Deforestation is a leading issue at the COP15 negotiations in Copenhagen. REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is a proposed UN mechanism designed to give developing nations the financial incentive to keep their forests standing.
In addition to unveiling Unchopping a Tree in front of an audience of heads of state and environmental NGOs, Ms. Lin will be honoring seven organizations that have been awarded grants for their efforts to protect forests and support and implement REDD.
“The seven organizations being honored tonight prove that REDD is not only doable, but is being done,” Ms. Lin said. “All of us can help to unchop a tree and show that trees are worth more alive than dead. By protecting forests, we help stop species loss and curb climate change so in effect, we are ‘saving two birds with one tree.’”
The seven projects receiving grants through the What is Missing? Foundation include:
* Green Belt Movement and Bonobo Conservation Initiative: Led by Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Green Belt Movement includes a series of reforestation carbon offset projects. The Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI) is dedicated to ensuring the survival of the bonobo and its tropical forest habitat in the Democratic Republic of Congo. BCI President, Sally Jewell Coxe, will accept the award on behalf of the Sankuru Preserve “Fair Trade” Community Carbon Initiative one of the largest REDD projects in the world.
* REDD project in Tanzania: Led by Jane Goodall, well-known for her 45-year study of chimpanzee social and family interactions, this Jane Goodall Institute project in Tanzania is designed to demonstrate the viability of engaging communities as partners in a market-based national strategy to reduce carbon emissions.
* REDD project in the Amazon rainforest: Led by Chief Almir of the Surui, the prominent environmentalist, political activist and tribal chief, this is a 14,000-hectare reforestation project in the Brazilian Amazon. Rebecca Moore of Google Earth Outreach, in association with the Amazon Conservation Team, will accompany Chief Almir in accepting the award.
* Paso Pacifico Return to Forest project in Nicaragua: Led by Sarah Otterstrom, Executive Director and co-founder of Paso Pacifico, this project aims to restore and conserve the natural ecosystems along Central America’s Pacific slope to ensure the connectivity and function of wildlife habitat.
* Yayorin (Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia): This project saves orangutans and improves the rural livelihoods and management of natural rubber agroforests in Indonesia. Siti Nur Alliah, Director of Community Outreach and Education, will accept the award on behalf of Yayorin.
* Tengchong Forest Initiative in China: A joint project of Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, and the Yunnan Forestry Department, this project is reforesting 1,093 acres at the south end of Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve and will ultimately sequester nearly 170,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Russell Mittermeier, President of Conservation International, will accept the award on behalf of the Tengchong Forest Initiative.
“We are truly honored to have Maya Lin’s support of the rainforest cause through her powerful and inspiring artwork, which forces us to look at the serious issue of deforestation through a new lens,” said Kevin Conrad, Executive Director of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations and Papua New Guinea’s Special Envoy and Ambassador for Environment & Climate Change. “Unchopping a Tree and What is Missing? will undoubtedly draw more attention to deforestation and the need for habitat and species protection, and motivate individuals to take action.”
Key partners on the What is Missing? project include the San Francisco Arts Commission, California Academy of Sciences, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Key contributors include National Geographic Society and BBC Earth. Support for the What is Missing? Foundation is provided by The Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Louis Bacon/The Moore Charitable Foundation, as well as other generous donors.
About What Is Missing?
What is Missing?, Maya Lin’s last memorial, is a multi-sited artwork being built to draw global attention to the crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss. The memorial is being constructed with both virtual and physical works that blend science with art, drawing on contributions from individuals and artists around the globe. Part wake-up call, part call to action, What is Missing? is intended both to inform and inspire. The project will draw special attention to the links among endangered species, habitat loss, and climate change. Advisory organizations include the California Academy of Sciences, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, San Francisco Arts Commission, Creative Time, The American Museum of Natural History, World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, IUCN, the National Geographic Society, National Resources Defense Council, Oceana, Panthera, among others. For more information on What is Missing? and future iterations, please visit whatismissing.net.
About Maya Lin
Maya Lin has maintained a careful balance between art and architecture throughout her career, creating a remarkable body of work that includes large-scale site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works, and memorials. Landscape is the context and the source of inspiration for Ms. Lin’s art. Her works address how we relate and respond to the environment, and presents new ways of looking at the world around us. From recent environmental works such as Storm King Wavefield, Where the Land Meets the Sea and Eleven Minute Line to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where she cut open the land and polished its edges to create a history embedded in the earth, Ms. Lin has consistently explored how we experience the landscape. She has made works that merge completely with the terrain, blurring the boundaries between two- and three-dimensional space and set up a systematic ordering of the land tied to history, language, and time. For more information on Maya Lin, visithttp://www.mayalin.com.
About the Coalition for Rainforest Nations
The Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN) is an intergovernmental policy group that is developing economic incentives to support environmentally sustainable economic growth, including the sustainable management of forests. CfRN is working within the United Nations system to ensure that future climate change agreements provide positive incentives to developing countries that voluntarily reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and promote the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
For more information on What is Missing?, please visit http://whatismissing.net