• Adoption of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism will help spur further action to conserve world's forests
  • WCS: Much more work to be done in Durban

NEW YORK (December 14, 2010)
– Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) climate policy experts praised the agreement reached at the United Nations climate change talks in Cancún, Mexico, as an important framework to tackle a global solution to climate change.  WCS is committed to helping create mechanisms that provide incentives for countries to keep high-carbon forests standing, which is the bedrock strategy of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+).

“With the adoption of several key provisions in the agreement, especially the creation of a REDD+ mechanism and the establishment of a Green Climate Fund to support developing countries in low-emission growth strategies, the Cancún talks exceeded expectations by adopting wide-ranging set of decisions on global actions needed to prevent and adapt to global climate change,” said Linda Krueger, WCS Vice President for Policy, who leads WCS’s efforts on international climate strategy.  “The REDD+ decision includes many components championed by WCS and other conservation advocates, notably a phased approach from initial capacity building and planning, to results-based actions that can be precisely measured. The text includes provisions to safeguard the rights of local communities and include them in the process.  On the whole, it is quite a good day for REDD+ and tropical forest conservation.”

WCS participated in the conference as a registered non-governmental organization to observe the proceedings.  WCS officials spoke with negotiators from the U.S. and other countries to urge progress on REDD+ language and financial commitments to REDD+ and adaptation strategies.  The decisions made in Cancun will form the building blocks of what is expected to be a formal treaty outcome at the next Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, next year.

The Wildlife Conservation Society assists countries with their national REDD+ readiness, focusing on areas with high forest carbon storage and critical biodiversity value through its Carbon for Conservation program.  As an on-the-ground partner in many potential REDD+ sites and landscapes, including the Seima Protection Forest in Cambodia and the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, WCS is invested in developing the local capacity to help people protect their forest and wetland carbon in high-biodiversity landscapes.  REDD+ has enormous potential to mitigate climate change, support conservation of forests and other natural carbon sinks, and improve livelihoods for forest-dependent peoples.

Chip Weiskotten: (202-624-8172; weiskotten@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. 

Special Note to the Media
: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation