Dubai, Dec. 8, 2023 – The following statement was released by Monica Medina, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society on reflection of Nature Day which will be recognized on December 9 at the UN Climate Conference, COP28.

“The world won’t address the climate crisis without safeguarding and investing in nature—technological solutions simply won’t be enough. Forests, our ocean, wetlands, and mangroves help sequester an immense amount of the carbon that humans emit. Yet, due to human activity, we’re facing a biodiversity crisis and nature is losing the ability to store carbon and protect our communities from escalating climate impacts like extreme heat and sea level rise.

“The Wildlife Conservation Society is here at COP28 to push for nature to be a more central part of the climate solution. Though nature can be 30% of the solution to climate change, it receives less than 10% of climate funding; and this must change.

“We need more ambitious and robust investment in nature-based climate solutions. We need more leaders to acknowledge nature as a solution that doesn’t compete with technology but is instead a complement in getting to net-zero. And lastly, we must push for Indigenous People to be decisionmakers in climate solutions as they’re the stewards of the world’s healthiest and most intact forests and ecosystems.”