Scientists predict we could lose half of all species by 2050
Extinction is a natural phenomenon. But the rate at which we’re losing fish, plants and animals—also referred to as biodiversity—has been speeding up exponentially in recent decades. Scientists now estimate that the planet is losing species at 1,000 times the natural rate.
These signs of species loss are everywhere. Tropical forests—Earth’s greatest stores of biodiversity and carbon—are in retreat. Coastal wetlands—vital to bird migrations and fisheries—are deteriorating worldwide. To address these and other threats, we need to create pathways that allow for greater conservation efforts in some of the most species rich and vulnerable parts of the world.
Proposed federal legislation, called the U.S. Foundation for International Conservation Act, would establish a dedicated entity, or conservation foundation, that would leverage government, private sector and philanthropic funding to support local communities and Indigenous Peoples around the world in effectively managing protected and conserved areas by investing up to $100 million annually.
This legislation has support from both political parties, in the House and Senate. The U.S. Foundation for International Conservation Act is sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) with companion legislation proposed by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) in the House.
Legislation that Advances Global Conservation
Amount that would be raised to support protected areas and communities over the next decade.
This legislation would increase conservation efforts for monitored wildlife populations which have decreased 70% from 1970 to 2018.
The bill would develop a multi-year model to more effectively provide ongoing and sustainable support for global conservation projects.
Solving the biodiversity and climate crisis will require coordination across governments, private sector entities, local communities, Indigenous Peoples and other stakeholders.
Governments around the world have funded initiatives that protect the lands and waters that sustain our planet’s health for decades, but the funding is no longer adequate to meet the growing challenges we face.
The U.S. Foundation for International Conservation Act would incentivize philanthropic and private giving to match government funds by investing new and additional resources that would complement traditional U.S. foreign assistance to biodiversity conservation. Combined, this would provide consistent funding for protected areas globally and ensure the long-term protection of these critical landscapes and habitats.
Conservation also stimulates economic growth by providing jobs, skills training and local revenue. By supporting and enlisting the help of local communities and Indigenous Peoples, we can better implement on-the-ground work that will conserve and restore nature and improve the quality of life for communities who live and work around important protected areas.
This legislation would have a lasting, on-the-ground impact on Indigenous communities including Mongolia's nomadic herders.
Mongolia’s grasslands are one of the planet’s most threatened ecosystems. Covering an area three times the size of California, they provide a rare refuge for native wildlife, such as snow leopards, argali sheep, gazelles and saiga—a critically endangered antelope. These grasslands also represent the world’s ninth largest peatlands, a major source for the capture, removal and storage of carbon.
Over 200,000 nomadic families rely on these grasslands for their livelihoods. With only a fraction currently protected, Mongolia has committed to conserving 30% of the country’s landscapes by 2030.
Project funding afforded through public-private partnerships established through the U.S. Foundation for International Conservation Act could create new protections for 9% of Mongolia’s lands and grasslands equivalent to 34.6 million acres. Investments and funding would also help improve the management of 105.2 million acres of new and existing protected areas across the country.
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Urge Congress to pass the U.S. Foundation for International Conservation Act to protect wildlife, manage protected natural areas and support local communities and Indigenous Peoples around the world.