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House Passes Bill to Raise Funds for Endangered Species Through New Postage Stamp

WWF Praises Bipartisan Effort to Help Save Rhinos, Tigers and Other Endangered Species

Washington, December 7, 2009 -- World Wildlife Fund today applauded the passage of a House bill introduced by Representative Henry Brown (R-SC) that will raise funds to save endangered species around the world.

The Multinational Species Conservation Fund’s Semipostal Stamp Act of 2009 directs the U.S. Postal Service to issue a special stamp at a premium of at least 25 percent more than the cost of a first class stamp, with the extra money going to conservation of rhinos, tigers, elephants, great apes, marine turtles and potentially other endangered species in future.  The bill would not affect the cost of a regular first class stamp.

The bill drew more than a third of the House of Representatives as cosponsors, in a bipartisan display of support for these iconic species. It is a fiscally responsible effort to enhance the resources available for conservation projects. It will allow the general public to contribute to funding for programs authorized by Congress and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Any costs associated with the issuance of the stamp would be recaptured by the U.S. Postal Service, and there will be no cost to U.S. taxpayers. 

“The bill is an excellent example of public-private partnerships, giving members of the public an opportunity to support a government program that they believe in”, said Ginette Hemley, Senior Vice President at World Wildlife Fund. “We would expect an enthusiastic response from members of the public who want to see rhinos, tigers, elephants, great apes, and other popular endangered species protected for future generations.”

Funds raised from the sale of the stamp would support projects in the field that control poaching and smuggling through better law enforcement, as well as improved scientific monitoring, habitat preservation, and prevention of human-animal conflicts.  Every dollar raised generates almost three times as much in leveraged contributions from non-government organizations, multinational corporations and national governments.