2:17 PM EDT
Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I thank the gentleman from California for raising this important issue. I also support international conservation efforts, and I applaud the gentleman for his leadership as co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus.

I believe that the Global Environment Facility has done good work over the years to help conserve the environment and to address some of the more difficult international environmental problems that require international cooperation to be solved. Nevertheless, I have been concerned about the pace of reform within this organization.

My purpose in eliminating its funding is to ensure that the limited amount of resources in this bill are used in the most efficient possible way. My goal is not to definitively end U.S. contributions to the GEF this year or in the future. However, until the final GEF reforms are in place, I am concerned that GEF funding is not being used optimally.

I appreciate the unique role that GEF can play in international conservation, and I believe that a reformed and functioning GEF is worthy of support. If the GEF agrees to implement a performance-based allocation system at the August-September, 2005, Special Meeting of the GEF Council, then I would be willing and will be willing to work with the gentleman and the other body to help restore the U.S. contribution to the GEF during conference.