The world’s three largest rainforest nations Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia on Monday formally launched a partnership to cooperate on forest preservation after a decade of on-off talks on a trilateral alliance.
Reuters reported in August that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, elected as Brazil’s president at the end of October, would seek a partnership with the two other leading rainforest nations to pressure the rich world to finance forest conservation.
Rapid destruction of rainforests which, through dense vegetation, serve as carbon sinks, releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is threatening global climate targets. Regrowing deforested forests can help remove greenhouse gas already present in the atmosphere.
Representatives of the three countries, which represent 52% of the world’s tropical rainforest, signed the joint statement at the talks in Indonesia ahead of the G20, or Group of 20 industrialised nations, which begins on Tuesday.
“South-to-south cooperation – Brazil, Indonesia, DRC – is very natural,” the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Environment Minister Eve Bazaiba said prior to the signing.
“We have the same challenges, the same opportunity to be the solution to climate change.”
The alliance stated that countries should pay for deforestation reduction and the maintenance of forests as carbon sinks.
Negotiations will be a part of the bilateral efforts. “a new sustainable funding mechanism” to help developing countries preserve their biodiversity, as well as to increase funding through the United Nations’ REDD+ program for reducing deforestation.
The G20 talks coincide with the second and final week of the COP27 United Nations climate summit in Egypt, where Lula’s environmental adviser Izabella Teixeira said Brazil would seek to get the involvement of other countries in the Amazon basin, which spans nine nations.
“Forests matters, nature matters. And I do believe that without Amazon protection, we cannot have climate security,” Teixeira was the environment minister under Lula in his previous term of president, which ended in 2010.
“I believe that Brazil should promote that other countries should come together.”
Talks about the alliance to preserve rainforest had stalled due to “institutional difficulties,” Teixeira said.
The joint statement cited a meeting of the three countries at last year’s climate summit in Glasgow that injected momentum into the talks.
They were realized in the last weeks of Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing presidency, just before Lula takes office on January 1.