AWF - African Wildlife Foundation

07/24/2023 | Press release | Archived content

AWF Endorses the WILD Act's Reauthorized Funding for Conservation in the US Senate

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 24, 2023) - The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is pleased to join members of the Multinational Species Coalition in supporting the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver Reauthorization (WILD) Act. The WILD Act was introduced on July 19, 2023, by U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Shelley Moore Capito. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize several funding accounts for the Multinational Species Conservation Fund, which for decades has offered critical support for the conservation of endangered species in Africa, including rhinos, elephants, marine turtles, and great apes.

This continued funding is critical for the conservation of African elephants. Specifically, Section 3 authorizes award grants of up to five years for long-term conservation projects for African elephants and their habitat. It also reauthorizes appropriations for the African Elephant Conservation Act for fiscal years 2024 through 2028 at $5 million per fiscal year. Furthermore, the bill authorizes appropriations for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program under the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act for fiscal years 2024 through 2028 at $75 million per year.

"I appreciate Senators Tom Carper and Shelley Moore Capito for introducing the WILD Act bill to reauthorize the Multinational Species Conservation Fund," said Edwin Tambara, AWF Director, Global Leadership. "In Africa, the MSCF has been a critical vehicle for getting resources to the frontlines helping initiate critical innovation in protecting endangered and iconic species, better managing human-wildlife conflicts, and preventing poaching and wildlife trafficking. Unfortunately, threats and pressures on these species are not easing up in many places. Thus, continued U.S. support through the MSCF will help catalyze action and support from partner governments and other stakeholders, sustaining gains achieved in the past 30 years."

AWF currently implements projects across ten landscapes to monitor and advance the conservation of elephants. Across all these landscapes, Indigenous peoples and local communities steward conservation activities and reap the rewards. Thanks to these interventions, nine of the ten elephant populations we measure our conservation progress against are either stable or increasing.

AWF urges the Senate to reauthorize the WILD Act promptly. Due to continued threats like poaching, habitat loss, and human-elephant conflict, African elephants, rhinoceros, and great apes remain endangered in many parts of the continent. These key species are not only indicators essential to overall ecosystem health but also important to wildlife's contribution to Africa's economic growth and development. Their conservation is necessary to fight global biodiversity loss.

About the African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wild lands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa's conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent's wildlife and their habitats.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Wambui Odhiambo, AWF Senior Executive Communications Specialist, at [email protected].