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March 21, 2011

Duke Inks MOU with World Wildlife Fund-US

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 21, 2011

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the World Wildlife Fund US to collaborate on research, teaching and the advancement of conservation policy and science.

The agreement will enhance existing collaborations and expand to form new ones in the areas of marine spatial planning, ecosystem services, climate change adaptation, evidence-based conservation, reduced emissions from forest degradation and deforestation (REDD), supply chain and other business opportunities.

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, who coordinated the effort, will help lead four of the six project areas with colleagues from the Nicholas School of the Environment, Sanford School of Public Policy and the Fuqua School of Business.

“We hope this partnership will strengthen existing collaboration and spur new, significant areas of research that combine Duke’s extensive research capabilities and WWF’s on the ground global projects and networks,” said Lydia Olander, director of ecosystem services at the Nicholas Institute and a project lead for Duke. “Ideally, this partnership will provide new opportunities for Duke faculty and students to help solve real-world problems.” 

The agreement stands to build on existing WWF-US and Nicholas Institute projects on REDD, which led to two consecutive Forest Carbon Finance Summits that convened global political and finance leaders to discuss critical topics related to forest carbon. In addition, it will build on work related to climate change adaptation in Southeast Asia.

Duke and WWF-US are providing seed funding to help jump start new research activities. For more information, contact Lydia Olander at or 919.613.8713.