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IUCN, UN, global NGOs, likely to see major budget cuts under Trump

08 / 01 / 2018, Mongabaycom News

IUCN Director General Inger Andersen fears that cuts to the organization’s funding could have a knock-on effect for TRAFFIC, which monitors the illegal trade in wildlife species that is driving many species, like the pangolin, to the brink of extinction. Photo by David Brossard CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr Donald Trump’s 2018 budget remains in limbo – the U.S. Congress has now kicked a budget vote down the road four times, moving it from September 2017, passed two missed December dates, and now to 19 January 2018. And the longer the delays, the more concern there is internationally. That’s because those final budget numbers aren’t only important to Americans, they are also key to global conservation efforts. In March, the Trump administration laid out proposed draconian foreign aid funding cuts, slashing spending by 32 percent, or around $19 billion. Included were reductions in aid to a raft of nations and inter-governmental organizations with major implications for conservation, women’s rights and climate change adaptation. One organization that relies on annual U.S. funding is the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, which celebrates its seventieth anniversary in 2018. The IUCN has long been at the forefront of the conservation movement and is likely best known for its global Red List, the go-to resource for the status of endangered species planet-wide. “If there were to be significant cuts, for example, to IUCN’s core support… that would be very unfortunate,” says Inger Andersen, IUCN’s director general. Over the past four years…

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