JGI Praises U.S. Congress for Approval of Wildlife Postage Stamp

The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) applauds Wednesday’s passage of a bill to help supplement existing endangered species protection funds. The Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2010 (H.R. 1454) offers the public a convenient way to support the conservation of great apes, tigers, rhinos, elephants, and marine turtles through the purchase of a special postage stamp. Fifteen cents from the sale of each stamp will be directed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help support operations of the Multinational Species Conservation Funds (MSCF). The MSCF are congressionally authorized programs that administer grants to support the protection of keystone endangered species.

An earlier version of the semipostal stamp legislation was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year with strong bipartisan support. The bill, sponsored by U.S. Congressman Henry Brown (R-SC), was amended in the U.S. Senate in July of this year and returned to the House for a final vote. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by voice vote.

At no expense to taxpayers, the bill will help generate additional critical resources for the Multinational Species Conservation Funds (MSCF) over a period of two years. Despite the relatively modest size of the MSCF, the program has had a great deal of support and has leveraged millions of dollars in federal and private matching grants to protect endangered and threatened species around the world.

Endangered species such as chimpanzees are facing increasing pressure due to logging, poaching for the illegal commercial bushmeat trade, outbreaks of deadly diseases such as Ebola, as well as rapidly growing human populations near their habitat who lack basic needs.

The Jane Goodall Institute, along with more than 20 other conservation groups that make up the Multinational Species Conservation Coalition, urged Congress to vote in favor of the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2010. JGI welcomes the bill as an additional boost to chimpanzee conservation. The bill now goes to the White House for signature. If the president signs the bill into law, as expected, the U.S. Postal Service will subsequently approve a stamp design and the stamp will be available for the public to purchase for a period of two years.

Meanwhile, legislation to support increases in funding for the Great Ape Conservation Fund, one of the six funds under the umbrella of the MSCF, awaits consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives. The Great Ape Conservation Reauthorization and Amendment Act of 2010 (H.R. 4416) would authorize Congress to appropriate much needed funds on an ongoing basis for great ape conservation.



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