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A Critical Opportunity to Finance Plans to Protect and Restore Vital Forest Ecosystems

Leaders from countries with the largest tropical forest basins met this week in the Republic of Congo to work together to protect the forests from deforestation and destruction. Delegates from Brazil, Indonesia, Republic of Congo and dozens of other countries at the Three Basins Summit in Brazzaville are hoping to form a coalition of leaders from the basins of the Amazon, the Congo and Borneo-Mekong in Southeast Asia to discuss how to finance the protection of their wildlife-rich regions, which are also major sites for storing planet-warming carbon dioxide. The countries in the three basins have 80% of the world’s tropical forests and two-thirds of the Earth’s biodiversity, according to the World Wildlife Fund. But logging, forest degradation, loss of native species and extreme weather events fueled by climate change have the forests under enormous pressure that’s putting local economies and food security at risk. The gathering is the second Three Basins Summit, building on the first meeting held 12 years ago, when governments and other parties in the basin regions agreed to work together to protect resources.