Today, the Alliance for Global Conservation (AGC) applauded the introduction of the Global Conservation Act (GCA) in both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
The nonpartisan bill was introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tom Udall (D-NM) as well as U.S. Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Russ Carnahan (D-MO). The bill, which has 33 additional co-sponsors, provides for the first-ever comprehensive international conservation strategy for the U.S. government and will dramatically enhance America's ability to address this vital international issue. The AGC commends the legislation as a vital step toward the United States leading the way in preserving our global natural resources.
"This legislation is key to reaffirming U.S. leadership within international conservation efforts," said Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, a member organization of the AGC. "We need a global conservation strategy that helps countries protect their natural areas and ensure sustainable livelihoods for local communities. This bill establishes a framework to do just that, simultaneously improving and enhancing America's economic competitiveness and security through more efficient and effective international conservation policies."
Steve Sanderson, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, said, "It is invaluable that the U.S. lead the way toward more effective measures to protect our Earth. The Global Conservation Act provides a much-needed roadmap toward that end. We look forward to being a part of a new era in conserving our biodiversity in the United States and around the world."
Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), delved deeper by noting that "Protecting our natural resources matters not just for environmental reasons but for economic, security, health, and humanitarian reasons as well." Every year, U.S. businesses lose $1 billion due to illegal logging in developing countries, and the global economy as a whole loses $23 billion due to forbidden fishing activities. Experts cite national resource scarcities as a key factor in many cross-border conflicts that require international resources to stabilize.
The complete list of original co-sponsors of the legislation include: Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) as well as U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), John Carter (R-TX), Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Jack Kingston (R-GA), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Don Young (R-AK), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Judy Chu (D-CA), Norm Dicks (D-WA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Eliot Engle (D-NY), Sam Farr (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Larry Kissell (D-NC), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Jim Moran (D-VA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), John Tierney (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
The GCA is also strongly supported by a broad coalition of groups including the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Boone & Crockett Club, Campfire Club of America, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Masters of Fox Hounds Association, Mule Deer Foundation, National Shooting Sports Foundation, North American Bear Foundation, Safari Club International, The Nature Conservancy, Tread Lightly!, Wild Sheep Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society, Wildlife Forever, and World Wildlife Fund.
Alliance for Global Conservation
The Alliance for Global Conservation (AGC) is a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, and World Wildlife Fund. The Alliance is dedicated to protecting life on earth and believes that the destruction of the world's remaining ecosystems won't end unless world leaders implement a comprehensive global conservation strategy. AGC is working to encourage the U.S. to take a leadership role in forging this global strategy before it's too late. For more information please visit www.actforconservation.org