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The ESA represents the most far-reaching effort by the U.S. government to protect animal species. At the time of the act's signing, the great majority of Americans agreed with Nixon that "nothing is more priceless...than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure of value to scholars, scientists, and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part of the heritage we all share as Americans." The belief that Americans have a moral responsibility to preserve the U.S.'s biological richness for coming generations has proven to be a powerful and enduring force behind the act.
The ESA was passed by Congress in 1973 and signed by President Richard Nixon (R) that year. It has been revised three times, in 1978, 1982 and 1988, and it is up for reauthorization in 1997. Since 1995, the ESA has come under intense criticism from some members of Congress, who want to weaken its provisions. Those legislators, nearly all Republicans, have almost succeeded in transforming the ESA into a document much friendlier to developers, farmers, miners and loggers. Critics of those lawmakers have charged that the proposed revisions would gut the ESA's ability to protect endangered species, and they have succeeded in blocking critics' reform proposals so far.
Incidents of people killing species that are endangered and protected have resulted in extinction of species. Incidents like this are causing the debate of one of the most controversial environmental policy issues of the 1900's, the Endangered Species Act. While the people and the federal government agree on the act and the protecting of animals, arrayed against them are numerous farmers, ranchers, developers and other business interests who believe that the rights and needs of humans should always take precedence over those of animals. Many believe that laws protecting endangered species and their habitats fail to consider the damaging economic effects on people that sometimes occur when measures are taken to protect endangered species. Are all species worth saving? Should species be protected, even if economic hardships result? How should the needs of endangered species be measured and balanced against those of people?
The belief that Americans have a moral responsibility to preserve the US's biological richness for coming generations has proven to be a powerful and enduring force behind the act.
Till this day, people still disagree with the ESA. The ESA continues to be revised and updated.
Every century.....some species disappear.
Through federal action and by encouraging the establishment of state programs, the Endangered Species Act provided for the conservation of ecosystems upon which threatened and endangered species depend.
Scientists believe that a high level of biodiversity may be critical to the natural functioning of ecosystems
Biodiversity helps gauge the health of an ecosystem. The convention on Biological Diversity was one of the main achievements of the 1992 United Nations Earth summit in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Under the treaty signed there countries pledged to protect animals, plants, and their natural habitats.
Countries are liable for habitat destruction and other environmental damage caused by its companies in other countries
More than 160 nations, including the US have signed the treaty, although the US Senate has not yet ratified it