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Amata is an original cosponsor of the Trillion Trees Act— It's Arbor Week in American Samoa

Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata
Source: Media release from Cong. Uifaatali Amata's office

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Trillion Trees Act of 2021, introduced this week with Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman, who is a licensed forester, and the support of more than 70 Members. 

 “In American Samoa, we are blessed with so much abundant green tropical rain forest, but we can see losses to storms, landslides or other causes,” said Congresswoman Amata. “The Trillion Trees Act can make a wonderful difference throughout the nation, as part of the worldwide initiative to add another trillion trees for everyone to benefit,” Amata said.

In the meantime, Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga has declared the week of April 19, Arbor Week in American Samoa. (See declaration at end of this story.)

 “I strongly support the key grants and educational measures in this bill,” continued Amata. “I appreciate Ranking Member Westerman’s leadership, and these goals of planting, preserving and protecting forests.” 

The following are some of the bill’s incentives and provisions:

•  Creates a Fifth Grade Forestry Challenge, an educational grant program in which fifth graders plant seedlings as part of a learning initiative.

•  Creates a new Trillion Trees Challenge Fund, to include grants to state and local governments, nonprofits and educational institutions for reforestation efforts.

•  Establishes the Philanthropic Reforestation Advisory Council to advise on those Challenge Fund distributions.

•  Creates a $1 billion loan program directed to state, tribal, local, or private nurseries as part of a national strategy to address seedling shortages. 

•  Increases the Reforestation Trust Fund to $180 million to address the U.S. Forest Service’s backlog.

•  Creates the National Medal for Forest Restoration, administered by the National Forest Foundation.

•  Creates an International Forest Foundation for better coordination with existing international forestry programs.

•  Establishes the Trillion Trees Task Force to advise the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

The Trillion Trees Act, supported by more than 30 stakeholder groups, solidifies the United States as a global leader taking part in the One Trillion Trees Initiative to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees worldwide. Studies show that restoring a trillion new trees globally would sequester 205 gigatons of carbon, an amount equivalent to two-thirds of all manmade emissions remaining in the atmosphere today.