Three Basins Summit in Congo: Preserving Earth's Rainforests
10:14 29.10.2023 (Updated: 11:17 29.10.2023)
On 24 October 2023, a consortium of environmental organizations led by Earth Insight released a report on deforestation that found that nearly 400 million hectares, or 26 percent of the average area of intact tropical rainforest, are now under oil, gas, and mining concessions in the Central African, Amazon, and Southeast Asian basins.
The Republic of the Congo hosted a Three Basins Summit in its capital Brazzaville between 26 and 28 October to forge a global coalition to conserve and restore the great tropical forests of the Congo Basin, the Amazon, and the forests of South-east Asia.
The summit, attended by a number of African heads of states, environmental officials in South America and South-east Asia and heads of intergovernmental organizations, explored various financing mechanisms to help developing countries conserve their vital ecosystems.
African leaders present included the heads of Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea-Bissau, Burundi, Comoros, DR Congo, the Central African Republic, Ghana and Gabon.
Summit participants unanimously emphasized the critical role
of tropical forests in the face of the threat of global climate change.
"In the face of accelerating climate change and its increasingly harmful consequences for human communities, animal and plant species, the Three Basins bear a major responsibility as the lungs of the planet, global regulators of carbon balance, and guardians of biodiversity."
The Congolese government also called for international solidarity to preserve the Three Basins, home to 80 percent of the world’s tropical forests and two-thirds of terrestrial biodiversity.
"We've realized that joining forces is an absolute necessity, and we've recognized that the initiative to unite the Three Basins is part of an inevitable dynamic," said Republic of Congo environment minister Arlette Soudan-Nonault.
Among the participants, the chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, stressed that the meeting had become an important preparatory process for the Climate Change Convention.
He said that the African Union continues to mobilize its states to work together to solve this phenomenon, and praised the work of the summit in agreeing on mechanisms for joint action.
Intergovernmental organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) also welcomed the summit.
"We are encouraged by the commitments made at this summit. The governments of the Three Basins must now use this renewed momentum to foster concrete action to restore forests, bolster scientific and technical cooperation, stop and reverse biodiversity loss and adopt measures to address the climate crisis," WWF Director for the Congo Basin, Dr Martin Kabaluapa Kapinga, said.
The first Three Basins Summit was held in 2011, also in Brazzaville. It resulted in a declaration recognizing the need to create a platform for the development of cooperation between the countries of the Three Basins, in consultation with the relevant regional organizations.