Canadian Wildlife Federation Urges Government to Begin Restoring
International Reputation on Environment

OTTAWA, Dec. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Wildlife Federation is urging the government of Canada to take steps to begin restoring our country's lost stature on international environmental issues.

"Canada has enjoyed a good international reputation for many years on environmental issues, developed through achievements such as the 24-country Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone, the Air Quality Agreement with the United States to reduce acid rain, the Migratory Bird Convention Act, and our national parks system, among many others, but Canada's limited action and position on climate change has seriously tarnished our country's reputation," says Rick Bates, Canadian Wildlife Federation Executive Director.

Right now Canada has an opportunity to simultaneously reduce releases of greenhouse gases from deforestation in developing nations and to help reduce the worldwide loss of biodiversity by providing technical and financial support to the United Nations proposal for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (UNREDD). The United Nations REDD proposal essentially involves wealthy countries rewarding poorer countries to manage their forests sustainably and thus reduce the emission of greenhouse gases from those forests being destroyed to provide short-term benefits. It also involves securing CO2 in plants and soils through forest restoration.

"It is in Canada's best interest to act now. Deforestation accounts for around 17% of total global emissions. If emissions from deforestation aren't reduced, developed nations like Canada will have to do more to reduce emissions later," says Mr. Bates. "There are challenges to implementing the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation concept in many developing countries, but Canada has knowledge, skills, and other resources to assist those countries to create the needed policy infrastructure."

Renewable resources provide Canadians with many of the basic elements that we need to live a healthy life - clean air, water, food and opportunities for recreation. The same systems that provide these benefits also provide the foundation for much of our economy. These benefits are particularly important in developing countries. Climate change will continue to reduce nature's ability to provide these benefits unless action is taken to protect our ecological infrastructure.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is currently attending Cop15 in Copenhagen, Denmark. COP15 will bring nearly 200 countries together to decide the steps that must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions post 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol is set to expire.

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation:

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, developing and delivering educational programs, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of renewable resources, recommending policy changes and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. Visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Wildlife Federation

For further information: For further information: Heather Robison, Media and Community Relations Officer, Canadian Wildlife Federation, (306) 550-4155, heatherr@cwf-fcf.org

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