Dear [U.S. representative],
I stand with World Wildlife Fund and encourage you to reject proposed cuts to important US foreign assistance programs, including those that fund international conservation programs around the world. Foreign assistance represents less than one percent of the annual federal budget and is critical to protecting global health, conserving nature, and advancing America's security and economic interests.
US agencies support a number of important international conservation efforts, including programs that combat wildlife trafficking, prevent illegal fishing and the illegal timber trade, protect tropical forests and ocean health, and help communities avoid scarcities of food and freshwater that can lead to local instability and regional conflict.
By disrupting transnational organized crime, ensuring natural resources are well managed, and supporting good government and sustainable economic growth in partner countries, agencies such USAID, the State Department, and the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the Global Environment Facility, are making our own country more safe, more secure, and more able to compete and prosper in global markets.
Supporting US foreign assistance is smart domestic policy, and international conservation is an important and effective part of those investments.
I strongly support US funding for international conservation and efforts to combat the illegal trade in wildlife, timber and fish. I ask you to reject cuts to US foreign assistance overall and to support funding international conservation programs at no less than their current levels in appropriations for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.