International REDD+ negotiator to lead WWF REDD+ policy work | WWF

International REDD+ negotiator to lead WWF REDD+ policy work

Posted on 22 February 2013    
WWF Centroamerica
© Felix Grande Bagazgoitia
Washington, D.C. -- 22 February 2013 – Josefina Braña Varela, former Director of Climate Change and Negotiations with the International Affairs and Financing office of the National Forest Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR), has been named REDD+ Policy Director of WWF’s global Forest and Climate Initiative (FCI). 
Varela will lead WWF’s efforts at the global level to influence REDD+ policy and finance developments, as well as to provide direct technical assistance to WWF offices in key tropical forest landscapes working to design and implement REDD+ at scale. 
“WWF’s Forest and Climate Initiative is excited to welcome Josefina Braña Varela to our team,” said Bruce Cabarle, FCI Leader. “The high caliber of her global REDD+ policy expertise will strengthen WWF’s efforts to support the development and financing of a REDD+ mechanism that benefits people and nature.”
Varela brings to this role more than 10 years of experience working on environmental policy issues, with a special focus on forests and climate. Her work spans across academia, government institutions and non-governmental organizations, enabling her to have a broad view of varying perspectives on REDD+. 
She also has strong experience in international negotiations under the UN system. In her previous role with CONAFOR, she led a team that successfully negotiated a multi-million dollar financial package for Forest and Climate Change for Mexico, in collaboration with the World Bank, the Climate Investment Funds (through the Forest Investment Program) and the Inter American Development Bank. She was also part of the core team that developed Mexico’s REDD+ vision document, as well as Mexico’s REDD+ strategy, which was passed by the national legislature into Mexico’s historic climate change law.
Varela also served on Mexico’s delegation to UNFCCC and has taken part in all rounds of forest negotiations under UNFCCC since May 2010, including participating in COP16 (Cancun), COP17 (Durban), and COP18 (Doha). 
She holds a Masters degree in Public Policy (with a special focus on Environmental Policy) from University of Maryland, and has studied International Relations at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where she focused on Environment, Sustainable Development and Society. 
She will be relocating from her home country of Mexico to FCI’s global headquarters at WWF-US in Washington, DC.
To contact Josefina Braña Varela, please email 
For more information on WWF’s REDD+ conservation efforts, visit: 

Connect with WWF's Forest and Climate Iniative on Twitter @WWFforestcarbon.

WWF Centroamerica
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