As “major development agencies” became “discouraged with the public sector” of environmental conservation in the late 1980s, these agencies began to lean their support towards the “private sector” or non-government organizations (NGOs). In a World Bank Discussion Paper it is made apparent that “the explosive emergence of nongovernmental organizations” was widely known to government policy makers. Seeing this rise in NGO support, the U.S. Congress made amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act in 1979 and 1986 “earmarking U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funds for biodiversity”. From 1990 moving through recent years environmental conservation in the NGO sector has become increasingly more focused on the political and economic impact of USAID given towards the “Environment and Natural Resources”. After the terror attacks on the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001 and the start of former President Bush’s War on Terror, maintaining and improving the quality of the environment and natural resources became a “priority” to “prevent international tensions” according to the Legislation on Foreign Relations Through 2002 and section 117 of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act. Furthermore in 2002 U.S. Congress modified the section on endangered species of the previously amended Foreign Assistance Act.
Sec. 119.100 Endangered Species:
(a) The Congress finds the survival of many animals and plant species is endangered by over hunting, by the presence of toxic chemicals in water, air and soil, and by the destruction of habitats. The Congress further finds that the extinction of animal and plant species is an irreparable loss with potentially serious environmental and economic consequences for developing and developed countries alike. Accordingly, 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.
(b) 100 In order to preserve biological diversity, the President is authorized to furnish assistance under this part, notwithstanding section 660,101 to assist countries in protecting and maintaining wildlife habitats and in developing sound wildlife management and plant conservation programs. Special efforts should be made to establish and maintain wildlife sanctuaries, reserves, and parks; to enact and enforce anti-poaching measures; and to identify, study, and catalog animal and plant species, especially in tropical environments.
The amendments to the section also included modifications on the section concerning "PVOs and other Nongovernmental Organizations." The section requires that PVOs and NGOs "to the fullest extent possible involve local people with all stages of design and implementation." These amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act and the recent rise in USAID funding towards foreign environmental conservation have led to several disagreements in terms of NGOs' role in foreign development.
Read more about this topic: Wildlife Conservation
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