United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

World conservation centre to improve deforestation monitoring

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and California State University, Chico have announced the appointment of Dr. Jeff Price as Senior Fellow for Climate Change and Biodiversity at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, UK. Paul Zingg, President of CSU Chico, said today 'I am delighted with this new relationship with UNEP-WCMC because it will allow Jeff Price to inject an important new international perspective to his teaching and research'.

Dr. Price, who was a lead author for the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC)'s Third and Fourth Assessment Reports, will work with UNEP-WCMC during 2008 to assist the Centre to assimilate the most recent information and research on climate change and its impacts on biodiversity, so that it can be used to better inform the development of international policy.

A central focus of the Centre' work on climate change is the linkage between policies and activities to reduce the rate at which tropical forests are destroyed. One aspect of this work is to address the increasing pressure on crops, agriculture and land to produce biofuels. Paradoxically, by encouraging the growth of biofuels to reduce greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, the international community is in danger of speeding up the rate of deforestation-which itself accounts for at least 18% of all greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

The Director of UNEP-WCMC, Prof Jon Hutton, described the appointment of Dr Price to the Centre's new Fellowship in collaboration with CSU Chico as 'just the sort of partnership we need to raise our game, bridge the divide between research and policy and speed up the response to human-induced climate change'.

Jeff Price brings to UNEP-WCMC 15 years of experience working on these issues. He lectures on climate change adaptation and was one of the lead authors of the IPCC's Third and Fourth Assessment Reports dealing with ecosystems, and the IPCC's Technical Paper on Climate Change and Biodiversity. He also contributed text to one of the reports underlying the Stern Review of the Economic Impacts of Climate Change in the UK, and the National Assessment on Climate Change Impacts on the United States. He was co-author of the Nature article 'Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants' and produced the popular 'Birdwatcher's Guide to Global Warming'.

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