Will the Cancún climate talks lead to a concrete commitment by global leaders to reduce deforestation? As negotiators from around the world gather for the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference, WCS climate policy experts are urging participants to incorporate the strategy known as REDD+, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, into global climate solutions. The plan would create mechanisms that provide incentives for countries to keep high-carbon forests standing.

WCS operates a Carbon for Conservation program and serves 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. Through these efforts, WCS is helping people living in high-biodiversity landscapes to protect their forest and wetland carbon. In addition to mitigating climate change and preserving wildlife, conservation of forests and other natural carbon sinks can help improve livelihoods for forest-dependent peoples.

WCS officials will be speaking with negotiators from the U.S. and other countries to urge progress on REDD+ language and financial commitments to REDD+ and adaptation strategies. Linda Krueger, WCS Vice President for Policy, leads our efforts on international climate strategy and Tom Clements of WCS is part of the Kingdom of Cambodia’s official government delegation and has special insight into the deliberations.

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