Developing countries are joining together to take massive climate action of halting deforestation. According to the Guardian, the three nations with the biggest tropical rainforests in the world – Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – are in talks to form a strategic alliance to coordinate on their conservation, nicknamed an “Opec for rainforests”.
As Brazil’s newly elected president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, promised to stop illegal mining in the Amazon, subsidize sustainable farming, and launch a national climate change authority in line with the Paris Agreement among other climate policies, other nations are following suit and taking the leap to act on climate change mitigation.
Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are home to 52% of the world’s remaining tropical forests and currently, conservation talks are fulfilling the campaign promise by Lula.
The name Opec is taken from the oil producers’ cartel that coordinates on the fossil fuel’s production levels and price. According to Lula’s pre-election campaign, any alliance could be expanded to other rainforest countries like Peru and Cambodia.
The Opec for rainforests could include joint proposals on carbon markets and finance to encourage developed countries to fund rainforests conservation, which is also being part of UN climate and biodiversity talks.
“This deal could be a promising step forward, as long as Indigenous peoples and local communities are fully consulted in the process and their rights and leadership respected,” commented Oscar Soria, campaign director of the activism site Avaaz, on the alliance.
“These three ecosystems are critical for the ecological stability of the world, and the answer for these forests to thrive lies with the people that live in them,” he added.
According to Carlos Nobre, a Brazilian Earth system scientist and co-chair of the Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA), Lula’s election is a moment of opportunity for rainforest conservation. He states that Lula is already working with DRC and Indonesia to protect all tropical forests on the planet.
“He also reiterated the commitment of his government to get to zero deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon during his presidency,” he explains, adding the initiative could remove more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere for several decades which is an enormous contribution to reducing rapidly mounting greenhouse gases.