No time to lose, says IUCN

12 December 2008 | News story

Governments have to make significant efforts towards a post 2012 climate regime to be in place by the end of the next UN climate meeting in December 2009, IUCN says.

“Despite the current economic crisis, decision makers must not miss the boat this time – there’s too much at stake,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “We want governments to make sure we still have a world worth living in for future generations.” 

We need more ambitious emission reduction targets. A temperature rise of 2°C is expected to kill off up to 85 percent of corals, raise sea levels to dangerous levels, increase tropical diseases and intensify storms.

IUCN is encouraged by the interest shown by governments for the integration of forests in the climate change agenda, in particular reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD).

“The progress made on REDD here in Poznan is a step in the right direction but we don’t want to lose sight of the importance of the second D – degradation,” says Stewart Maginnis, Head of IUCN’s Forest Programme. “Addressing the degradation of forests is absolutely vital. The restoration of degraded forest lands has great potential in terms of enhancing carbon sinks.”

IUCN also welcomes the importance goverments in Poznan attached to ecosystem-based adaptation.

“Using what nature has already provided to help people adapt to the effects of climate change is extremely important,” says Neville Ash, Head of IUCN’s Ecosystem Management Programme. “Healthy ecosystems provide food, clean water and fertile soil. They also minimize loss of life and property during natural disasters.”

Materials for the media, including audio and video downloads, are available here: http://www.iucn.org/unfccc/

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
• Sarah Horsley, IUCN Media Relations, m +41 79 528 3486, e sarah.horsley@iucn.org
• Borjana Pervan, IUCN Communications, m +41 79 857 4072 e borjana.pervan@iucn.org

About IUCN

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges by supporting scientific research; managing field projects all over the world; and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

The world's oldest and largest global environmental network, IUCN is a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists and experts in some 160 countries. IUCN's work is supported by over 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. IUCN's headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland.

www.iucn.org