WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following remarks at a full committee markup on the DELTA Act:

“Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this markup of H.R. 4819, the DELTA Act. 

“I’d like to also begin by thanking Mr. Fortenberry of Nebraska, a former member of this committee, for his initiative in putting forward this legislation.

“And as I mentioned before I’d like to commend you, Mr. Chairman, for your extraordinary leadership on international conservation issues, and particularly the fight against wildlife trafficking for many, many years. Thank you for what you’ve done.

“The Okavango River Basin in Angola, Botswana and Namibia supports an amazing array of wildlife, including the largest remaining concentration of elephants in Africa. It is also home to more than a million people.

“This important legislation requires the development of a strategy to encourage the sustainable management of natural resources in the River Basin, including the protection of wildlife.

“This strategy will require input from a wide range of stakeholders, including national governments, local communities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

“The goal here is to support economic development for the residents of the region while preserving unique ecosystems and protecting wildlife.

“I’d also like to highlight that the DELTA Act has the support of key wildlife associations, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, based in my hometown of Bronx, New York, and we did hear Dr. Bennet who is from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

“Mr. Chairman, I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of this important legislation, and I urge all of our colleagues to support it.”

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