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Daily News Analysis

Three basins threat report

31st October, 2023 Environment

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  • Tropical forests face threats from fossil fuel, mining, and extractive industry expansion.
  • As delegates of the Summit of the Three Basins congregate in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo to strengthen South-South governance for three ecosystems Amazon, Congo, Borneo-Mekong, and Southeast Asia a global report showed that large parts of tropical forests in these areas remain threatened by fossil fuel, mining and extractive industry expansion.


The Three Basins Threat Report

  • A global report, “The Three Basins Threat Report: Fossil Fuel, Mining, and Industrial Expansion Threats to Forests and Communities,” has been compiled by the research and advocacy group Earth Insight and other non-profits.
  • This report underscores the challenges confronting the world’s remaining tropical forest basins.
  • These basins are grappling with extensive forest loss, heading towards a systemic ecosystem breakdown.
  • This deterioration jeopardizes global climate stability, biodiversity, and the livelihoods of millions of indigenous peoples and local communities.

Forests in Risk

  • The following are some of the report's key findings:
  • Nearly 20% of these basins' pristine tropical forests are now under active or potential oil and gas concessions.
  • Approximately 25% of the Amazon and Congo basins are subject to existing or potential mining concessions.
  • Nearly half of all nickel concessions in Indonesia overlap with natural forests, posing a fivefold risk of deforestation and degradation if nickel mining permits are expanded.
  • These developments have a direct impact on nearly 200 million people, a sizable number of whom are indigenous and local populations.

The Call for Action

  • The report urges international leaders to commit to preserving the forests of the Three Basins.
  • It emphasizes the importance of putting Indigenous peoples and local communities at the core of Three Basins Initiative solutions.
  • Tyson Miller, Executive Director of Earth Insight, highlights the importance of prompt action, encouraging policymakers to impose a ban on industrial activities in primary and intact forests.
  • This, he claims, will make place for new financial and long-term solutions that balance economic growth with ecological boundaries.

The Amazon Basin: An Important Ecosystem

  • The challenges in the Amazon basin are severe.
  • Almost 13% of unspoiled tropical forests overlap with existing or proposed oil and gas blocks, and more than 33% connect with active and inactive mining concessions.
  • Over 500 unique Indigenous ethnicities live in the Amazon, and Indigenous Territories cover over 31 million hectares within oil and gas blocks.
  • Furthermore, more than 70 million hectares are shared by active and dormant mining concessions.
  • Fany Kuiru Castro, General Coordinator of the Amazon Basin Confederation, calls for immediate action to secure 80 percent protection by 2025.
  • This includes halting deforestation, forest degradation, and polluting of critical water supplies.

Southeast Asia and the Congo Basin

  • More than 39 percent of undisturbed Tropical Moist Forests in the Congo basin overlap with oil and gas blocks, and roughly 27 percent intersect with mining concessions.
  • These expansions risk Indigenous pygmy cultures and the future of other unique and endangered peoples.
  • Nearly 20% of Southeast Asia's unspoiled Tropical Moist Forests are within oil and gas blocks allocated for production or exploration.
  • Indonesia, in particular, suffers difficulties with extractive concessions such as palm oil, mining, logging, and energy forests.
  • The expansion of nickel mining concessions poses a substantial risk of deforestation.

A Conservation Pleading

  • Timer Manurung, Executive Director of the Indonesian non-profit Auriga Nusantara, emphasizes the necessity of preserving natural forests and the communities they sustain.
  • The Summit will be attended by heads of state, official delegations, government representatives, international institutions, donors, finance organizations, and specialists from October 26 to 28.
  • President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo has called for worldwide mobilization in response to the global environmental and climate emergency.
  • The Summit of the Three Tropical Forest Basins, launched in 2011, highlights the importance of collaboration among the countries that share these essential ecosystems.


"The Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as the 'Lungs of the Earth' and plays a crucial role in global climate regulation and biodiversity conservation. Discuss the ecological significance of the Amazon Rainforest, the challenges it faces, and the international efforts aimed at its preservation.(250 words)