Even though it's the final week of COP27 in Egypt, rainforests are still in the spotlight when it comes to climate change. The world's rainforests are at risk – from the Amazon in Brazil to the Congo River Basin, which is home to endangered wildlife like gorillas, to the third-largest rainforest in Indonesia. These rainforests are threatened by massive deforestation because of excessive logging and agriculture. In fact, the three rainforests make up 52% of all the tropical rainforests in the world. Their destruction causes them to release carbon dioxide and stops them from acting as carbon sinks for the planet. Brazil's recent election of Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva was a win for forests, as he had pledged protection for the Amazon during his campaign.
Lula has been looking to partner with the two other biggest rainforest nations – the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia. And finally, on Monday, the three nations signed a joint agreement after a decade of talks for a trilateral alliance. They signed the agreement in Indonesia right before Tuesday's kick-start of the G20. The agreement says that countries should be paid for their efforts at forest conservation. It also aims to increase funding for the UN's REDD+ conservation program.
"South-to-south cooperation – Brazil, Indonesia, DRC – is very natural," said the Democratic Republic of Congo's environment minister, Eve Bazaiba, before signing the joint statement. "We have the same challenges, the same opportunity to be the solution to climate change."
"Forests matters, nature matters. And I do believe that without Amazon protection, we cannot have climate security," said Izabella Teixeira, Lula's former environmental minister during his last presidential term. "I believe that Brazil should promote that other countries should come together."
"An alliance of countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and the DRC - who all face similar threats - can put pressure on richer countries to accelerate efforts to stop deforestation," said Annisa Rahmawati, head of the Indonesian conservation group Satya Bumi.
"Done right, collaboration and exchange of experience between rainforest countries can help in tackling deforestation," said Toerris Jaeger, executive director of the Oslo-based Rainforest Foundation Norway.