Maya Lin Unveils New Project in Copenhagen

Maya Lin, the world-renowned artist and designer, revealed a new media piece in Copenhagen on Wednesday on the sidelines of United Nations climate change negotiatison. 

The video, titled "Unchopping a Tree" is the latest iteration of a larger project, called "What is Missing?," which Lin said will be her last memorial.

Lin rose to international prominence in 1981 for designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. 

The new video addresses deforestation prevention and sustainable reforestation for
reducing carbon emissions and protecting endangered species and
habitats. It was unveiled at the Support REDD+ Gala in Copenhagen, hosted by The Coalition for Rainforest Nations and the governments of Gabon, Guyana and Papua New Guinea.

The video can be viewed at the link below.

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, Lin honored 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 tons of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Russell Mittermeier, President of Conservation International, will accept the award on behalf of the Tengchong Forest Initiative.

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.

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