Rainforest Basins Summit Calls for South-South Cooperation

3 June 2011: The Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Three Rainforest Basins, namely the Amazon, Congo, and Borneo-Mekong basins, took place in Brazzaville, Congo, from 27 May-3 June 2011, to establish new ways to increase technical cooperation on forest matters, and adopted a joint statement on tropical forests, climate and sustainable development.

Participants attended sessions on: the state of forests in the three basins; REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, as well as conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks) and poverty alleviation in rainforest countries; and forests and the green economy.

In their joint statement on tropical forests, climate and sustainable development, participants agreed to, inter alia: maintain close consultations and promote common interests at various regional and international fora related to forests; prepare an action plan on sustainable management of forests and related resource use; and take concrete steps to promote dialogue and cooperation among their countries. They further called for a cooperation agreement among the three regional organizations, the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Central African Forests Commission, with the aim to support South-South and North-South Cooperation.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a message delivered on his behalf by Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary of the UN Commission for Africa (UNECA), stated that "Forests will only be protected and managed sustainably through a cross-sectoral and cross-institutional approach, complemented by the necessary resources." Janneh urged countries to support global forest financing processes, and encouraged South-South collaboration.

The organizing committee of the Summit was presided by the host country and included: the African Union (AU); ASEAN; ACTO; the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO); the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the Global Environment Facility (GEF); the World Bank; the African Development Bank (AfDB); and the Secretariats of the Rio Conventions (the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCDD), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)). [Summit Website] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [Summit Declaration]