Dubai, December 8, 2023 - The following statement was issued from the UN Climate Conference, COP28,  today by Joe Walston, Executive Vice President of WCS Global at the Wildlife Conservation Society:

“We welcome the launch of the country package partnerships for the Republic of Congo, Papua New GuineaDemocratic Republic of Congo and the National Ambition plan for Colombia.

”The Country Packages are an articulation of the governments’ priorities for the protection and sustainable management of their forests and coasts, helping to align and coordinate global support for those actions.  They aim to protect and restore forests, peatlands, mangroves and marine ecosystems in the world’s three primary tropical forest basins.

“These healthy, high integrity ecosystems play a globally important role. Not only do they host significant biodiversity, but they hold important cultural values, provide significant livelihoods to Indigenous People and local communities and co-benefits in ecosystem services, along with the necessary basis for a sustained and durable economy. These partnerships will support countries to deliver on their biodiversity and climate commitments, including the effective and equitable conservation of 30% of lands and seas by 2030, halting forest loss and increasing resources for biodiversity and climate ambitions.

“WCS has been working on the ground as a trusted partner of governments and communities in all four of these countries, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea and Colombia, for many decades, and commits to supporting these plans. By investing in nature commensurate to the benefits that nature provides us, we're not only going to reverse the decline of nature, but deliver on more than 30% of the solution in tackling climate change, and provide healthy lands, seas and economies for generations to come.”

# # #