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Public Papers - 1992

Statement on Signing the Hawaii Tropical Forest Recovery Act

1992-10-29

Today I have signed into law S. 2679, the ``Hawaii Tropical Forest Recovery Act.'' This Act demonstrates our intent as a Nation to conserve and protect irreplaceable tropical forests and to provide world leadership in stemming the decline of these forests. It allows us to meet our obligations to the principles of forest management, conservation, and sustainable development that were established at the recent United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).

My Administration's ``Forests for the Future'' initiative, which I announced on June 1, 1992, has provided the policy framework for the enactment of this legislation. This initiative places conservation of the Earth's forests as a top priority for our country. For this purpose the United States is committed to new funding, partnerships with other governments and interested organizations, and actions to address the needs of our domestic forests.

Expansion of the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry in Hawaii is a concrete step in meeting the challenge of fulfilling the domestic and international goals of Forests for the Future and tropical forest conservation generally. This Act will permit the Institute to serve as a center for transferring scientific, technical, managerial, and administrative assistance to organizations at home and abroad that seek to improve the management of tropical forests.

Almost two-thirds of Hawaii's original forest cover has been lost over the last three centuries. This loss has severely affected the State's diverse ecosystems, which are among the most fragile and complex in the world. To better understand these changes and to develop means to conserve these forests for human and ecological needs, this Act authorizes the establishment of the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest. This experimental forest will serve as a center for long-term research and a focal point for developing and transferring knowledge and expertise for the management of tropical forests.

This Administration has sponsored many initiatives, such as the ``America the Beautiful'' and the ``Urban and Community Forestry'' programs that have resulted in millions of new trees being planted in our country. With our Forests for the Future initiative as a foundation, the Hawaii Tropical Forest Recovery Act is another important aspect of our overall commitment to understanding and wisely using the resources of the world's forests.

George Bush

The White House,

October 29, 1992.

Note: S. 2679, approved October 29, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 574.

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