3 Basins Summit: towards a common roadmap to protect the forest

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3 Basins Summit: towards a common roadmap to protect the forest © Présidence RDC

The first Summit of the Three Tropical Forest Basins ended on 28 October 2023 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. Despite the notable absences of presidents Lula da Silva of Brazil and Emmanuel Macron of France, not forgetting UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, the participants, including 10 African heads of state, reaffirmed their commitment to cooperating on the basis of a roadmap, moving towards the construction of a common framework between the three basins.

The Summit of the Three Tropical Forest Basins ended on 28 October 2023 in Brazzaville. This initiative, launched by the Republic of Congo, was aimed at setting up a framework for cooperation between the three tropical forest basins (the Congo Basin, Amazonia and Borneo Mekong) in terms of governance, scientific and technical data, financing and advocacy for forests. But in the end, it seems that this objective has only evolved half-heartedly.

In their final declaration, the participants at the Brazzaville Summit reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate on the basis of a common roadmap for the protection of the three forest basins. The aim is to strengthen conservation measures, combat deforestation and promote sustainable development based on the preservation of natural resources.

A call to join forces

Despite the notable absence of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, who participated by videoconference, the summit’s high-level day was attended by a dozen African heads of state. They included Félix Tshisekedi (Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC), William Ruto (Kenya), Faustin-Archange Touadéra (Central African Republic), Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema (Gabon), Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (Equatorial Guinea), Umaro Sissoco Embaló (Guinea-Bissau), Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana) and Azali Assoumani (Comoros).

The first president to speak before the final declaration was the President of the Gabonese transition, General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, who called on the international community to support his country’s efforts to combat deforestation, estimated at just -0.1%. He also called for this support to be extended to all three basins. “Either we live together or we perish together”, he said.

Read also-3 Basins Summit: no Asian or Amazonian heads of state present in Brazzaville

The summit of the three major tropical forest basins is an essential step in the conservation of tropical forest basins and in raising awareness of the dangers facing these ecosystems. In a report published ahead of the event by a group of NGOs and researchers, it was estimated that the world was failing to keep its promise to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. The document states that the world will have lost 6.6 million hectares of forest by 2022, much of it primary forest in tropical regions.

This data will be added to the commitments made at the Three Basins Summit, and will form the basis for negotiations at forthcoming environmental meetings. These include COP28, the 28th United Nations International Conference on Climate Change, scheduled to take place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2028.

Boris Ngounou

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