[Senate Report 112-165]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


                                                       Calendar No. 399
112th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     112-165

======================================================================



 
                    HAITI REFORESTATION ACT OF 2011

                                _______
                                

                  May 15, 2012.--Ordered to be printed

          Mr. Kerry, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,
                        submitted the following

                                 REPORT

                         [To accompany S. 1023]

    The Committee on Foreign Relations, having had under 
consideration the bill 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, reports favorably thereon and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page

  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Committee Action.................................................1
III. Discussion.......................................................1
 IV. Cost Estimate....................................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................6
 VI. Changes in Existing Law..........................................6

                               I. Purpose

    The purpose of S. 1023 is to provide assistance to the 
Government of Haiti to develop and implement, or improve, 
nationally appropriate policies and actions to reduce 
deforestation and forest degradation and to increase 
afforestation and reforestation in a measurable, reportable and 
verifiable manner.

                          II. Committee Action

    S. 1023 was introduced by Senators Durbin, Kerry, and 
Collins on May 18, 2011. On February 14, 2012, the committee 
ordered S. 1023 reported favorably by voice vote. Senator Risch 
asked to be recorded as voting against the legislation.

                            III. Discussion

    Haiti was once a significantly forested area with tropical 
forests covering 60 percent of the country in 1923. After years 
of deforestation and forest degradation, less than 2 percent of 
these forests remain. During the period beginning in 2000 and 
ending in 2005, the deforestation rate accelerated by more than 
20 percent over the deforestation rate in Haiti between 1990 
and 1999.
    The impact of Haiti's deforestation includes widespread 
soil erosion, destruction of the natural barriers from 
hurricanes, and continuing poverty. Consequently, this soil 
erosion makes the island more vulnerable to floods and 
mudslides. For example, in 2004, Hurricane Jeanne hit Haiti, 
killing approximately 3,000 people and displacing over 200,000 
more, as mud covered Gonaives, Haiti's sixth-largest city, 
turning it into a swamp of debris.
    S. 1023, the Haiti Reforestation Act of 2011 (the ``Act''), 
authorizes assistance to the Government of Haiti to implement 
proposals that support governmental and nongovernmental 
institutional capacity to reduce deforestation and increase 
afforestation and reforestation rates in measurable, verifiable 
and reportable ways. This Act does not authorize any new 
spending but is intended to help provide guidance for existing 
funds for Haiti and its reconstruction.
    The Act would provide a framework with which the United 
States may work with the Haitian Government to develop Haiti-
appropriate forest-management plans that can be implemented in 
incremental ways. Eligible activities include fire reduction, 
forest monitoring, market-based reforestation, and watershed 
restoration.
    The need for such activities in Haiti has become even more 
acute given the spate of natural disasters that have struck the 
island in the last decade. Where trees once provided cover from 
torrential rains and gave root structure to the soil, mudslides 
have destroyed houses and schools. The United Nations 
Environmental Program has found that the number of victims per 
extreme weather event is directly correlated to the extent of 
deforestation in a country. If Haiti's tropical forests are 
protected and in some cases regrown, these efforts would help 
address the destructive effects of soil erosion and mitigate 
the effects from severe natural disasters that are exacerbated 
by the severely deforested land.
    The committee intends that the Haiti Reforestation Act will 
help strengthen U.S. assistance to Haiti by promoting 
activities and directing funding toward efforts that support 
long-term sustainability. The committee notes that in past 
years, efforts by USAID and other agencies to implement 
development assistance in Haiti have not always been integrated 
between environmental and development programs. It is important 
that all U.S. government efforts related to the rebuilding of 
Haiti are integrated within a broader country development 
framework and reflect needs and priorities identified by the 
country in question.
    The committee also recognizes that promoting reforestation 
in Haiti is a necessary step toward achieving related 
development goals in the country, such as agricultural 
development, improvements in public health, infrastructure, and 
education, and building a stronger economy. Similarly, 
reforesting and protecting Haiti's tropical forests can also 
benefit Haiti's freshwater sources and irrigable land.
    S. 1023 vests authority in the President to provide 
necessary resources to the Government of Haiti to carry out 
critical policies, reforms, and investments in areas that 
promote reforestation and afforestation.
    A summary of certain sections of S. 1023 is below:


    Better Governance for Haiti. Section 101 authorizes 
assistance for the Government of Haiti provided that the 
Haitian Government's proposals for assistance include specific 
transparency and governance criteria, including the 
availability of legal regimes, standards and safeguards for 
local communities and primary stakeholders, and transparent 
documentation to ensure that policies being proposed are or can 
be implemented. Assistance under the Act is to be harmonized 
with the United States broader development and environmental 
objectives and initiatives in Haiti. The list of eligible 
activities is meant to highlight activities that promote forest 
restoration, rehabilitation and sustainable growth. The 
committee also notes that activities promoting the 
environmental recovery of watersheds through forest restoration 
and sustainable resource management can yield significant 
benefits to local communities by reducing the environmental 
vulnerability of these areas to debilitating impacts such as 
mudslides.
    Reporting. Section 101 also requires an initial report to 
the appropriate congressional committees on the actions the 
President has taken, or plans to take, to engage key 
stakeholders in Haiti, including the Government of Haiti and 
Haitian civil society. The Act also requires biennial reports 
to Congress on the progress that the Government of Haiti is 
making on implementing the policies and initiatives contained 
in the proposals submitted for assistance under this Act.
    Grants for Reforestation Program. Section 201 provides that 
the President may establish a grant program to reverse 
deforestation and improve reforestation and afforestation. The 
purpose of this program is to create additional opportunities 
for the United States government to support programs and 
policies that promote activities that result in increased 
forest coverage or reduced deforestation. A preference is given 
toward projects that develop sustainable market-based solutions 
partnering with local communities and cooperatives. These types 
of solutions have been successful in other parts of the world, 
and it is the expectation that they can also be successful in 
Haiti. The Act also provides for the establishment of forest 
protection grants that may be given to nongovernmental 
organizations for the purchase of discounted commercial debt of 
Haiti in exchange for commitments by the Government of Haiti to 
restore forests or develop sustainability plans for those 
forests. This authority is intended to build upon and 
incorporate the successes of debt-for-nature programs in other 
regions.

                           IV. Cost Estimate

    In accordance with Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(l) of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee provides this 
estimate of the costs of this legislation prepared by the 
Congressional Budget Office.


                            United States Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, March 28, 2012.

Hon. John F. Kerry,
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1023, the Haiti 
Reforestation Act of 2011.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sunita 
D'Monte.
          Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf.

Enclosure.


                                ------                                


               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate


                S. 1023--Haiti Reforestation Act of 2011


  AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS ON 
                           FEBRUARY 14, 2012

SUMMARY

    S. 1023 would authorize assistance to Haiti to reduce 
deforestation, increase efforts to restore forest cover, and 
improve management of natural resources. The bill would set 
specific targets for those efforts: promote the environmental 
recovery of 35 percent of Haiti's land area within 5 years, 
restore forest cover to at least 10 percent of Haiti within 30 
years, and increase agroforestry (the simultaneous production 
of trees with crops or livestock) cover to more than 25 percent 
of Haiti within 10 years. CBO estimates that implementing S. 
1023 would require appropriations of about $780 million and 
have a discretionary cost of about $460 million over the 2013-
2017 period. (The remainder would be spent after 2017.)
    Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation 
because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 1023 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.

ESTIMATED COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

    The estimated budgetary impact of S. 1023 is shown in the 
following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 150 (international affairs).


                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                          2013-
                                                        2013      2014      2015      2016      2017      2017
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Environmental Recovery
  Estimated Authorization Level.....................      136       138       140       142       145       701
  Estimated Outlays.................................       10        57       100       117       127       411
Grant Programs
  Estimated Authorization Level.....................       15        15        15        16        16        77
  Estimated Outlays.................................        1         6        11        13        14        45
  Total Changes
    Estimated Authorization Level...................      151       153       155       158       161       778
    Estimated Outlays...............................       11        63       111       130       141       456
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BASIS OF ESTIMATE

    For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 1023 will be enacted 
by the end of 2012, that the necessary amounts will be 
appropriated each year, and that outlays will follow historical 
spending patterns for existing programs.

Environmental Recovery

    Title I would authorize assistance for the environmental 
recovery of Haiti. The U.S. Agency for International 
Development (USAID) has ongoing programs aimed at environmental 
recovery and restoration of tree cover in Haiti: the Watershed 
Initiative for National Natural Environmental Resources project 
(WINNER) and the Economic Development for a Sustainable 
Environment project (DEED; the acronym is based on its French 
title). WINNER is a five-year project while DEED is a three-
year project. Both projects use market-based approaches to 
improve agricultural production and the management of natural 
resources. They have a combined budget of about $145 million 
and cover about 9 percent of Haiti's land area, with an average 
cost of about $580 per hectare of land. (A hectare is roughly 
2.47 acres.)
    Based on information about the WINNER and DEED projects, 
CBO expects that USAID would build upon existing efforts by 
using those projects as templates to meet the bill's goals; in 
particular, to achieve the goal of recovering 35 percent of 
Haiti's land area--about 970,000 hectares--within five years. 
CBO assumes that each year over the 2013-2017 period, the 
Congress would appropriate the amounts necessary for USAID to 
initiate projects to achieve one-fifth of that goal (194,000 
hectares). After increasing the average cost for the WINNER and 
DEED projects to account for the shorter time-frame envisioned 
under the bill, CBO estimates that implementing title I would 
cost an average of $700 per hectare in 2013, and require 
appropriations of $136 million that year. On that basis, and 
adjusting for expected inflation, CBO estimates that 
implementing title I would cost $411 million over the 2013-2017 
period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.

Grant Programs

    Title II would authorize two grant programs to reverse 
deforestation and promote reforestation (establishing a forest 
on land that was previously forested) and afforestation 
(establishing a new forest on unforested land). CBO expects 
that those programs would be aimed at preserving existing 
natural forests, reforesting land, and developing sustainable 
economic activities in areas surrounding forests. Based on 
information from USAID, CBO estimates that implementing title 
II would require annual appropriations of about $15 million a 
year and cost $45 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts.

PAY-AS-YOU-GO CONSIDERATIONS

    None.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE-SECTOR IMPACT

    S. 1023 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate for Federal Costs 
is Sunita D'Monte, for Impact on State, Local, and Tribal 
Governments is J'nell L. Blanco, and for Impact on the Private 
Sector is Marin Randall. The estimate was approved by Theresa 
Gullo, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(b) of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the committee has determined that there is 
no regulatory impact as a result of this legislation.

                      VI. Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with Rule XXVI, paragraph 12 of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill, 
as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in 
roman).


FOREIGN ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1961

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART I

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Chapter 7. Debt-For-Nature Exchanges

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 466. PILOT PROGRAM FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 467. PILOT PROGRAM FOR HAITI.

    (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 grant.
          (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.