Full Statute Name:  United States Code Annotated. Title 16. Conservation. Chapter 62A. Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997

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Popular Title:  Asian Elephant Conservation Act Primary Citation:  16 USC 4261 - 4266 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  March, 2024 Date Adopted:  1997 Historical: 
Summary: A U.S. federal law that reaffirms the endangered status of Asian elephants and allocates money toward conservation efforts.

§ 4261 . Findings

§ 4262 . Purposes

§ 4263 . Definitions

§ 4264 . Asian elephant conservation assistance

§ 4265 . Acceptance and use of donations

§ 4265a . Advisory Group

§ 4266 . Authorization of appropriations



§ 4261. Findings

The Congress finds the following:

(1) Asian elephant populations in nations within the range of Asian elephants have continued to decline to the point that the long-term survival of the species in the wild is in serious jeopardy.

(2) The Asian elephant is listed as an endangered species under section 1533 of this title and under appendix I of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

(3) Because the challenges facing the conservation of Asian elephants are so great, resources to date have not been sufficient to cope with the continued loss of habitat and the consequent diminution of Asian elephant populations.

(4) The Asian elephant is a flagship species for the conservation of tropical forest habitats in which it is found and provides the consequent benefit from population fragmentation, human-elephant conflict, poaching for ivory, meat, hide, bones and teeth, and capture for domestication.

(6) To reduce, remove or otherwise effectively address these threats to the long-term viability of populations of Asian elephants in the wild will require the joint commitment and effort of nations within the range of Asian elephants, the United States and other countries, and the private sector.


(Pub.L. 105-96, § 2, Nov. 19, 1997, 111 Stat. 2150.)


§ 4262. Purposes

The purposes of this chapter are the following:

(1) To perpetuate healthy populations of Asian elephants.

(2) To assist in the conservation and protection of Asian elephants by supporting the conservation programs of Asian elephant range states and the CITES Secretariat.

(3) To provide financial resources for those programs.


(Pub.L. 105-96, § 3, Nov. 19, 1997, 111 Stat. 2150.)


§ 4263. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) The term "CITES" means the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, signed on March 3, 1973, and its appendices.

(2) The term "conservation" means the use of methods and procedures necessary to bring Asian elephants to the point at which there are sufficient populations in the wild to ensure that the species does not become extinct, including all activities associated with scientific resource management, such as conservation, protection, restoration, acquisition, and management of habitat; research and monitoring of known populations; assistance in the development of management plans for managed elephant ranges; CITES enforcement; law enforcement through community participation; translocation of elephants; conflict resolution initiatives; and community outreach and education.

(3) The term "Fund" means the account established by division A, section 101(e), title I of Public Law 105-277 under the heading "Multinational Species Conservation Fund".

(4) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior.

(5) The term "Administrator" means the Administrator of the Agency for International Development.


(Pub.L. 105-96, § 4, Nov. 19, 1997, 111 Stat. 2151; Pub.L. 107-141, § 5(a)(1), Feb. 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 14.)


§ 4264. Asian elephant conservation assistance

(a) In general

The Secretary, subject to the availability of funds and in consultation with the Administrator, shall use amounts in the Fund to provide financial assistance for projects for the conservation of Asian elephants for which final project proposals are approved by the Secretary in accordance with this section.

(b) Project proposal

Any relevant wildlife management authority of a nation within the range of Asian elephants whose activities directly or indirectly affect Asian elephant populations, the CITES Secretariat, or any person with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of Asian elephants, may submit to the Secretary a project proposal under this section. Each proposal shall include the following:

(1) The name of the individual responsible for conducting the project.

(2) A succinct statement of the purposes of the project.

(3) A description of the qualifications of the individuals who will conduct the project.

(4) An estimate of the funds and time required to complete the project.

(5) Evidence of support of the project by appropriate governmental entities of countries in which the project will be conducted, if the Secretary determines that the support is required for the success of the project.

(6) Information regarding the source and amount of matching funding available to the applicant.

(7) Any other information 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

Within 30 days after receiving a final project proposal, the Secretary shall provide a copy of the proposal to the Administrator. The Secretary shall review each final project proposal to determine if it meets the criteria set forth in subsection (d) of this section.

(2) Consultation; approval or disapproval

Not later than 6 months after receiving a final project proposal, and subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary, after consulting with the Administrator, shall--

(A) request written comments on the proposal from each country within which the project is to be conducted;

(B) after requesting those comments, approve or disapprove the proposal; and

(C) provide written notification of that approval or disapproval to the person who submitted the proposal and the Administrator.

(d) Criteria for approval

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

(1) implement conservation programs;

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

(3) enhance compliance with provisions of CITES and laws of the United States or a foreign country that prohibit or regulate the taking or trade of Asian elephants or regulate the use and management of Asian elephant habitat;

(4) develop sound scientific information on the condition of Asian elephant habitat, Asian elephant population numbers and trends, or the threats to such habitat, numbers, or trends; or

(5) promote cooperative projects on those topics with other foreign governments, affected local communities, nongovernmental organizations, or others in the private sector.

(e) Project sustainability

To the maximum extent practical, in determining whether to approve project proposals under this section, the Secretary shall give consideration to projects which will enhance sustainable integrated conservation development programs to ensure effective, long-term conservation of Asian elephants.

(f) Project reporting

Each person who receives assistance under this section for a project shall provide periodic reports, as the Secretary considers necessary, to the Secretary and the Administrator. Each report shall include all information required by the Secretary, after consulting with the Administrator, for evaluating the progress and success of the project.

(g) Matching funds

In determining whether to approve project proposals under this section, the Secretary shall give priority to those projects for which there exists some measure of matching funds.

(h) Limitation on use for captive breeding

Amounts provided as a grant under this chapter may not be used for captive breeding of Asian elephants other than for release in the wild.


(Pub.L. 105-96, § 5, Nov. 19, 1997, 111 Stat. 2151; Pub.L. 110-133, § 2(a), Dec. 6, 2007, 121 Stat. 1362.)


§ 4265. Acceptance and use of donations

The Secretary may accept and use donations to provide assistance under section 4264 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. 105-96, § 6, Nov. 19, 1997, 111 Stat. 2153; Pub.L. 107-141, § 5(a)(2), Feb. 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 14.)


§ 4265a. Advisory Group

(a) In general

To assist in carrying out this chapter, the Secretary may convene an advisory group consisting of individuals representing public and private organizations actively involved in the conservation of Asian elephants.

(b) Public participation

(1) Meetings

The Advisory Group shall--

(A) ensure that each meeting of the advisory group is open to the public; and

(B) provide, at each meeting, an opportunity for interested persons to present oral or written statements concerning items on the agenda.

(2) Notice

The Secretary shall provide to the public timely notice of each meeting of the advisory group.

(3) Minutes

Minutes of each meeting of the advisory group shall be kept by the Secretary and shall be made available to the public.

(c) Exemption from chapter 10 of Title 5

Chapter 10 of Title 5 shall not apply to the advisory group.

(Pub.L. 105-96, § 7, as added Pub.L. 107-141, § 4, Feb. 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 13; amended Pub.L. 117-286, § 4(a)(121), Dec. 27, 2022, 136 Stat. 4319.)


§ 4266. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Fund $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023 to carry out this chapter, which may remain available until expended.

(b) Administrative expenses

Of amounts available each fiscal year to carry out this chapter, the Secretary may expend not more than 3 percent or $100,000, whichever is greater, to pay the administrative expenses necessary to carry out this chapter.


(Pub.L. 105-96, § 8, formerly § 7, Nov. 19, 1997, 111 Stat. 2153; renumbered § 8 and amended Pub.L. 107-141, §§ 2 to 4, Feb. 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 13; Pub.L. 110-133, § 2(b), (c), Dec. 6, 2007, 121 Stat. 1362; Pub.L. 116-9, Title VII, § 7001(c)(1)(B), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 784.)


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