The world’s three largest rainforest nations, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia, on Monday formally launched a partnership to cooperate in forest preservation after a decade of discussions 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 major rainforest nations to pressure the rich world to fund conservation and forests
The rapid destruction of rainforests, which because of their dense vegetation serves as carbon sinks, releases planet-warming carbon dioxide, endangering global climate goals. Regrowth of previously deforested jungle has the benefit of removing greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.
Representatives of the three countries, which represent 52% of the world’s tropical rainforest, signed the joint statement at talks in Indonesia ahead of the G20, or Group of 20 industrialized nations, which began on Tuesday.
“South-south cooperation – Brazil, Indonesia, DRC – is very natural,” the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 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 that countries must be paid to reduce deforestation and maintain forests as carbon sinks.
Countries will also work to negotiate “a new sustainable financing mechanism” to help developing countries preserve their biodiversity, as well as increase funding through the United Nations’ REDD+ program to reduce deforestation.
The G20 talks coincide with the second and final week of the United Nations COP27 climate summit in Egypt, where Lula’s environmental adviser Izabella Teixeira said Brazil would seek to get other countries involved in the basin of the Amazon, which extends nine nations.
“The forest matters, nature counts. And I believe that without the protection of the Amazon, we cannot have climate security,” said Teixeira, who was environment minister under Lula during his previous term as president that it ended in 2010.
“I believe that Brazil should encourage other countries to come together.”
Talks about the alliance to protect the rainforest have so far been shelved because of “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 reached fruition in the final weeks of Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing presidency before Lula took office on January 1.