WILD Foundation Sends Message to Copenhagen to Integrate Nature Conservation with Climate Action

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Boulder, Colorado non-profit group to carry urgent conservation message to Copenhagen Climate meeting on behalf of over half of the world’s largest conservation groups

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The widespread support for the Message from Merida reflects deep international concern that the climate talks ignore the fact that about 20% of emissions come from destroying wild nature, more than all the emissions from all the world’s automobiles.

Sounding an urgent call to integrate nature conservation with climate action, The WILD Foundation, a Boulder-based nonprofit organization, launched the Message from Merida at their recent World Wilderness Congress (WILD9, 6-13 November, Merida, Mexico) and will carry this message to the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference.

Signed onto by over half the world’s largest conservation organizations, the Message from Merida calls for
“the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to recognize that large-scale nature conservation is a first-order climate change strategy for both mitigation and adaptation, and is necessary to address both the climate change and biodiversity extinction crises, and to protect and restore the ecosystem services, such as freshwater supply, on which all humans rely. “

Over sixty groups are signatories to the Message from Merida including the IUCN World Conservation Union, the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, Conservation International, the Frankfurt Zoological Society, ProNatura (Mexico), Australian Wilderness Society, Sanctuary Asia, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and Wilderness Foundation Africa.

Harvey Locke, WILD’s Vice President of Conservation Strategy, commented: “The widespread support for the Message from Merida reflects deep international concern that the climate talks ignore the fact that about 20% of emissions come from destroying wild nature, more than all the emissions from all the world’s automobiles. This must change if we are to stop climate change.”

Mexican President Felipe Calderon opened WILD9 by linking nature conservation with climate change. At the Opening Ceremony he said “This is why I congratulate The WILD Foundation for three decades of tireless efforts, because thanks to you we know there is a direct relationship between wilderness protection and curbing global warming.”

The Message form Merida was issued by the executive committee of WILD9-the World Wilderness Congress and initially endorsed by eighteen conservation organizations. Since then signatories have been coming in from many countries. “We are overwhelmed by the response from organizations from around the world who want to join us in sending this urgent message” added Locke.

Cyril Kormos WILD Foundation’s Vice President for Policy will carry The Message from Merida to Copenhagen next week. The Message can be downloaded in its entirety, in English, French and Spanish, at http://www.wild.org.

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