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WWF: Don’t push funds for climate and conservation off the fiscal cliff

Statement from World Wildlife Fund Vice President for U.S. Government Relations Todd Shelton on the impact of the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations on funding for international conservation and climate change work:

“Right now, negotiators are working together in pursuit of solutions to the ‘fiscal cliff.’ Their decisions will not be simple or easy, but will have far-reaching impacts on all parts of our economy and our national priorities, including the international climate and conservation programs vital to WWF’s work.

“During the negotiations, it’s imperative that the White House and Congressional leaders avoid cutting critical funding for international conservation and climate change. Regardless of economic conditions – the U.S. must remain a global leader in protecting our planet’s most precious wildlife, the local communities it supports, and the places they both call home. This funding supports programs that help to keep rainforests in the Amazon healthy, elephants out of the hands of poachers, and communities from the devastation of extreme weather events.

“International conservation funding is less than one percent of the federal budget. Cutting these small yet critical programs will not solve our nation’s economic problems; it will only reduce or eliminate some of the most cost effective investments we make in U.S. economic and security interests around the world.

“Congress and the White House should avoid pushing this funding off the fiscal cliff. Cutting these programs shortchanges the international conservation work that protects U.S. interests and the health of our planet.”

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Media contact: Chris Conner, 202-495-4786