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Highlights

GAO reviewed the problem of deforestation in developing countries and evaluated whether forestry, agricultural, and rural development projects have been promoting improved and self-sustained forestry and natural resource conservation.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury 1. The Secretaries of the Treasury and State should request international organizations, in designing their projects, to give greater consideration to the impact on subsistence farmer populations residing in and around forested and watershed areas which are targeted for commercial timber harvesting, and road, dam, and irrigation construction projects.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of State 2. The Secretaries of the Treasury and State should request international organizations, in designing their projects, to give greater consideration to the impact on subsistence farmer populations residing in and around forested and watershed areas which are targeted for commercial timber harvesting, and road, dam, and irrigation construction projects.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
United States Agency for International Development 3. The Administrator, AID, should support forestry-related projects that are within host-government political and financial capabilities and work with countries to engender more positive government commitment to deforestation problems.
Closed - Implemented
The AID Science and Technology Bureau is constantly encouraging forestation efforts within the capabilities of the target countries. Mission managers and an advisor worked with local ministry officials to initiate a doable project. The Honduras mission's reforestation efforts are now fewer in number and concentrated in implementation and completion of existing projects.
United States Agency for International Development 4. The Administrator, AID, should assess the implementation problems which have delayed some projects and, where problems are attributable to limitations on host-government capabilities, adjust the projects to be better suited to developing country capabilities.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
United States Agency for International Development 5. The Administrator, AID, should: (1) implement strategies, such as those already endorsed by the agency's forestry policy paper, which encourage program officials to incorporate forestry assistance with agricultural and rural development programs whose principal focus is the subsistence farmers; and (2) seek the cooperation of other donors and the developing countries, where appropriate, to develop the needed links for using established developing-country agricultural service extension systems as a more direct and economic vehicle for improving the forestry and natural resource conservation practices of subsistence farmers.
Closed - Implemented
Many recent AID forestry projects are focused on the integration of forestry, fuel wood, and living barrier projects into local development schemes. The forestry advisor is actively pursuing projects that blend with or are complimentary to other donor programs.
Department of the Treasury 6. The Secretaries of State and the Treasury should request that the U.S. representatives to the international organizations stress the importance of improving the productive quality of the land now under cultivation by using more forestry elements in the agriculture programs supported by these institutions.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of State 7. The Secretaries of State and the Treasury should request that the U.S. representatives to the international organizations stress the importance of improving the productive quality of the land now under cultivation by using more forestry elements in the agriculture programs supported by these institutions.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

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