A photo released by Brazil's environment ministry shows a deforested area in the rain forest in the southern Para state. (Jefferson Ruddy/AFP/Getty Images)
Top officials from the world's three major tropical rainforest regions will meet in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital on Sunday ahead of a summit to boost cooperation between the areas. The Congo Basin in Central Africa, South America's Amazon Basin and the Borneo-Mekong Basin in South-East Asia make up 80 per cent of the globe's rainforests and contain two-thirds of its biodiversity, experts say.
About 500 decision-makers will take part in the gathering in Brazzaville until June 3.
Organisers said the aim of the inaugural summit was to boost cooperation and sustainable management "... to ensure a greater contribution to the regulation and stabilisation of the planet's climate, to the fight against poverty and the economic development of the countries concerned."
Officials are expected to sign a joint statement on tropical forests, climate and sustainable development ahead of a meeting of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa later this year and the Earth Summit 2012, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.