Indigenous and civil society organizations hold press conference calling on world leaders gathering at the Summit of the Three Basins this week to commit to protecting tropical forests in these critical basins and to scale up rights-based legal protections
For immediate Release
Brazzaville (October 24th, 2023) — At a press briefing earlier today ahead of the Summit of the Three Basins, research group Earth Insight and global partners released a range of new findings in a report entitled Three Basins Threat Report: Fossil Fuel, Mining, and Industrial Expansion Threats to Forests and Communities.
The report dives into the immediate threat to tropical forests posed by fossil fuel expansion, which—regardless of location—threatens to warm the planet enough to push tropical forests to the brink, threatening Indigenous communities, biodiversity, and freshwater.
And, as the new maps show, even as the energy transition holds promise for getting the world—and these places—off of fossil fuels, other threats also loom large, including mining of energy transition metals and materials, logging, and agriculture.
Read the report or executive summary now: www.earth-insight.org/three-basins-report-landing
Other publishing partners of the report include: Rainforest Foundation UK, DRC-based organization Dynamique des Groupes des Peuples Autochtones (DGPA), Cameroon-based AJESH, Auriga Nusantara from Indonesia, and COICA and the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Alliance from the Amazon basin.
The briefing today closed with a call-to-action from Indigenous, community, and civil society leaders to put human rights at the center of the Three Basins Initiative. Watch the recording of the event here.
Across the three basins:
These and other pressures are contributing factors to the staggering global tropical primary forest loss in 2022 which totaled 4.1 million hectares, or the equivalent of 11 football fields of forest disappearing every minute according to University of Maryland’s Global Land Analysis.
In the Amazon Basin:
In the Congo Basin:
In Southeast Asia:
“The Amazon is in the midst of a tipping point crisis and this is a time like no other when the future of the ecosystem’s ability to sustain itself is in jeopardy. We, Indigenous peoples have cared for the Amazon for millennia so today we raise our cry for help and urgently call for 80% protection by 2025. This means stopping deforestation, forest degradation and pollution of the water that sustains all forms of life. It also means legal security of Indigenous territories as a condition for the safeguarding of territorial rights for Indigenous peoples in the Amazon and in the whole of the three basins and beyond.“
“The Amazon is threatened by the expansion of extractive activities because State policies continue to prioritize short-term economic interests over human rights and the rights of nature. Thus, in the name of development, highways, oil stations or mining camps are built that destroy the forest and put at risk the stability of the ecosystem and the well-being of Indigenous communities. We urgently need to promote a standing forest economy to stop the degradation and loss of the forest and strengthen Indigenous territorial governance for good Amazonian living. Initiatives led by Indigenous peoples, such as Cuencas Sagradas, must have all the necessary support because they are born out of and watch over the life of the forest and with it, the stability of the global climate.”
“Indigenous and forest-based people in the Congo basin have stewarded the forests of this region for millennia. Fossil fuel, mining, and other extractive industry expansion represents an existential threat to the rich cultures and future of Indigenous pygmy and other rare and threatened peoples. World leaders face a turning point and can leave a lasting legacy of forest protection for generations to come if they act before it’s too late.”
“The compounding effects of industrial activities in primary and priority forests can turn a rich ecosystem into a toxic wasteland. But by committing to protect these critical forests, our leaders can support landscapes of life where community leadership and stewardship can advance a new paradigm of restoration and preservation.”
“Indonesia is ground zero for nickel mining for the energy transition. Our forests and communities have been hit hard from waves of global demands from palm oil to pulp and paper and it is time for our government and international companies, particularly electric automakers, to ensure that our remaining natural forests and the communities that call them home are protected.”
Timer Manurung, Executive Director, Auriga Nusantara, Indonesia
“World leaders gathering at the Summit of the Three Basins have a tremendous opportunity to heed the warnings that tipping point thresholds are revealing in the Amazon and beyond and to build an alliance that stops and reverses trajectories of forest fragmentation and deforestation now. Not seven years from now. Committing to an immediate moratorium on industrial activity in primary and intact forests is vital and will create space for new regional and international financial and other solutions to emerge that balance economic development needs with the planetary boundaries.”
“The report lays bare the stark choice between continuing down the path of ever-expanding extractivism or finding a way to value and protect our planet. The message from Indigenous and environmental leaders of the three rainforest basins is clear: there can be no lasting solutions to tropical forest loss without recognising and empowering the communities who live in them.”
“In the face of the climate crisis, thinking of ways to make a post-carbon world possible is not a utopia, it is a pressing need. The global South can lead an ambitious climate policy that opts to leave oil and gas in the ground. Latin America is beginning to change the course of history and to confront, with the necessary boldness and courage, the effects of climate change, the most serious crisis threatening humanity. The global North must respond accordingly and, in addition to phasing out fossil fuels, enable economic mechanisms that allow the global South to implement a large-scale fossil fuel phase-out policy”.
“Amazonia is in the midst of a tipping point crisis, and unless we secure immediate protection of its key priority areas, we might witness its dieback in the next decade. The Initiative “Amazonia for Life: protect 80% by 2025” aligns with the vision of Indigenous peoples to advance action with all stakeholders to protect 80% of Amazonia by 2025. Since 2021, this initiative has shifted global priorities by raising awareness on the key role of the largest rainforest on Earth ́s wellness and has brought together scientists, Indigenous peoples and advocates in an unusual coalition. Our commitment is to create a clear roadmap led by science to guide governments in this crusade to defend life on Earth by propelling the knowledge and governance systems that have allowed preservation of Amazonia for millennia. The moment to act was yesterday, today is an urgency.”
Speakers from the press briefing are available for interviews.
Bart Wickel, report author and Research Director at Earth Insight, is available for interviews.
Contact Lynsey Grosfield, Head of Communications, with any questions or to arrange interviews: email@example.com, +1 514 430 5203
Contact Lynsey Grosfield, Head of Communications at Earth Insight, with any questions or to arrange interviews: firstname.lastname@example.org,
+1 514 430 5203