The Congress finds that if current trends in the degradation of natural resources in developing countries continue, they will severely undermine the best efforts to meet basic human needs, to achieve sustained economic growth, and to prevent international tension and conflict. The Congress also finds that the world faces enormous, urgent, and complex problems, with respect to natural resources, which require new forms of cooperation between the United States and developing countries to prevent such problems from becoming unmanageable. It is, therefore, in the economic and security interest of the United States to provide leadership both in thoroughly reassessing policies relating to natural resources and the environment, and in cooperating extensively with developing countries in order to achieve environmentally sound development.
In order to address the serious problems described in subsection (a), the President is authorized to furnish assistance under subchapter I of this chapter for developing and strengthening the capacity of developing countries to protect and manage their environment and natural resources. Special efforts shall be made to maintain and where possible to restore the land, vegetation, water, wildlife, and other resources upon which depend economic growth and human well-being, especially of the poor.