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Reporting on Whole-of-Government Approaches to Stopping International Deforestation

As directed by President Biden’s Executive Order on Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities, and Local Economies (E.O. 14072) , the U.S. Department of State submitted two reports to President Biden on stopping international deforestation.  Combatting International Deforestation Associated with Agricultural Commodity Production  addresses a primary direct driver of global deforestation:  the conversion of forests to produce major agriculture commodities.  This report discusses a range of approaches, including relevant options for changes in U.S. government policy, foreign assistance programming, and the potential role of public-private partnerships.  Reducing International Deforestation Through U.S. Government International Programming, Assistance, Finance, Investment, Trade and Trade Promotion  provides insights and options on how the U.S. government is addressing and can further address international deforestation and land conversion through a range of instruments such as international programming, assistance, finance investment, trade, and trade promotion.

Deforestation threatens biodiversity, soils, water, and ecosystem functions; increases the risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases; and impacts communities and livelihoods.  It is also a major contributor to climate change.  The Department of State prepared these reports, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security (through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection), the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, the United States Trade Representative, and the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, as well as other agencies with relevant mandates.

The U.S. government is committed to conserving and restoring global forests and other ecosystems.  Forests around the world are critical carbon sinks that provide significant global greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, both by preventing the emissions caused by deforestation and by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere and stored in soils and forest biomass.  The U.S. government is also committed to combating illegal logging and stopping trade in illegally sourced wood products pursuant to the Lacey Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 3371 et seq. , and to addressing the both commodity-driven deforestation and the related importation of agricultural commodities sourced from recently deforested land.  The reports provide options for a whole-of-government approach to advance these commitments.

For media inquiries, please contact OES-PA-DG@state.gov.

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