A number of bills affecting international science and conservation have recently received attention in the House of Representatives. On 29 April 2009, the House Science and Technology Committee unanimously approved legislation aimed at strengthening international science and technology research cooperation. This legislation, HR 1736, would reestablish the Committee on International Science, Engineering, and Technology (CISET), first created by President Clinton and later dissolved under President George W. Bush. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy would have jurisdiction over CISET, which would coordinate international science and technology partnerships between federal research agencies and the State Department. A goal of HR 1736 is to streamline ad hoc international science collaborations.

The House Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee is planning swift action on two bills intended to strengthen international wildlife conservation efforts. The first, HR 1454, directs the United States Postal Service to issue a special stamp to benefit the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Multinational Species Conservation Fund (MSCF). Purchasers would pay a premium of 25 percent or more for the first-class stamp, with the extra money going towards conservation projects that currently benefit tigers, rhinoceroses, Asian and African elephants, great apes and marine turtles. To date the MSCF has financed more than 1,300 conservation grants in 75 countries. A second measure, HR 509, would reauthorize the Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2004, and would use a portion of the MSCF funds for turtle conservation.

 


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