Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), unanimously passed the Defending Economic Livelihoods and Threatened Animals (DELTA) Act, H.R. 4819. Authored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), the bipartisan legislation promotes sustainable economic development and conservation across Africa’s critical Okavango River Basin, which supports more than one million Angolans, Botswanans and Namibians, as well as the largest remaining elephant population in the world. Passage of the legislation comes after this morning’s committee hearing entitled “Advancing Effective Conservation Policy: Successes, Challenges, and Next Steps.”

On H.R. 4819, as amended, Chairman Royce said: “As we heard at today’s hearing, greater transboundary cooperation is essential to advancing conservation and smart development in the Okavango River Basin. That is why we are considering H.R. 4819, the Defending Economic Livelihoods and Threatened Animals – or DELTA – Act. This legislation will strengthen and streamline coordination among the governments of the U.S., Angola, Botswana and Namibia, as well as non-governmental organizations and the private sector to protect the basin; prioritize wildlife trafficking and anti-poaching programs in the greater region to help save elephants and other endangered species; and promote sound economic growth for local communities through responsible natural resource management. I want to thank International Conservation Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and this committee’s Ranking Member Engel for partnering with me on the measure.”

A summary of the committee action will be available HERE.