COP21: Investing in Protected Areas is the most cost- efficient strategy for climate change adaptation | WWF

COP21: Investing in Protected Areas is the most cost- efficient strategy for climate change adaptation

Posted on 06 December 2015    
5 December 2015

The Latin American Network for Technical Cooperation on Protected Areas -REDPARQUES- along with WWF’s Living Amazon Initiative and the Ministry of Environment of Germany –BMUB-, held an event today at COP21 to highlight the role of protected areas in climate change adaptation and to discuss the integration of these areas in climate planning and financing strategies.

Peruvian Minister of Environment, Mr. Manuel Pulgar Vidal, opened the event presenting the REDPARQUES Declaration on Protected Areas and Climate Change signed by 18 Latin American countries, followed by the launching of two publications on the Amazon biome presented by WWF. To close, a high-level panel spoke on protected areas as natural solutions to climate change and addressed questions from the public.

The group of panelist included Julia Miranda, Vice-President of the World Commission on Protected Areas, REDPARQUES Subregional Coordinator and Director of National Parks of Colombia, Jamieson Ervin, UNDP Senior Biodiversity Advisor, Francisco Prieto, National Biodiversity Director of the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador and Ruth Irlen, REDD+ negotiator for the German Ministry of Environment.

Panelists expressed the importance of highlighting protected areas’ role at COP 21, reflected on next steps for integrating protected areas in global climate planning and finance within and outside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and discussed main challenges for protected areas in a climate change context.

Key Statements:

“We must keep up the regional work to strengthen the strategy of protected areas as natural solutions to climate change looking at the complete Amazon biome and sharing one Amazon-wide policy, since the biome doesn´t understand of political boundaries.
“Many countries included PAs in their commitments to the UNFCCC (INDCs) and that is a big step forward”
Julia Miranda, National Parks Colombia.

“UNDP is ready to support countries in accessing GEF funding for these issues and advocates at the highest level the role of protected areas in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and in facing climate change.”
“In the future, we will need more explicit references of protected areas in the UNFCCC documents and discussions”.
Jamie Ervin, UNDP Senior Biodiversity Adviser.

 “The case for protected areas needs comprehensive policies at the national level. Protected Areas are already making a huge contribution to facing climate change but we need the facts and figures to be conveyed specifically to climate change negotiators in order to achieve their support”.
“Climate solutions provided by protected areas can be supported by Germany through biodiversity and REDD+ finance”
Ruth Irlen, BMUB REDD+ negotiator.

“The text being negotiated these days recognized the value of ecosystem resilience but not of protected areas. The UNFCCC needs to look back at the Sydney Promise (IUCN World Parks Congress) and the CBD’s Aichi Targets where many countries have made commitments regarding the inclusion of protected areas in the climate change regime”
Francisco Prieto, Director Biodiversity Ecuador.

“This Amazon Vision and the REDPARQUES Declaration on protected areas are a source of inspiration that reflects the importance of collaborative spirit in facing climate change”
Mariana Panuncio, Climate Change Director WWF LAC.
About upcoming Events & Press Conference:
DATE: 8 December 2015 - TIME: 13h - 14:30h - VENUE: Climate Generations Areas, Room 9, Paris Le Bourget, Paris, France. Detailed Program:
PRESS CONFERENCE: 8 December 2015 – TIME: 15h30- VENUE: Press Room 3, Blue zone, Paris Le Bourget, Paris, France.

About the News Studies:
The Vulnerability Analysis of the Amazon Biome and Its Protected Areas was developed in the framework of the project ‘Protected Areas, Natural Solutions to Climate Change’ (NASCC). It seeks 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:

The Protected Areas Natural Solutions to Climate Change –Policy Brief shows how Protected Areas can contribute to climate change mitigation and facilitate adaptation to climate change risks and impacts 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:

The Amazon Countries’ Policies and Climate Change: Protected Areas as an Adaptation Strategy (Executive Summary in English) is an assessment of over 150 policies of the Amazon countries that highlights successful mainstreaming of the role of protected areas as adaptation strategies in policies regarding climate change, development, forests, and others. Available at:

Also read:

This is another contribution to the Amazon Conservation Vision developed by the Amazon Countries under the CDB framework’s program related to Protected Areas (CBD – PoWPA).
To get more information about the Amazon Conservation Vision and Protected Areas, Natural Solutions to Climate Change (NASCC) project click here:

For further information, please contact:
Luz Zuniga, Communications Officer NASCC:
Analiz Vergara, Policy Officer NASCC:
Julia Gorricho, Coordinator NASCC:

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