haiti to reduce deforestation and increase 
        afforestation and reforestation rates through the use of 
        appropriate methods, including--
                    (A) the use of best practices and technologies to 
                monitor land use change in Haiti, including changes in 
                the extent of natural forest cover, protected areas, 
                mangroves, agroforestry, and agriculture;
                    (B) the monitoring of the impacts of policies and 
                initiatives on--
                            (i) affected communities;
                            (ii) the biodiversity of the environment of 
                        Haiti; and
                            (iii) the health of the tropical forests of 
                        Haiti; and
                    (C) independent and participatory forest 
                monitoring; and
            (4) the development of and coordination with watershed 
        restoration programs in Haiti, including--
                    (A) agreements with the Government of Haiti, 
                nongovernmental organizations, or private sector 
                partners to provide technical assistance, capacity 
                building, or technology transfers which support the 
                environmental recovery of Haiti's watersheds through 
                forest restoration activities, provided that the 
                assistance will help strengthen economic drivers of 
                sustainable resource management, reduce environmental 
                vulnerability, and improve governance, planning, and 
                community action of watersheds in Haiti;
                    (B) actions to support economic incentives for 
                sustainable resource management, including enhanced 
                incentives for the replacement of annual hillside 
                cropping with perennial and non-erosive production 
                    (C) enhanced extension services supporting the 
                sustainable intensification of agriculture to increase 
                farmer incomes and reduce pressure on degraded land; 
                    (D) investments in watershed infrastructure to 
                reduce environmental vulnerability, including the 
                establishment of appropriate erosion control measures 
                through reforestation activities in targeted watersheds 
                or sub-watersheds.
    (c) Development of Performance Metrics.--
            (1) In general.--If the President provides assistance under 
        subsection (a)(1), the President, in cooperation with the 
        Government of Haiti, shall develop appropriate performance 
        metrics to measure, verify, and report--
                    (A) the conduct of each policy and initiative to be 
                carried out by the Government of Haiti;
                    (B) the results of each policy and initiative with 
                respect to the tropical forests of Haiti; and
                    (C) each impact of each policy and initiative on 
                the local communities of Haiti.
            (2) Requirements.--Performance metrics developed under 
        paragraph (1) shall, to the maximum extent practicable, include 
        short-term and long-term metrics to evaluate the implementation 
        of each policy and initiative contained in each proposal 
        developed under subsection (a)(2).
    (d) Reports.--
            (1) Initial report.--Not later than 18 months after the 
        date of enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to 
        the appropriate committees of Congress a report that describes 
        the actions that the President has taken, and plans to take--
                    (A) to engage with the Government of Haiti, 
                nongovernmental stakeholders, and public and private 
                nonprofit organizations to implement this section; and
                    (B) to enter into agreements with the Government of 
                Haiti under subsection (a)(1).
            (2) Biennial reports.--Not later than 2 years after the 
        date on which the President first provides assistance to the 
        Government of Haiti under subsection (a)(1) and biennially 
        thereafter, the President shall submit to Congress a report 
        that describes the progress of the Government of Haiti in 
        implementing each policy and initiative contained in the 
        proposal submitted under subsection (a)(2).
    (e) Additional Assistance.--The President is authorized to provide 
financial and other assistance to the Government of Haiti, local 
government bodies, or nongovernmental organizations for the purpose 
            (1) providing local communities information relating to 
        each policy and initiative to be carried out by the Government 
        of Haiti through funds made available under subsection (a)(1);
            (2) promoting effective participation by local communities 
        in the design, implementation, and independent monitoring of 
        each policy and initiative; and
            (3) promoting, consistent with supporting the 
        sustainability of forestation activities, enhanced watershed 
        governance, national planning, and community action programs 
        that lead to increased--
                    (A) development of a national watershed management 
                policy for Haiti with the Inter-Ministerial Committee 
                for Land Management, the Ministry of Environment, 
                Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Planning 
                and External Cooperation;
                    (B) establishment of an effective forum for donor 
                coordination related to management and reforestation in 
                    (C) support for the National Center for Geospatial 
                Information (CNIGS) to provide technology, data, and 
                monitoring support for improved watershed and forest 
                resource management at a national scale in Haiti; and
                    (D) development of effective governance structures 
                in Haiti for stakeholder engagement, coordination of 
                approaches, and land use planning and disaster 
                mitigation at the watershed scale.



    (a) Establishment.--The President is authorized to establish a 
grant program to carry out the purposes of this Act, including 
reversing deforestation and improving reforestation and afforestation 
in Haiti.
    (b) Grants Authorized.--
            (1) In general.--The President is authorized to award 
        grants and contracts to carry out projects that, in the 
        aggregate, reverse deforestation and improve reforestation and 
            (2) Maximum amount.--
                    (A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph 
                (B), the President may not award a grant under this 
                section in an amount greater than $500,000 per year.
                    (B) Exception.--The President may award a grant 
                under this section in an amount greater than $500,000 
                per year if the President determines that the recipient 
                of the grant has demonstrated success with respect to a 
                project that was the subject of a grant under this 
            (3) Duration.--The President shall award grants under this 
        section for a period not to exceed 3 years.
    (c) Use of Funds.--
            (1) In general.--Grants awarded pursuant to subsection (b) 
        may be used for activities such as--
                    (A) providing a financial incentive to protect 
                    (B) providing hands-on management and oversight of 
                replanting efforts;
                    (C) focusing on sustainable income-generating 
                    (D) providing seed money to start cooperative 
                reforestation and afforestation efforts and providing 
                subsequent conditional funding for such efforts 
                contingent upon required tree care and maintenance 
                    (E) promoting widespread use of improved cooking 
                stove technologies, to the extent that this does not 
                result in the harvesting of tropical forest growth and 
                other renewable fuel technologies that reduce 
                deforestation and improve human health; and
                    (F) securing the involvement and commitment of 
                local communities--
                            (i) to protect tropical forests in 
                        existence as of the date of enactment of this 
                        Act; and
                            (ii) to carry out afforestation and 
                        reforestation activities.
            (2) Consistency with proposals.--To the maximum extent 
        practicable, a project carried out using grant funds shall 
        support and be consistent with the proposal developed under 
        section 101(a)(2) that is the subject of the project.
    (d) Application.--
            (1) In general.--To be eligible for a grant under this 
        section, an entity shall prepare and submit an application at 
        such time, in such manner, and containing such information as 
        the President may reasonably require.
            (2) Content.--Each application submitted under paragraph 
        (1) should be consistent with the findings of the 2007 United 
        States Agency for International Development report entitled, 
        ``Environmental Vulnerability in Haiti: Findings and 
        Recommendations'', and shall include--
                    (A) a description of the objectives to be attained;
                    (B) a description of the manner in which the grant 
                funds will be used;
                    (C) a plan for evaluating the success of the 
                project based on verifiable evidence; and
                    (D) to the extent that the applicant intends to use 
                nonnative species in afforestation efforts, an 
                explanation of the benefit of the use of nonnative 
                species over native species and verification that the 
                species to be used are not invasive.
            (3) Preference for certain projects.--In awarding grants 
        under this section, preference shall be given to applicants 
        that propose--
                    (A) to develop market-based solutions to the 
                difficulty of reforestation in Haiti, including the use 
                of conditional cash transfers and similar financial 
                incentives to protect reforestation efforts;
                    (B) to partner with local communities and 
                cooperatives; and
                    (C) to focus on efforts that build local capacity 
                to sustain growth after the completion of the 
                underlying grant project.
    (e) Dissemination of Information.--The President shall collect and 
widely disseminate information about the effectiveness of the 
demonstration projects assisted under this section.


    Chapter 7 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 
U.S.C. 2281 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 466 the 
following new section:


    ``(a) Submission of List of Areas of Severely Degraded Natural 
Resources.--The President, in cooperation with nongovernmental 
conservation organizations, shall invite the Government of Haiti to 
submit a list of areas within the territory of Haiti in which tropical 
forests are seriously degraded or threatened.
    ``(b) Review of List.--The President shall assess the list 
submitted by the Government of Haiti under subsection (a) and shall 
seek to reach agreement with the Government of Haiti for the 
restoration and future sustainable use of those areas.
    ``(c) Grant Program.--
            ``(1) Grants authorized.--The President is authorized to 
        make grants on such terms and conditions as may be necessary to 
        nongovernmental organizations for the purchase on the open 
        market of discounted debt of the Government of Haiti, if a 
        market is determined to be viable, in exchange for commitments 
        by the Government of Haiti to restore tropical forests 
        identified by the Government under subsection (a) or for 
        commitments to develop plans for sustainable use of such 
        tropical forests.
            ``(2) Management of protected areas.--Each recipient of a 
        grant under this subsection shall participate in the ongoing 
        management of the area or areas protected pursuant to such 
            ``(3) Retention of proceeds.--Notwithstanding any other 
        provision of law, a grantee (or any subgrantee) of the grants 
        referred to in section (a) may retain, without deposit in the 
        Treasury of the United States and without further appropriation 
        by Congress, interest earned on the proceeds of any resulting 
        debt-for-nature exchange pending the disbursements of such 
        proceeds and interest for approved program purposes, which may 
        include the establishment of an endowment, the income of which 
        is used for such purposes.
            ``(4) Termination of program.--The authority to make grants 
        under the pilot program shall terminate five years after the 
        date of the enactment of this Act. The authority may be renewed 
        for one additional five-year period during the 30-year 
        reforestation period targeted by this Act if the President 
        determines and certifies to Congress that the pilot program is 
        effective in meeting the goals of the Act and the commitment of 
        the Government of Haiti to returning land in Haiti to long-term 
        sustainable forests. The cumulative duration of the pilot 
        program may not exceed ten total years.''.



    The President (or the Administrator of the United States Agency for 
International Development or the Secretary of State as the President's 
delegee) may draw, as appropriate, on the expertise of the United 
States Forest Service in designing and implementing programs pursuant 
to this Act relating to reforestation, watershed restoration, and 
monitoring of land use change.