Joint Statement: Warsaw to be Known as 'The Forest COP?'

Climate Change Negotiators on the Cusp of Completing REDD+ Package

Warsaw, Poland | November 20, 2013

The following joint statement on the need for collaboration to achieve a REDD+ package was released today by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) at the United Nations global climate change conference now underway in Warsaw, Poland.


Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) could be one of the few successes of this year’s global climate change meeting taking place in Warsaw, Poland – or not. The fate of REDD+ now rests with the ability of Parties to agree on the issue of REDD+ finance.

Negotiators should be applauded for their spirit of collaboration that has allowed for this major breakthrough on the technical guidelines for REDD+ within the UNFCCC -- methodological issues of reference levels (RLs) and monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV). This good work is now threatened if no agreement on REDD+ finance is achieved.

This same spirit of collaboration should now continue through these final days in Warsaw – a decision on the financing of REDD+ is within reach. With a clear decision on finance countries will be able to move beyond bureaucracy and scale-up actions on the ground.

It’s clear that this annual summit of environmental leaders and ministers in Warsaw cannot be business as usual – or another global summit with words and no action. While no major breakthroughs were expected at this year’s COP, COP19 in Warsaw is poised to shatter that perception and become the COP that got REDD+ completed.

More than one billion people worldwide depend on forests for their livelihoods, and most of them are among the poorest people on earth. Primary forests, particularly tropical primary forests, are also home to half or more of the planet’s terrestrial biodiversity. REDD+ has the potential to improve lives, protect forests and biodiversity, and mitigate climate change, but this significant potential can only be realized if negotiators recommit to avoid letting narrow interests overcome the greater good.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Lisa Schindler
The Nature Conservancy

Chris Meyer
Environmental Defense Fund

Patrick Wylie
International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Pipa Elias
Union of Concerned Scientists

Josefina Brana-Varela
World Wildlife Fund

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