WASHINGTON (May 13, 2010) – The Wildlife Conservation Society applauded U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) for their leadership in introducing new legislation, The American Power Act, which would provide important measures to protect wildlife and wild places while ensuring our U.S. energy independence.

WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs John Calvelli issued the following statement:

“We praise U.S. Sens. John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman for their leadership in pushing for legislation that will ensure our nation’s energy independence, and when reconciled with the Waxman-Markey bill in the House, will play a critical role in protecting tropical forests and all their biodiversity. There is no zero-sum game when we strive to create better energy policies and to protect our planet’s forests and wildlife.

“The new legislation contains essential language designed to manage the negative impacts of climate change on natural resources within the United States and abroad. The bill supports the international effort known as REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), through which developing nations receive payments in exchange for protecting forest carbon reserves, but unfortunately provides no public funding and only limited opportunities for the private sector to support that work.”

Around the globe, the Wildlife Conservation Society has led an effort to assist nations in which poverty rates are as great as their vast stores of biological richness. From Bolivia to Cambodia to Madagascar, forest carbon crediting has been used to provide an economic alternative to the destruction of precious forest land. In delivering economic benefits to local communities, this program also protects large tracts of forest in which carbon is sequestered and that a diversity of unique wildlife such as tigers, gorillas and jaguars depend upon.

Chip Weiskotten: (202-624-8172; cweiskotten@wcs.org
Mary Dixon: (347-840-1242; mdixon@wcs.org

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.