Conservation International’s Reaction: Developed World’s Pledge for Forest Protection Is Not Nearly Enough

12/15/2009

Offer of $3.5billion dollars announced today by the US, Australia, France, Japan, Norway and Britain is major step forward in UN climate talks, but amount is too low

Copenhagen, Denmark – Peter Seligmann, CEO‪ of Conservation International, and Russel A. Mittermeier‪, President, said: “We applaud this important commitment of this group of leading industrialized nations to REDD+. The $3.5 billion that these nations have pledged is an important start, but it is inadequate. To address climate change, we must stop deforestation.”

“Reducing deforestation by 25% by 2015 can get us on a trajectory to stop deforestation by 2030 if not sooner and create the possibility of achieving one third of the annual emissions reductions required by 2020.”

“A minimum commitment of $10 billion over next three years is necessary to achieve these goals. REDD+ is an immediate, cost-effective climate solution. This is recognized by every nation gathered in Copenhagen.”

“Through REDD+, forested nations are making a historic commitment to redirect their development path.  For this fundamental shift to be successful, a commensurate response by the industrialized nations is essential. Thus, the question remains: where does the balance of this urgently needed funding come from?”

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Notes to editors:

REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation “plus” conservation, the sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon) aims at providing compensation to halt the deforestation and degradation of natural forests and increase their recovery and permanent conservation. REDD+ strategies and activities have great potential to contribute to environmental, economic and social goals beyond carbon storage. This approach is consistent with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change goal of achieving climate goals while contributing to sustainable development as well as other Millennium Development Goals that countries have adopted.

Conservation International (CI): Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information, visit www.conservation.org. Visit also our COP15 page at www.conservation.org/COP15

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