The three largest forest nations in the world Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia Monday officially launched a partnership to cooperate on forest preservation after a decade of on-and-off talks on a trilateral alliance.
Reuters reported in August that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, elected president of Brazil in late October, would seek a Partnership with the other two major rainforest nations to pressure the rich world to fund forest conservation.
The rapid destruction of rainforests, which, thanks to their dense vegetation, act as carbon sinks, releasing carbon dioxide which heats the planet, jeopardizing the global climate objectives. Regeneration of previously deforested jungle has the benefit of removing greenhouse gases already present in the atmosphere.
Representatives of the three countries, which account for 52% of the world’s rainforest, signed the joint statement during talks in Indonesia ahead of the G20or Group of 20 industrialized nations, which begins Tuesday.
“South-South cooperation – Brazil, Indonesia, DRC – is quite natural,” Democratic Republic of Congo Environment Minister Eve Bazaiba said before the signing.
“We have the same challenges, the same opportunity to be the solution to climate change.”
In the agreement, the alliance said countries should be paid to reduce deforestation and maintain forests as carbon sinks.
The countries will also work to negotiate “a new sustainable financing mechanism” to help developing countries conserve their biodiversity, as well as increase funding through the UN’s REDD+ program to reduce deforestation.
The G20 the 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 the participation of other countries in the Amazon basin, which spans nine nations.
“Forests matter, nature matters. And I believe that without Amazon’s protection we cannot have climate security,” said Teixeira, who was environment minister under Lula during his previous presidential term that ended in 2010.
“I believe that Brazil should encourage other countries to unite.”
So far, talks on the alliance to protect the rainforest had failed due to “institutional difficulties”, Teixeira said.
The joint statement cites a meeting of the three countries at last year’s climate summit in Glasgow which gave impetus to the talks.
They came to fruition in the final weeks of Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing presidency before Lula took office on January 1.