After ten years of on-and-off discussions, the world’s three largest rainforest nations— Indonesia, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) —officially formed a partnership on November 14, 2022, to cooperate on forest preservation. Tropical forests are a vital part of the global ecosystem and are home to many plant and animal species.
These three countries, which are home to 52% of the world’s tropical rainforests, are among the world’s largest producers of tropical timber and are often targeted by illegal logging operations. The alliance aims to pressure industrialized nations to fund forest conservation efforts and to compensate countries for taking measures to reduce deforestation and preserve forests as carbon sinks.
Representatives of the three nations signed the joint statement at the talks in Indonesia before the 2022 G20 summit, which was held in Nusa Dua, Bali from November 15-16. “South-to-south cooperation – Brazil, Indonesia, DRC – is very natural. We have the same challenges, the same opportunity to be the solution to climate change,” Eve Bazaiba, the DRC’s Environment Minister, said before the signing.
What Does the Alliance Involve?
According to a Reuters report from August, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was elected president of Brazil at the end of October, would unite with the two other major rainforest nations to pressure the wealthy countries to fund forest conservation.
The rapid deforestation of rainforests, which act as carbon sinks due to their thick vegetation, releases carbon dioxide that warms the earth and threatens global climate targets. The benefit of regrowing previously deforested jungles is that it removes greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.
The alliance said in the pact that countries should be compensated for taking measures to reduce deforestation and preserve forests as carbon sinks.
The rapid destruction of rainforests releases planet-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and threatens global climate targets. In addition to their role as carbon sinks, rainforests are home to many indigenous peoples and provide vital resources and livelihoods for local forest communities.
The nations will also strive to create “a new sustainable funding mechanism” to aid developing countries in maintaining their biodiversity and boost funding for the UN’s REDD+ program, which aims to reduce deforestation and enhance forest carbon stocks in tropical rainforests.
Climate Security Depends on the Amazon
The G20 talks took place during the second and final week of the COP27 United Nations climate summit held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6-20, 2022. At the conference, Lula’s environmental adviser Izabella Teixeira said that Brazil would try to get the participation of other nations in the Amazon basin, which includes nine countries.
More than 50% of the world’s remaining rainforests and one-third of its animal and plant species live in the Amazon. Therefore, the region must be protected to reduce the worst effects of climate change.
Teixeira, who served as Lula’s environment minister during his last presidential term, which ended in 2010, said:
“Forests matter, and nature matters. And I believe that we cannot have climate security without Amazon protection. I also believe that Brazil should encourage other countries to come together.”
According to Teixeira, until now, discussions regarding the alliance to protect the rainforest have stalled due to “institutional difficulties.” The joint statement mentioned that the three countries met at the climate summit in Glasgow last year, which boosted the talks. And now, in the final weeks of Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing presidency, they have come to fruition before Lula takes office on January 1, 2023.
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