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Conservation International Statement on the California Tropical Forest Standard

September 19, 2019

Arlington, Va. (September 19, 2019) – Conservation International’s president, Jennifer Morris, today released the following statement on the California Air Resources Board’s decision to adopt the Tropical Forest Standard.

“We commend the California Air Resource Board on today’s decision to adopt the Tropical Forest Standard. California has long been an environmental leader in the U.S. Today, under incredible leadership and support of Chair Mary Nichols, Governor Newsom, Assembly member Eduardo Garcia, Senator Bill Monning, Senator Henry Stern and others, California has taken a bold step forward in securing that legacy on a global scale for generations to come.

“The California Tropical Forest Standard incentivizes tropical states in countries like Mexico and Brazil to keep their forests standing by increasing financing directed toward forest conservation through a number of different means. The standard, which includes robust environmental and social safeguards developed through a participatory process led by Conservation International, was also designed to protect and involve indigenous peoples and local communities. In fact, the standard requires the participation and informed consent of indigenous peoples and local communities, which ensures that actions taken to reduce deforestation are designed collaboratively and respect traditional rights and knowledge.

“This benefits California, the Amazon and other tropical forests and the people who live in them. Early analysis tells us the standard could generate over $1 billion from private investment towards reducing tropical deforestation in the next 10 years.

“We know that tropical deforestation accounts for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and keeping forests standing is one of the most powerful tools we have to tackle the climate crisis. The science tells us to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must conserve forests.

“California understands that what is good for tropical forests is good for California, and the state stepped up with an ambitious and comprehensive blueprint that protects forests, people and livelihoods. We applaud California’s global leadership on the most important issue of our time.”

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “Drop in the Ocean”, “My Africa,” “Under the Canopy” and “Valen’s Reef.” Follow Conservation International’s work on our Human Nature blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.