U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act
Funding for biodiversity conservation in developing countries through programs to reduce their dollar debt to the U.S. government
Principal Office: USA
Launched in 1998, the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) is a program of the U.S. Government to support forest conservation and debt relief in eligible developing countries.
Each participating developing country signs a bilateral agreement with the U.S. Government to fund forest conservation using that country’s currency, usually through local foundations that make grants to civil society organizations and communities. In exchange, the USA writes off a negotiated share of that country’s dollar debt, according to different options.
The TFCA is a mechanism to encourage public-private partnerships for conservation in the participating countries. Moreover, the program leverages co-financing contributions by conservation NGOs in the USA and in some of the TFCA’s recipient countries.
Grant Programs for Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Natural Resources
Tropical Forest Conservation. The TFCA helps fund the establishment and management of protected areas; practices for land and ecosystem management; actions for biodiversity conservation; ethno-botanical research; scientific and technical conservation training; and community enterprises based on forests and forest products.
To be eligible for participation in the TFCA, a developing country must have tropical forests; owe the U.S. Government qualifying debt; and meet certain political and economic criteria.
About the Secretariat
Geographical Distribution of Grant Activities in Developing Countries
Note: To date, the following countries have signed agreements with the TFCA — Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Philippines.
The TFCA is coordinated among the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The TFCA has helped stimulate the establishment of new grant-making organizations, or strengthen existing ones, in the countries where it operates. They include the following:
- Bangladesh: Arannayak Foundation;
- Belize: Belize Audubon Society;
- Belize: Program for Belize;
- Belize: Toledo Institute of Development and Environment (TIDE);
- Belize: Protected Areas Conservation Trust Foundation (PACT);
- Botswana: Forest Conservation Botswana;
- Brazil: Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO);
- Colombia: Fondo Acción;
- Costa Rica: National Institute for Biodiversity (INBIO);
- Costa Rica: Forever Costa Rica Association;
- El Salvador: El Salvador Enterprise for the Americas Initiative Fund (FIAES);
- Guatemala: Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources and Guatemalan Environment (FCG);
- Indonesia: TFCA-Sumater;
- Jamaica: Jamaica Protected Areas Trust (JPAT);
- Panama: Fundación Natura;
- Paraguay: Fondo de Conservación de Bosques Tropicales;
- Peru: Peruvian Trust Fund for National Parks and Protected Areas (PROFONANPE);
- Peru: Fund of the Americas (FONDAM);
- Philippines: Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation.
Grant seekers in these countries should learn about the grant-making strategies and processes of these foundations and funds. Many of them are important grant makers for conservation at national and local levels.
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