Full Statute Name:  United States Code Annotated. Title 16. Conservation. Chapter 82. Great Ape Conservation.

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Popular Title:  Great Apes Conservation Act of 2000 Primary Citation:  16 USC 6301 - 6305 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  March, 2024 Date Adopted:  2000 Historical: 
Summary: The law assists in the conservation of great apes by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of countries within the range of great apes. Under the law, Great apes include the chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo, orangutan, and gibbon. The law authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, through the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, to award grants to entities that will promote the conservation of great apes in the wild. The authorization for appropriations is $5 million per year through 2005 with 3% or $80,000, whichever is greater, expended to administer the grants program.

§ 6301 . Findings and purposes

§ 6302 . Definitions

§ 6303 . Great ape conservation assistance

§ 6304 . Great Ape Conservation Fund

§ 6305 . Authorization of appropriations



§ 6301. Findings and purposes.

(a) Findings

Congress finds that--

(1) great ape populations have declined to the point that the long-term survival of the species in the wild is in serious jeopardy;

(2) the chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo, orangutan, and gibbon are listed as endangered species under section 1533 of this title and under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (27 UST 1087; TIAS 8249);

(3) because the challenges facing the conservation of great apes are so immense, the resources available to date have not been sufficient to cope with the continued loss of habitat due to human encroachment and logging and the consequent diminution of great ape populations;

(4) because great apes are flagship species for the conservation of the tropical forest habitats in which they are found, conservation of great apes provides benefits to numerous other species of wildlife, including many other endangered species;

(5) among the threats to great apes, in addition to habitat loss, are population fragmentation, hunting for the bushmeat trade, live capture, and exposure to emerging or introduced diseases;

(6) great apes are important components of the ecosystems they inhabit, and studies of their wild populations have provided important biological insights;

(7) although subsistence hunting of tropical forest animals has occurred for hundreds of years at a sustainable level, the tremendous increase in the commercial trade of tropical forest species is detrimental to the future of these species; and

(8) the reduction, removal, or other effective addressing of the threats to the long-term viability of populations of great apes in the wild will require the joint commitment and effort of countries that have within their boundaries any part of the range of great apes, the United States and other countries, and the private sector.

(b) Purposes

The purposes of this chapter are--

(1) to sustain viable populations of great apes in the wild; and

(2) to assist in the conservation and protection of great apes by supporting conservation programs of countries in which populations of great apes are located and by supporting the CITES Secretariat.


(Pub.L. 106-411, § 2, Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1789.)


§ 6302. Definitions

In this chapter:


The term “CITES” means the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, done at Washington March 3, 1973 (27 UST 1087; TIAS 8249), including its appendices.

(2) Conservation

The term “conservation”--

(A) means the use of methods and procedures necessary to prevent the diminution of, and to sustain viable populations of, a species; and

(B) includes all activities associated with wildlife management, such as--

(i) conservation, protection, restoration, acquisition, and management of habitat;

(ii) in-situ research and monitoring of populations and habitats;

(iii) assistance in the development, implementation, and improvement of management plans for managed habitat ranges;

(iv) enforcement and implementation of CITES;

(v) enforcement and implementation of domestic laws relating to resource management;

(vi) development and operation of sanctuaries for members of a species rescued from the illegal trade in live animals;

(vii) training of local law enforcement officials in the interdiction and prevention of the illegal killing of great apes;

(viii) programs for the rehabilitation of members of a species in the wild and release of the members into the wild in ways which do not threaten existing wildlife populations by causing displacement or the introduction of disease;

(ix) conflict resolution initiatives;

(x) community outreach and education; and

(xi) strengthening the capacity of local communities to implement conservation programs.

(3) Fund

The term “Fund” means the Great Ape Conservation Fund established by section 6304 of this title.

(4) Great ape

The term “great ape” means a chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo, orangutan, or gibbon.

(5) Multinational Species Conservation Fund

The term “Multinational Species Conservation Fund” means such fund as established in title I of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999, under the heading “Multinational Species Conservation Fund” [16 U.S.C.A. § 4246].

(6) Secretary

The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior.


(Pub.L. 106-411, § 3, Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1790.)


§ 6303. Great ape conservation assistance

(a) In general

Subject to the availability of funds and in consultation with other appropriate Federal officials, the Secretary shall use amounts in the Fund to provide financial assistance for projects for the conservation of great apes for which project proposals are approved by the Secretary in accordance with this section.

(b) Project proposals

(1) Eligible applicants

A proposal for a project for the conservation of great apes may be submitted to the Secretary by--

(A) any wildlife management authority of a country that has within its boundaries any part of the range of a great ape if the activities of the authority directly or indirectly affect a great ape population;

(B) the CITES Secretariat; or

(C) any person or group with the demonstrated expertise required for the conservation of great apes.

(2) Required elements

A project proposal shall include--

(A) a concise statement of the purposes of the project;

(B) the name of the individual responsible for conducting the project;

(C) a description of the qualifications of the individuals who will conduct the project;

(D) a concise description of--

(i) methods for project implementation and outcome assessment;

(ii) staff and community management for the project; and

(iii) the logistics of the project;

(E) an estimate of the funds and time required to complete the project;

(F) evidence of support for the project by appropriate governmental entities of the countries in which the project will be conducted, if the Secretary determines that such support is required for the success of the project;

(G) information regarding the source and amount of matching funding available for the project; and

(H) any other information that the Secretary considers to be necessary for evaluating the eligibility of the project for funding under this chapter.

(c) Project review and approval

(1) In general

The Secretary shall--

(A) not later than 30 days after receiving a project proposal, provide a copy of the proposal to other appropriate Federal officials; and

(B) review each project proposal in a timely manner to determine if the proposal meets the criteria specified in subsection (d).

(2) Consultation; approval or disapproval

Not later than 180 days after receiving a project proposal, and subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary, after consulting with other appropriate Federal officials, shall--

(A) consult on the proposal with the government of each country in which the project is to be conducted;

(B) after taking into consideration any comments resulting from the consultation, approve or disapprove the proposal; and

(C) provide written notification of the approval or disapproval to the person who submitted the proposal, other appropriate Federal officials, and each country described in subparagraph (A).

(d) Criteria for approval

The Secretary may approve a project proposal under this section if the project will enhance programs for conservation of great apes by assisting efforts to--

(1) implement conservation programs;

(2) address the conflicts between humans and great apes that arise from competition for the same habitat;

(3) enhance compliance with CITES and other applicable laws that prohibit or regulate the taking or trade of great apes or regulate the use and management of great ape habitat;

(4) develop sound scientific information on, or methods for monitoring--

(A) the condition and health of great ape habitat;

(B) great ape population numbers and trends; or

(C) the current and projected threats to the habitat, current and projected numbers, or current and projected trends;

(5) promote cooperative projects on the issues described in paragraph (4) among government entities, affected local communities, nongovernmental organizations, or other persons in the private sector; or

(6) address root causes of threats to great apes in range states, including illegal bushmeat trade, diseases, lack of regional or local capacity for conservation, and habitat loss due to natural disasters.

(e) Project sustainability

To the maximum extent practicable, in determining whether to approve project proposals under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to conservation projects that are designed to ensure effective, long-term conservation of great apes and their habitats.

(f) Matching funds

In determining whether to approve project proposals under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to projects for which matching funds are available.

(g) Project reporting

(1) In general

Each person that receives assistance under this section for a project shall submit to the Secretary periodic reports (at such intervals as the Secretary considers necessary) that include all information that the Secretary, after consultation with other appropriate government officials, determines is necessary to evaluate the progress and success of the project for the purposes of ensuring positive results, assessing problems, and fostering improvements.

(2) Availability to the public

Reports under paragraph (1), and any other documents relating to projects for which financial assistance is provided under this chapter, shall be made available to the public.

(h) Limitations on use for captive breeding

Amounts provided as a grant under this chapter--

(1) may not be used for captive breeding of great apes other than for captive breeding for release into the wild; and

(2) may be used for captive breeding of a species for release into the wild only if no other conservation method for the species is biologically feasible.

(i) Panel

(1) Convention

Not later than 1 year after March 12, 2019, and every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary may convene a panel of experts on great apes to identify the greatest needs and priorities for the conservation of great apes.

(2) Composition

The Secretary shall ensure that the panel referred to in paragraph (1) includes, to the maximum extent practicable, 1 or more representatives--

(A) from each country that comprises the natural range of great apes; and

(B) with expertise in great ape conservation.

(3) Conservation plans

In identifying the conservation needs and priorities under paragraph (1), the panel referred to in that paragraph shall consider any relevant great ape conservation plan or strategy, including scientific research and findings relating to--

(A) the conservation needs and priorities of great apes;

(B) any regional or species-specific action plan or strategy;

(C) any applicable strategy developed or initiated by the Secretary; and

(D) any other applicable conservation plan or strategy.

(4) Funds

Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary may use amounts available to the Secretary to pay for the costs of convening and facilitating any meeting of the panel referred to in paragraph (1).

(5) Applicability of chapter 10 of Title 5

Chapter 10 of Title 5 shall not apply to a panel convened under paragraph (1).

(j) Multiyear grants

(1) Authorization

The Secretary may award to a person who is otherwise eligible for a grant under this section a multiyear grant to carry out a project that the person demonstrates is an effective, long-term conservation strategy for great apes and the habitat of great apes.

(2) Effect of subsection

Nothing in this subsection precludes the Secretary from awarding a grant on an annual basis.

(Pub.L. 106-411, § 4, Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1791; Pub.L. 109-363, Title VII, § 701, Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2081; Pub.L. 116-9, Title VII, § 7001(c)(2)(A), (B), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 785; Pub.L. 117-286, § 4(a)(129), Dec. 27, 2022, 136 Stat. 4319.)


§ 6304. Great Ape Conservation Fund

(a) Establishment

There is established in the Multinational Species Conservation Fund a separate account to be known as the “Great Ape Conservation Fund”, consisting of--

(1) amounts transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit into the Fund under subsection (e);

(2) amounts appropriated to the Fund under section 6305 of this title; and

(3) any interest earned on investment of amounts in the Fund under subsection (c).

(b) Expenditures from Fund

(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (2), upon request by the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer from the Fund to the Secretary, without further appropriation, such amounts as the Secretary determines are necessary to provide assistance under section 6303 of this title.

(2) Administrative expenses

Of the amounts in the account available for each fiscal year, the Secretary may expend not more than 3 percent, or up to $150,000, whichever is greater, to pay the administrative expenses necessary to carry out this chapter.

(c) Investment of amounts

(1) In general

The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest such portion of the Fund as is not, in the judgment of the Secretary of the Treasury, required to meet current withdrawals. Investments may be made only in interest-bearing obligations of the United States.

(2) Acquisition of obligations

For the purpose of investments under paragraph (1), obligations may be acquired--

(A) on original issue at the issue price; or

(B) by purchase of outstanding obligations at the market price.

(3) Sale of obligations

Any obligation acquired by the Fund may be sold by the Secretary of the Treasury at the market price.

(4) Credits to Fund

The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, any obligations held in the Fund shall be credited to and form a part of the Fund.

(d) Transfers of amounts

(1) In general

The amounts required to be transferred to the Fund under this section shall be transferred at least monthly from the general fund of the Treasury to the Fund on the basis of estimates made by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(2) Adjustments

Proper adjustment shall be made in amounts subsequently transferred to the extent prior estimates were in excess of or less than the amounts required to be transferred.

(e) Acceptance and use of donations

The Secretary may accept and use donations to provide assistance under section 6303 of this title. Amounts received by the Secretary in the form of donations shall be transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit into the Fund.


(Pub.L. 106-411, § 5, Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1793; Pub.L. 109-363, Title VII, § 702, Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2082; Pub.L. 116-9, Title VII, § 7001(c)(2)(C), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 785.)


§ 6305. Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Fund $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.


(Pub.L. 106-411, § 6, Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1794; Pub.L. 109-363, Title VII, § 703, Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2082; Pub.L. 116-9, Title VII, § 7001(c)(2)(D), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 785.)



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