Under the framework of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Forest Service, and the Russian Federal Forest Agency signed a Protocol of Intent to strengthen collaboration in the sustainable management of forests through 2013.
The Protocol provides a framework for joint activities to protect the world’s largest expanse of forest, including initiatives to support both countries’ efforts to mitigate global climate change. The three agencies will collaboratively develop annual work plans for projects in priority areas such as forest management, fire reduction, illegal logging, and reforestation. This agreement supports the environment and forestry work of the Bilateral Presidential Commission, which was created by Presidents Obama and Medvedev in July 2009.
Russia and the United States have been sharing best practices in forestry since 1958. For the past 15 years, the U.S. Agency for International Development has supported a partnership between the two countries’ forest management authorities. Both countries have benefited from exchanges, joint research, and pilot projects in sustainable forest management. Russian specialists have provided valuable technical expertise on wildfire behavior in complex systems, prevention of forest pest outbreaks, and habitat conservation; while U.S. specialists have contributed to the development of Russia’s new National Forest Inventory and its efforts to combat illegal logging.
The Protocol was signed in Washington, D.C. today by Ambassador James Michel, Counselor, U.S. Agency for International Development; Tom Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service; and Alexey Savinov, Head, Russian Federal Forestry Agency.
For more information about USAID and its programs around the world, please visit www.usaid.gov.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.