February 2015 | Nature and Culture International (NCI) is now an official signatory of the New York Declaration on Forests – a declaration unveiled at the United Nations Climate Summit in September 2014. Its stated goals, supported by governments, corporations and NGOs worldwide, are to halve deforestation by 2020 and eliminate it by 2030 – a bold vision in line with NCI’s own plan to protect 20 million acres by 2020.
Having played a pivotal role in the creation of 6.5 million acres of protected areas in Latin America since 1997, with another 6.5 million acres in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, NCI is well on its way to protecting 20 million acres by 2020. With robust programs throughout Ecuador, Peru and Mexico, NCI is now expanding to Bolivia and Colombia – both hotspots for biodiversity conservation.
NCI’s bottom-up approach is to work with communities and governments to create protected areas and advance innovation conservation programs. As an official signatory of the New York Declaration on Forests, NCI will continuing expanding its impact to protect millions of acres of threatened tropical forests and the endangered species they support. Because of the ecosystem services these forests provide – including mitigating climate change and protecting water supplies – their preservation is valuable to the local and indigenous people who depend on them, as well as the global community.
“We are happy to support the New York Declaration on Forests as we work directly to protect these priceless forests, which are being lost at a rate of 2-3% annually, before it is too late,” said Byron Swift, President of Nature and Culture International. “Beyond the countless species we stand to lose at the hands of deforestation, we also risk the end of numerous indigenous cultures. We are proud to work alongside the governments and communities of Latin America to conserve these ecosystems.”