World Wildlife FundAction Center

Leatherback turtle hatchling heading into the ocean. Roger Leguen / WWF
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Ask Congress to fund global conservation

As WWF's 2022 Living Planet Report makes clear, nature is approaching a tipping point and we have no time to waste. Wildlife populations have plummeted by 69% on average in just the past five decades. These are stunning declines.

One of the most influential and immediate things the US government can do is bring new resources to help developing countries protect their biodiversity. With only a few weeks remaining in the current Congress, lawmakers have yet to pass bills needed to fund the federal government for the coming year, including ones that would significantly increase funding for programs that support global nature conservation.

Tell your Members of Congress you want them to pass the FY23 funding bills before the end of the year and to include the largest possible increases for programs that support the conservation of nature and biodiversity globally.

This action is only open to US residents. Messages directly sent to Congress require all information fields to be filled out. We encourage you to personalize your message below, and let your representative know why this issue is important to you.

Dear your U.S. representative and your U.S. senators,

With only a few weeks remaining in this Congress, I urge you to ensure that Congress finalizes and passes the FY23 bills to fund the government, including strong funding increases for programs to protect and conserve nature globally. Thank you for the previous increases that Congress has provided for these programs, which have consistently had strong bipartisan support. I ask you to go even further this year, given that we are at a pivotal point in efforts to stop the loss of nature.

World Wildlife Fund has just released its 2022 Living Planet Report, which makes clear that nature is in crisis. Based on the latest science, the 2022 Report shows that the size of wildlife populations has fallen by 69% on average since 1970. The numbers are even worse for some types of species and in some parts of the world. The abundance of freshwater species has declined by an average of 83% since 1970, and Latin America has seen an average decline of 94% in its wildlife populations.

These figures point to a much more profound unraveling of the natural world and its ecosystems. Left unchecked, this loss of nature will threaten our food and water security, our health and well-being, and our social stability and economic prosperity. In a 2021 study, US national security experts concluded that the global loss of nature and degradation of natural systems is "arguably the 21st Century's most underappreciated security threat." The World Economic Forum now ranks biodiversity loss as one of the three most severe long-term risks facing the world, alongside climate change. Along with these studies, the Living Planet report is a wake-up call. It also comes just weeks before the countries of the world are gathering in Montreal to agree on a plan to halt and reverse nature loss by the end of this decade.

One of the clearest ways in which the United States can ensure these international efforts succeed is by bringing new resources to the table. By working with developing countries on conservation, the US is helping to protect some of the greatest storehouses of biodiversity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In many places, these efforts have been highly successful. But given the rate at which nature is being lost, much more needs to be done to turn the tide, and there is a major funding gap between what is needed and what is available. By increasing support to global conservation programs, the United States can help lead the way on addressing these shortfalls and bringing other countries along to do what is needed.

For these reasons, I ask that you support the highest level of funding proposed in the House and Senate FY23 funding bills for global conservation programs. These include programs funded through the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, such as USAID Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Landscapes; State and USAID Combatting Wildlife Trafficking; the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act; and the Global Environment Facility. They also include programs funded through the Interior appropriations bill at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, namely USFWS International Affairs, Multinational Species Conservation Funds, and Office of Law Enforcement.

Please do all you can to ensure Congress passes its FY23 funding bills before the end of the year and that these contain the strongest allocations possible for programs that support global conservation. And thank you again for Congress' past support of these programs.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

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