Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, had the privilege of hosting the summit of the three major tropical forest basins on the planet from October 26 to 28: the Amazon, Congo, and Borneo-Mekong basins.
These basins represent 80% of the world’s forest cover and approximately three-quarters of its biodiversity. Over 3,000 participants, including government representatives, international organizations, NGOs, civil society, scientists, researchers, environmentalists, and indigenous populations, took part in this event.
At least ten Heads of State from the continent, including Congo, DR Congo, Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Sao Tome and Principe, were in attendance. However, no President from the Amazon or Borneo made the journey to Brazzaville. Colombia and Venezuela sent their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
The primary objectives of the summit included building a global coalition to accelerate the energy transition and strengthening collaboration between these basins, recognized as the world’s major ecological lungs, to go further.
In the declaration following the discussions, the participants reaffirmed their commitment to lay the groundwork for a roadmap towards establishing a common framework for cooperation among the three basins.
During the summit, President Félix Tshisekedi of the DR Congo, a country that alone covers 62% of the forests in the Congo Basin, expressed concern about the destruction of ecosystems by a neighboring country, specifically Rwanda
“Currently, in the Virunga Park (Eastern DR Congo), one of the world’s most significant natural reserves in terms of forests and biodiversity, armed activities are jeopardizing this ecosystem, destroying it. And this decision wasn’t made in Washington, Brussels, London, or Paris. It was decided in Africa, specifically in Kigali,“ he lamented.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron and former Brazilian President Lula, participated via video conference to applaud the initiative. President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, provided the essence of the meeting.
“This summit will primarily focus on, among other things, defining a governance framework within the scope of a new multilateralism through a cooperation agreement, aiming for a global alliance of the three basins,” he stated.
At the Brazzaville summit on the three tropical forest basins, the second of its kind following the 2011 meeting, participants expressed their desire for these meetings to occur regularly. They also hoped that these three forest regions would speak with one unified voice at the upcoming COP28 scheduled for November in the United Arab Emirates.”