The Summit of the Three Basins concluded with the declaration by the Heads of State and Government of the States. The three-day meeting from October 26-28, 2023 in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, was attended by more than 3,000 delegates from countries in the three basins of the Amazon, Congo and Borneo-Mekong-Southeast Asia.

In the declaration, the delegates acknowledged that the three ecosystems of biodiversity and tropical forests provide ecosystem services that are very important for humankind and for the sustainable development of the societies that live there. 

The delegates hope to ensure that tropical forests, which cover a third of the world’s land surface, are protected in the future.

The seven-point declaration urged nations to: 

  1. Recognise the value of enhanced cooperation between the three basins
  2. Recognise that sovereign management of biodiversity, forests and associated resources of the three basins is essential
  3. Develop solutions together 
  4. Pool and capitalise on existing knowledge, experience, resources and achievements
  5. Involve all states and national authorities, including indigenous peoples, youth, women, civil society, academia and the private sector
  6. Encourage financial mobilisation and the development of traditional and innovative financing mechanisms
  7. Establish a sustainable system of remuneration for the ecosystem services provided by the three basins

The delegates said that there is a need to create a fund to address loss and damage due to climate change. In the declaration, the leaders urged developed countries to meet their commitments. These include the $200 billion per year by 2030, as set out in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, and $100 billion per year in climate finance as new, additional, predictable and adequate resources to developing countries. 

“The Three Basins Summit provided a good start on important discussions about the future of these forests and the solutions that are needed to address the challenges they face, but we are disappointed that it did not result in an Alliance of the three basins, as hoped,” said Fran Price, WWF Global Forests Lead in a press release. 

The Alliance would have served as an international platform to spur and coordinate joint initiatives and knowledge-sharing between countries

“Going forward, it will be important to have more robust representation and high-level leadership from all three regions and a more structured discussion on topics such as how to collectively tackle drivers of deforestation, promote restoration and sustainable forest management,” said Price.

The declaration acknowledged the importance of protected areas. These basins are responsible for around three-quarters of all global biodiversity and 80 per cent of the world’s forest cover. 

Despite pledges by governments and businesses, a total of 4.1 million hectares of tropical forest was lost to deforestation in 2022, according to a report released by the Forest Declaration Assessment, a group of civil society and research organisations. The vast majority of deforestation in the world–96 per cent– occurs in tropical regions, the report said.


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