September 8, 2014
Today, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds (MSCF) Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) commends the work of International Conservation Caucus (ICC) Member, Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY) who sponsored the bill – H.R. 262. The passage of H.R. 262 follows the passage of S.231 on July 31, 2014, which is the companion Reauthorization Act sponsored by ICC Co-Chairs Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM).
The bill will serve to reauthorize the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp, also known as the Save Vanishing Species Stamp, for an additional 4 years, raising funds for wildlife conservation at no net cost to the U.S. government or taxpayers.
Chris Berardini, Chief of Staff for Representative Henry Brown (R-SC) during the original passage of the Act and more recently as Representative Grimm’s Chief of Staff, originated the concept of the Conservation Semipostal Stamp and has creatively and tenaciously managed the bill throughout the entire legislative process.
Semipostal stamps are sold to the public at a price slightly higher than a regular first-class stamp. The portion of each stamp purchased that exceeds the regular price benefits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Multinational Species Conservation Funds, which provide on-the-ground support for the conservation of iconic species and their habitats.
The stamp was first made available for purchase in September of 2011. Its authorization lapsed at the end of 2013, but prior to that time more than 25.5 million copies of the stamp were sold, raising more than $2.5 million for species conservation.
The Multinational Species Conservation Funds provide direct support in the form of technical and cost-sharing grant assistance to range countries for on-the-ground conservation of African and Asian elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers, great apes, marine turtles and their habitats. The Funds strengthen law enforcement activities, build support for conservation among people living in the vicinity of the species’ habitats, and provide vital infrastructure and field equipment needed to conserve habitats. The program strengthens local capacity by providing essential training, opportunities for newly trained staff to apply skills in implementing field projects, and opportunities for local people to gain project management expertise.
Discover grants funded by the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Act
Read H.R. 262
Read S. 261