The Nature Conservancy Pledges $5 Million to Tackle Emissions from Deforestation

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World Bank-led Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) will Demonstrate New Incentives for Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation

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We envision this broad-based partnership will catalyze support for developing countries as they work to combat deforestation and climate change

The Nature Conservancy has pledged $5 million towards the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), an innovative new initiative launched today by the World Bank to address the largest overlooked contributor to climate change -- the destruction of forests.

The announcement was made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia.

"We’ll never solve the climate challenge unless we address the loss of tropical forests, which puts out as much carbon dioxide as all the planes, trains and cars worldwide,” said Stephanie Meeks, acting CEO and President of The Nature Conservancy, at today’s news conference. “Now, through this partnership, we will show how financial incentives for conserving and sustainably managing forests can be a win-win-win -- good for the climate, good for biodiversity and good for local communities.”

“We envision this broad-based partnership will catalyze support for developing countries as they work to combat deforestation and climate change,” continued Meeks.

The Nature Conservancy is the only non-governmental organization to invest in this effort. By participating, the Conservancy can contribute credible, equitable and environmentally-sound approaches for including protection and sustainable management of tropical forests as part of the global solution to climate change.

ABOUT THE FCPF:
The FCPF will be the first large-scale international effort to show – through concrete demonstrations and pilot programs – a realistic path for reducing emissions from deforestation and the degradation of forest ecosystems (REDD). With REDD becoming a central part of the negotiations underway in Bali and the next global climate deal, the FCPF provides an opportunity to innovate, experiment and learn practical solutions while those negotiations are underway.

“This initiative is a practical pilot to expand the tools for Climate Change negotiations,” said World Bank President Zoellick. “The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility signals that the world cares about the global value of forests and is ready to pay for it. This can change the economic options for many people who depend on the forests for their livelihoods. There is now a value to conserving, not just harvesting the forest.”

The FCPF will work in two main ways. First, through the $100 million Readiness Fund, developing countries in the tropics can receive technical and financial assistance to measure the carbon currently stored in forests, assess the drivers that lead to forest loss and create national strategies that effectively reduce deforestation, among other activities. In addition, the FCPF will develop rigorous methodologies and standards to measure and verify reductions in emissions resulting from efforts to limit deforestation. The program will promote the engagement of all forest stakeholders -- from indigenous groups to industry -- in the development and implementation of these strategies.

Second, through the $200 million Carbon Fund, the FCPF will experiment with financial mechanisms that lead to measurable, verified reductions in deforestation emissions. For example, a country participating in this pilot program may receive financial incentives for meeting specific performance targets, such as reducing their national rate of forest loss and degradation. These pilot approaches will provide lessons about how to efficiently and equitably distribute these revenues.

The Conservancy will join other investors in the Facility, including the governments of Germany, Japan, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland, among others. The Partnership is expected to attract other private investors in the coming year.

THE ROLE OF THE NATURE CONSERVANCY:
The Conservancy will play a key role in the success of the FCPF, providing technical, scientific and structural expertise gained through decades of on-the-ground experience working with local peoples, communities and governments around the world. For over 10 years, Conservancy scientists have been developing strategies in places such as Bolivia, Brazil and Indonesia for community-based forest management, forest certification and carbon accounting.

WHY FORESTS MATTER:
Deforestation and forest degradation account for 20 percent of carbon emissions globally, making it the second biggest contributor to climate change. Many internationally-respected experts believe the only realistic way to stop deforestation is to create financial incentives for developing countries to protect and sustainably manage their forests.

THE OUTCOME:
Leaders hope that through these efforts, the FCPF will provide real-world, practical experience that will inform the international climate negotiations around Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). These negotiations could lead to new innovative financial mechanisms with the potential to channel billions of dollars annually to forest conservation and management, contributing to emissions reductions, plant and wildlife conservation and local livelihoods.

For more than a decade, The Nature Conservancy has been a leader in the area of forest carbon, putting into practice -- in six countries, on over 1.5 million acres -- strategies for reducing emissions from deforestation, including one of the most rigorous, large-scale forest carbon projects ever done, the Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project in Bolivia.

For more information on the Conservancy’s climate change efforts, visit http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 15 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 102 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at http://www.nature.org.

Contact:
In Bali:
Steve Ertel, 081 338 965184, [email protected]
Bridget Lowell, 081 338 965183, [email protected]

In US:
Cristina Mestre, +1 (703) 841-8779, [email protected]

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