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WWF and Conservation Partners Launch 2009 International Conservation Budget

On March 11, WWF and its international conservation partners hosted an event on Capitol Hill to launch the 2009 International Conservation Budget (ICB), which calls for an increased U.S. commitment to conservation worldwide. World-renowned conservationist Jane Goodall delivered the keynote address and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai provided a video message. Also in attendance at the launch event were the CEOs of the largest U.S.-based global conservation organizations, as well as Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representatives John Tanner (D-TN) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY). WWF CEO Carter Roberts also shared his remarks with the capacity crowd.

The ICB is a publication written and supported by Conservation International, PEW Charitable Trusts, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society and World Wildlife Fund. Produced annually, it highlights the need to protect and conserve the world's natural resources and helps to inform members of Congress and other decision makers about the importance of U.S. government support for global conservation programs. The 2009 ICB features successful on-the-ground projects from around the world that received U.S. funding in the previous year, including many projects in which WWF was involved. 

The chapters of the publication detail the various agencies that distribute international conservation funding, providing background on their programs, recommended funding levels for the coming year and a series of success stories. The ICB has chapters dedicated to USAID, the Global Environment Facility, the Treasury and State Departments, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, and the National Park Service, helping to raise the profile of the important work that these U.S. agencies are doing to conserve species, preserve habitats and protect livelihoods around the globe.  For the first time, the 2009 ICB also contains a chapter on NOAA and its work to conserve international coral reefs and marine protected areas.

With the 2009 ICB, WWF and its partners make a compelling case that greater investments by the U.S. in these global conservation programs will be essential in order to turn the tide of species and habitat loss and protect the natural resource base on which the planet’s future growth depends.

The event, hosted by the co-chairs of the International Conservation Caucus and featuring high-profile names from the conservation community, provided an excellent opportunity to highlight these issues and educate U.S. policymakers on the importance of providing strong support and ample resources for the cause of global conservation.

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