WCS at the UN Climate Change Conference

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

November 30–December 12

WORLD LEADERS gathered in Dubai to assess global progress in addressing the climate crisis and to propose solutions to help the world meet the collective long-term goals set forth in the Paris Agreement. A WCS delegation to COP28 was on the ground leading the call for a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels; a larger investment in nature to address the climate and biodiversity crises; and the recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in all COP28 decisions and outcomes.


COP28 is Over—Time to Accelerate a Just and Equitable Transition Away from Fossil Fuels Toward a Healthy Future for Our Planet and Its People

Photo Credit: ©United Nations

“The countries of the world leave COP28 in Dubai with a consensus to transition away from fossil fuels, and in a world full of conflict, that is progress,” says WCS President and CEO Monica Medina. “This consensus may mark the beginning of the end of the road for fossil fuels. But we are gravely concerned that it does not take us far enough or fast enough to adequately address the climate crisis. We cannot and must not let up now. The world must accelerate a just transition away from fossil fuels without any further delay—pedal to the metal.”

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WCS Reacts to Latest Global Stocktake from COP28: Unacceptable

"We are addicted to oil and gas and it’s killing us and our planet. Enough." WCS President and CEO Monica Medina reacts to the draft of the Global Stocktake.

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WCS Welcomes the “Joint Statement on Climate, Nature and People”

“The ministers chose today to break from traditional silos and to pursue strategies that put nature at the heart of climate change responses,” says Joe Walston, Executive Vice President of WCS Global Conservation.

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What Ministers Must Do at COP28 in Dubai

With just a few days left in the negotiations, WCS's Dan Zarin, Executive Director of Forests and Climate Change, lists what needs to happen.

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At COP28: Honduras Launches New Initiative to Rescue the Moskitia Forest

The Moskitia is one of Mesoamerica’s Five Great Forests and Central America’s second largest rainforest. The new initiative aims, in part, to put an end to deforestation and illegal cattle ranching in there.

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New Jurisdictional REDD+ Technical Assistance Partnership Announced at COP28

Partnership will work to eliminate barriers to billions in finance for tropical forest conservation through high-integrity J-REDD+ programs

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At COP28: WCS and Republic of Congo Sign MoU on Implementation Of a High-Integrity Forest Investment Initiative in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park

Recognizing the importance of ecological integrity to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, including climate regulation, the Government of the Republic of Congo, represented by the Ministry of Forest Economy, and WCS have initiated a new program to attract investment in the conservation of high-integrity tropical forests.

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News Statement for Indigenous Peoples Day at COP28, Dec. 5, 2023 From: Inclusive Conservation Academy, Pawanka Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society

“If COP28 commitments recognize the role of nature and affirm the rights of Indigenous Peoples in concrete terms, they will not only contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation but to the protection of the world’s biodiversity, the health of ecosystems, the delivery of support and ecosystem services, and lead to a more stable and equitable world. Otherwise all of us will lose.” —ICA, Pawanka Fund, WCS

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WCS Applauds Ghana, Costa Rica, LEAF Coalition Members for Signing Landmark Agreements for High-Integrity Jurisdictional REDD+ Carbon Credits

“These landmark agreements for Ghana and Costa Rica represent decades of efforts by both countries to build national programs for reducing deforestation and restoring forests in ways that benefit communities, including through economic growth and job creation," said WCS's Joe Walston.

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Finally: Steps Are Taken to Mainstream Health in the Global Climate Change Agenda

“This is about the health, wellbeing, and survival of millions of individuals across the globe," said WCS's Dr. Chris Walzer including Indigenous Peoples and traditional place-based communities disproportionately affected by the catastrophic effects of a warming planet."

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Wildlife Conservation Society Applauds President Lula’s Proposal for a New Global Funding Mechanism As a Potential Turning Point for Tropical Forest Conservation

"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," said WCS President and CEO Monica Medina.

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COP28 Must Be A Turning Point for Our Planet and All People

COP28 will be judged on whether it leads to: decarbonizing our economies more rapidly and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies; putting nature and conservation high on the agenda as a climate crisis solution; ensuring a just transition off fossil fuels and that all goals and agreements of COP28 are informed by Indigenous Peoples and local communities; and prioritizing equity by ensuring nations that have contributed least to the climate crisis receive the most in compensation.

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Paris Agreement Forest Carbon Transactions Should Follow Tropical Forest Credit Integrity Guidance

TFCI guidance spells out threshold criteria that tropical forest carbon credits should meet in order to be considered high quality.

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Daily Updates

From President and CEO Monica Medina

WATCH: The WCS team addresses the importance of COP28; why nature matters in addressing the climate crisis; how COP28 can be just and effective; and what success will look like coming out of Dubai.

WCS Wild Audio

Assessing the Stakes of the UN Climate Conference

A Conversation with WCS President and CEO Monica Medina

WCS's delegation to COP28 is focused on issues essential to addressing the climate crisis that range from preserving ecological integrity to the empowerment of Indigenous Peoples. WCS President and CEO Monica Medina, who leads the delegation, spoke with WCS Wild Audio.


Why is Nature Important for Health?

If we invest in nature as a climate change solution, says WCS Executive Vice President Joe Walston, we'll change the trajectory of the global climate but also help people and nature directly in a measurable way.

WCS in the Media

Protecting nature as a vital part of climate crisis solution was the focus of WCS President and CEO Monica Medina's conversation with CBS News. At WCS, we are making sure nature-based solutions to the crisis are front and center and funded.

Obesity, climate change, undernutrition to be addressed at first COP28 Health Day

“This is about the health, wellbeing, and survival of millions of individuals across the globe,” said WCS's Dr. Chris Walzer, “including Indigenous Peoples and traditional place-based communities disproportionately affected by the catastrophic effects of a warming planet.”

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A New Approach to Preserving Ocean Biodiversity

The global community has set a goal of preserving thirty percent of our oceans by 2030. How will we reach that goal? And what’s at stake for ocean biodiversity if that target is missed? WCS's Monica Medina spoke to the Foreign Policy podcast, Global Reboot.

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Indigenous Leaders Urge COP28 Negotiators to Focus on Preventing Loss and Damage and Drastically Reducing Emissions

“Nature is central to our collective humanity, our various cultures, identity and futures as human beings,” WCS's Sushil Raj told Inside Climate News as part of a recent climate briefing. “Indigenous peoples and traditional communities reflect this most clearly through their ways of life, knowledge and belief systems.”

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Indigenous Land Rights Are Key to Conservation in Cambodia

Indigenous land rights are key to conservation in Cambodia, write Sushil Raj, Emiel de Lange, and Yun Mane in Mongabay. “With commitment and support from governments at national, provincial, and local levels, this can be the foundation of a future where Indigenous communities and wildlife thrive together, while contributing to addressing the climate emergency across the globe.”

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What Really is "Just Transition"?


What is the Intrinsic Value of Nature?


WCS Events at COP28

Photo Credit: ©Kate Trysh/Unsplash

Friday, December 1

Nature Zone Opening Reception

Nature Positive Pavilion | 17:00

Sunday, December 3

Learnings from the Wayfinder Circle and WCS to co-create and design a better future for our planet

Nature Positive Pavilion | 15:30-16:30 | Watch Online

WCS & COMIFAC Joint Event: High Ambition Fund for Nature, Climate and People: a 30x30 Implementation Program

*Invitation Only | COMIFAC Pavilion | 17:00-19:00

Monday, December 4

Miombo Woodlands Launch Event hosted by Government of Mozambique in partnership with ICCF & WCS

*Invitation Only | Mozambique Pavilion | 10:00-11:00

Reception with CEO Monica Medina and Brazilian Leaders

*Invitation Only | Nature Positive Pavilion | 17:00-19:00 | Watch Online

Wednesday, December 6

How carbon finance can support NDCs and ambitious climate action on nature

Nature Positive Pavilion | 11:00-12:00 | Watch Online

Friday, December 8

Finance for high integrity forests

Nature Positive Pavilion | 13:00-14:00 | Click to Register

Reception to launch Jurisdictional REDD+ Technical Assistance Partnership

Nature Positive Pavilion | 18:00-20:00 | Watch Online

Saturday, December 9

Football4Forests Side Event

Colombia Pavilion | 10:00–11:00

Let’s Talk About Money: The Why and How of Marine Nature-Based Solutions Financing

WWF Pavilion (Panda Hub) | 17:00–18:00 | Watch Online

Sunday, December 10

Unpacking the biodiversity-climate nexus: Opportunities and challenges

Blue Zone | SE Room 2 | 13:15-14:45

WCS Forests and Climate Change

We work on innovative solutions to help ensure that Earth’s remaining forests and peatlands can deliver climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits at the scale we need.

Take Action

Framing Our Future

The destruction of nature is contributing to global temperature rise and biodiversity loss. The U.S. Foundation for International Conservation Act can help by ensuring the long-term success of conservation programs around the planet. If you're in the U.S., help move it forward by urging your senators to support it right away.

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Video Recording: WCS Pre-COP28 Press Briefing

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