Dubai, Dec. 1, 2023 – High integrity tropical rainforests comprise 40 percent of the world’s remaining tropical forests and are the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth. These are the least degraded tropical forests and harbor over half of known plant and animal species. They sustain the livelihoods of millions of Indigenous Peoples and other traditional communities. Tropical rainforests form a critical part of nature’s climate infrastructure, by storing and removing massive amounts of carbon from the atmosphere; shaping the hydrological cycle and atmospheric circulation that much of the world’s food production depends on; and reducing temperatures and the impacts of droughts and floods both locally and regionally.

Two years ago, heads of state committed to halting and reversing forest loss by the decade's end, but the following year, the tropics lost 4.1 million hectares of forest, 10% more primary rainforest than in the year heads of state made that commitment in Glasgow. 

Monica Medina, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, said: "We commend the Brazilian government for assuming a pivotal leadership role in proposing an innovative solution to mobilize finance on the scale we need to protect tropical forests and protect them from degradation. President Lula’s proposal addresses a crucial gap in global climate finance. Leadership from the global south is essential to solve the climate and biodiversity crisis. Brazil’s initiative could help make this year a turning point rather than a tipping point for critical ecosystems like the rainforests of the Amazon and Congo Basins and southeast Asia.”

Daniel Zarin, Wildlife Conservation Society Executive Director of Forests and Climate Change, said: “Brazil’s proposal recognizes the urgent need to reward the essential climate and biodiversity services provided by tropical forests and the role of those who protect them. It offers a mechanism to address the need that many tropical forest governments and indigenous organizations have identified, and that was formally acknowledged by the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership at the CoP last year. As WCS advances our collaborative work on innovate finance for high integrity tropical forests, we look forward to continuing our engagement with the government of Brazil on this critical agenda for climate and biodiversity.”