18 countries from Latin America call for the inclusion of protected areas in Climate Negotiations at COP21

Posted on 02 December 2015    
Side Events Invitations WWF LAI
© Side Events Invitations WWF LAI
Two new studies will be presented at side events on the 5th December (Saturday) and on the 8th December (Tuesday), during Climate COP 21. There are 1.949 protected areas in Latin America, 390 only in the Amazon biome, playing an important role to climate stability. 

Protected areas cover 13% of the planet´s land surface and are the best known mechanisms to conserve terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems for people and the planet. More than this, protected areas play a fundamental role in climate stability.
 
Recognizing the role of protected areas as a natural solution to climate change, 18 countries from Latin America signed the Declaration on Protected Areas and Climate Change last August, during the Council meeting of REDPARQUES – the Latin American Technical Cooperation Network on Protected Areas.
 
The Declaration and studies around the role of protected areas and related policies will be presented at Climate COP 21, in Paris, on the 5th Dec (Saturday), and on the 8th Dec (Tuesday) – see details below. The side events will be an opportunity to discuss and request the inclusion of Protected Areas in adaptation strategies for climate adaptation. The Declaration will be presented officially during a Press Conference on the 8th Dec (Tuesday) – see details below.
 
Countries that signed the Declaration are Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, France (French Guiana), Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Peru, Panama, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
 
In the Declaration, these countries offer to intensify and improve the establishment, management and design of protected areas according to climate change criteria, and call for the recognition, in the UN climate regime’s discussions and commitments, of protected areas as effective strategies to face climate change.
 
The document highlights the importance of protected areas as the most effective strategies for conservation of the natural ecosystems and ecosystem services that provide the ‘green infrastructure’ needed for implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.
 
The Declaration also recognizes the Amazon as one of the key biomes for the provision of essential ecosystem services that safeguard the social, cultural and economic interests of society as a whole, and in particular those of indigenous peoples and local communities. All the eight Amazon countries plus the overseas territory of French Guiana signed and supports this initiative.
 
The declaration “is a very important step towards a much needed integration of protected areas in the global climate change planning and finance regime, and a crucial contribution for strengthening the role of nature-based strategies within the UNFCCC,” said Sandra Charity  leader of WWF’s Living Amazon Initiative.
 
Until now protected areas have not receive the recognition they deserve in the international Climate change negotiations, forests, wetlands and coastal protected areas are our main shield against the current and future devastating effects of this phenomenon.
 
New Studies
During the side events, two new studies will be presented as contributions for the discussions among high-level participants.
 
The concept of the Vulnerability Analysis of the Amazon Biome and its Protected Areas study considered the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that states that climate adaptation calls for a risk-based approach that takes into account complex interactions between climate and social and ecological systems. The AR5-2014 report highlights the need for ‘climate-resilient pathways’ that, in the case of the Amazon Biome, combine climate risk reduction and climate resilience building to reach the goal of conserving a healthy and sustainable landscape.

With the vulnerability analysis, the project ‘Protected Areas, Natural Solutions to Climate Change’ (NASCC)  moves forward to address the challenge of understanding and managing present and future climate changes, risks and impacts through the search for improved resilience and adaptive capacity, focusing on assessing, planning and mainstreaming climate adaptation in the Amazon Biome. Available at: http://bit.ly/1QeZrgb

A policy brief also will be presented to show how Protected Areas can contribute to climate change mitigation and facilitate adaptation to climate change risks by maintaining or increasing ecosystem health, integrity and connectivity in a climate change context. These areas can provide a wide range of ecosystem services such as climate regulation through carbon sequestration and storage, biodiversity conservation, nutrient cycling, agricultural pollination, protection from flooding and other natural disasters, cultural services and eco-tourism.  Available at: http://bit.ly/1Ts8x9x

Some of the participants to the COP 21 events are:  Lisa Janishevski, Science, Monitoring & Assessment of the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat; Francisco Prieto, National Biodiversity Director of Ministry of Environment of Ecuador; Julia Miranda, REDPARQUES Subregional Coordinator, Director of National Parks of Colombia, Ruth Irlen, REDD+ negotiator for the German Federal Ministry for the Environment ( BMUB), and Nigel Dudley, International Expert on Protected Areas and Climate Change.
 
About the Events & Press Conference:

UNFCCC COP 21 – Protected Areas and Climate Change Events


DATE: 5 December 2015 - 14:00 h - 16:00 h - VENUE: German Pavilion, Blue Zone, Paris Le Bourget, France
Detailed Program here.

Panelists:
Julia Miranda, REDPARQUES Subregional Coordinator, Director of National Parks of Colombia.
Lisa Janishevski, Science, Monitoring & Assessment, CBD Scretariant
Francisco Prieto, National Biodiversity Director of Ministry of Environment of Ecuador.
Ruth Irlen, REDD+ negociator for the German Federal Ministry for the Environment ( BMUB)

DATE: 8 December 2015 - TIME: 13h - 14:30h VENUE: Climate Generations Areas, Room 9, Paris Le Bourget, Paris, France. Detailed Program here.

Panelists:
Julia Miranda, REDPARQUES Subregional Coordinator, Director of National Parks of Colombia.
Francisco Prieto, National Biodiversity Director of Ministry of Environment of Ecuador.
Nigel Dudley, International Expert on Protected Areas and Climate Change 

PRESS CONFERENCE

DATE: 8 December 2015 - TIME: 15:30 h - 16:00h - Press Centre, Room 3 located at hall 5, Blue Zone, Paris Le Bourget, France. Detailed Agenda here.

Speakers:

Julia Miranda, National Natural Parks of Colombia Director, Andes-Amazon REDPARQUES Coordinator, World Commission on Protected Areas Coordinator for South America.
Yolanda Kakabadse, WWF International President and the former Ecuadorian Minister of Environment.
Braulio F. de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

For editors:

REDPARQUES is the Latin American Network for Technical Cooperation on National Parks, other Protected Areas, and Wild Flora and Fauna, founded in 1983. It brings together the Directors of Protected Area Systems of 19 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean.


The WWF Living Amazon Initiative supports REDPARQUES in the implementation of the Amazon Vision Project ‘Protected Areas, Natural Solutions to Climate Change’ (NASCC)  that seeks to increase resilience of the Amazon Biome in the face of climate change and other threats through an effective and integrated management of protected areas systems across the region.

For further information, please contact:

Luz Zuniga, Communications Officer NASCC:  lazuniga@wwf.org.co
Analiz Vergara, Policy Officer NASCC: analiz.vergara@wwf.org.ec
Julia Gorricho, Coordinator NASCC: jmgorricho@wwf.org.co
 
 
 

 
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