in Peru

Indigenous peoples’ organisation in Peru demands “an indigenous REDD outside of carbon market negotiations”

Indigenous peoples' organisation in Peru demands 'an indigenous REDD outside of carbon market negotiations' PHOTO: lori_NY on flickr

This week, World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s Participants Committee will review Peru’s Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP). The Committee will have to take into account the comments received from the Inter-ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Forest (AIDESEP). An unofficial translation of AIDESEP’s letter is posted below, and the letter is available here in Spanish (pdf file 479 KB).

Bank Information Center, which is monitoring the FCPF process on its website, comments that the new round of revision will

focus on the clarity in which the R-PP addresses the issues of: i) drivers of deforestation, ii) indigenous rights, consultation and participation, and iii) the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) process.

The revisions will have to do that and a great deal more. AIDESEP’s letter highlights 20 points of contention and describes the monitoring of the FCPF in Peru an “unpleasant experience” because their demands so far have been ignored.

The draft version of Peru’s R-PP is available on the FCPF’s website, as is the previous correspondence between AIDESEP and the World Bank.

Meanwhile, on 28 October 2010, AIDESEP put out a statement denouncing the government’s plans to hand out concessions for REDD, logging, mining and environmental services. The statement demands “an indigenous REDD outside of carbon market negotiations.”

AIDESEP’s statement follows, with the letter about the R-PP below that.

AIDESEP

STATEMENT

Without indigenous territories, rights and consultation no REDD, forests, oil and environmental services concession is possible

To the authorities of the executive and legislative power
To the regional governments and Presidential candidates for 2011
To the World Bank, UNDP, UNFCCC and national and international public opinion

The current government and its political and entrepreneurial allies, rather than stopping the law on indigenous peoples consultation, suspiciously pretend to impose decisions that affect the Amazon and the rights of indigenous peoples, passing on to the new government, both central and regional, more social and environmental conflicts than those that currently exist. The issue is about the redistribution of land and Amazon forests, by means of oil, timber, touristic, REDD (carbon market) and environmental services concessions. We have proposed alternatives to the government , that we are summarizing below, urging the current government not to sow wind that will produce whirlwind for the new central and regional governments.

Regularization of land titles for indigenous peoples, to avoid conflicts due to overlapping concessions

The proposed forestry law (draft bill 4141), carbon market (REDD), and environmental services, threaten to impose “titles to “habilitacion ”[1] (timber concessions, plantations, conservation projects, REDD etc) in occupied territories, that still require State’s attention. Hundreds of non recognized and untitled communities that occupy land only as “owners”, 347 communities that are legally recognized, but have not been taken care of as regards their right to land titling. Hundreds of indigenous communities that need land enlargement, since their land has been titled 40 years ago, and population has increased, thereby threatening their survival due to shortage of natural resources. Eight territorial reserves for Peoples in Voluntary Isolation, or initial contact, whose studies have been concluded, and that have not been recognized by the State: Napo Tigre, Yavari Mirim, Tapiche Blanco Yaquerana, Sierra del Divisor Occidental, Cacataibo. Proposal: forbid concessions in areas owned by indigenous peoples, Prioritize policies and public expenditure, central and regional, to processes of recognition and titling for communities, and we call for a prompt resolution of communal and territorial reserves;

No to discrimination, but promotion of community forest self-management

There are many decisions to promote large forest concessions (timber, plantation, REDD, tourism, etc) and few superficial articles on community forest management. There is a discrimination by the State in favour of large forest capital, thereby marginalizing communities, that have to be dealt with as the main social actor in the forests and not as supposedly disabled, given the more than 12 million hectares of forests existing in our territories, Proposal: a) ratify the validity of R.J. 232-2006-INRENA as the unique legislation for community forest management; b) establish “community forest management units” with appropriate budgets for supervision and promotion, equipment, capacity building, market studies, inclusion of municipal and regional funds for promotion of community forest management in SNIP. Intercultural adjustment of INRENA legislation related to sanctions against forest irregularities, with a view to support communities to get out of the system of “habilitacion”[2] that the State cannot amend. Drafting of a specific law to promote community forest management.

Effective guarantees for indigenous peoples rights

The three processes (forestry law, REDD and environmental services) do not mainstream the full validity of ILO Convention 169 as well as the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. The draft forestry law No. 4141-2009/PE, is contradicting, since in the part related to its principles excludes the two referred norms but then it only refers to the Prior Informed Consultation as per ILO 169. There are 10 articles (from 77 to 86) on forests in native communities that would have no support nor reference in the section on principles since no reference is made to ILO 169. REDD policies and contracts as well do not contain effective guarantees for the mentioned indigenous rights. Are we indigenous peoples “less relevant” than biodiversity or decentralization that are in fact mentioned? Is it that in reality communities do not count much and they are mentioned just out of pure rhetoric? Peoples in voluntary isolation are dealt with in an irresponsible manner in the forestry draft bill, since logging companies are only requested to produce simple documents “telling what they are going to do” if they meet them. Among the root causes of illegal logging are the lack of State control , institutionalized racism, corruption and impunity of certain officials, entrepreneurs and professionals. The result is that communities are the victims of the destruction of their forests. This begins with the so-called “subcontracting” by which the person with a title on the forest can contract a “subcontractor” to manage forests at his own will, since supervision is absent or comes late, and the current draft bill still proposes this form of “subcontracting”. Proposal: a) mainstream respect of R.L 26253 ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples b) repel the possibility of “subcontracting” or that “ owners of title to “habilitacion” can hand over their position to a “subcontractor” because this is an incentive to manipulation of contracts and illegal logging. C) establish prevention areas where peoples in voluntary isolation or initial contact can transit, so that access is forbidden to operations within “forest under titles of “habilitacion” (logging, plantations, conservation, REDD)

Towards an indigenous REDD outside of carbon market negotiations

There is pressure from the State , companies and certain NGOs on to indigenous peoples to blindly support REDD policies and projects with promises, and without analyzing the conflicts created by REDD in the world, related to the disappointment of communities due to the fact that these receive scarce benefits while intermediaries benefits are much higher; limitations to their livelihoods due to control over forests; land invasion by third parties to negotiate REDD contracts, and also the immorality of multinational companies that continue to pollute and destroy land and the Amazon, and pay little or nothing for others to collect the garbage they produce. This “carbon market” is another face of the privatizing model of Mother Earth, that has led to the brink of a planetary suicide.

Land management by indigenous peoples has shown its efficiency for productive conservation of forests and their ecosystem values (water, climate, carbon, soil, biodiversity) and we have a right to OTHER forms of international cooperation, another form of REDD. For this reason we propose an “Indigenous REDD” that include: the pre-requisite of completing land titling for indigenous peoples that is still pending; respect and guarantees for our rights, prioritizing ILO169 and the UNDRIP in the agreements; keep out of the carbon market and insist on reduction of emissions; equity not “colonialization” in the distributions of benefits; a direct relationship with indigenous peoples without intermediaries; capacity building and empowerment of indigenous peoples in issues related to carbon; full control of forests by peoples; exclusion of any kind of monocultural plantations. We urge the respect of the proposals mad by COICA at COP16 in Cancun with reference to REDD, the principles, the NEVER negotiable rights, the REDD contracts that have to be forbidden, among others.

Prior and informed consultation in accordance to Congress agreement of May 2010

The three public policies (forestry, REDD and environmental services) have to be subject to “prior and informed consultation” to comply with RL 26253 of ILO 169. These are “consultations” not information hearings” nor “working tables” where every indigenous people has a space to incorporate proposals that would imply access to information, negotiation, discussion and sufficient time and space. The possible way to consult each indigenous people in the Amazon would be to carry out a consultation in all the 63 local indigenous federations associated with AIDESEP, were community leaders from forests that are likely to be subject to legislation would participate.

Proposal: if there is so much sense of urgency for forestry, environmental services laws and REDD projects, we call for the same sense of urgency to ratify the law on prior consultation with indigenous peoples approved by the National Congress on May 19, 2010. The consultation has to be based on principles and processes mentioned above that would imply at least the consultation – holding all the meetings that will be necessary – of each local indigenous organization (federations, “centrales”, councils), that in the case of AIDESEP amount to 63 associated organizations.

We call for international solidarity to our proposals and to
the just struggle of indigenous peoples of Rio
río Marañón (Nauta) against oil contamination, and of those brothers
under trial for defending Mother Earth!

Lima, October 28, 2010

AIDESEP Managing Committee:

President, Alberto Pizango Chota
Vice President, Daysi Zapata
Secretary, Saúl Puerta Peña:
Treasurer, Henderson Renjifo
Spokesperson, Walter Kategari:

Regional organizations of AIDESEP:

CORPI (Loreto): Mamerto Maicúa Pérez
ORPIO (Loreto): Gabriel Paima
ORAU (Ucayali): Félix Rojas
ARPI (Selva Central): David Barboza
ORPIAN (Amazonas, Cajamarca): Cervando Puerta Peña
COMARU (Cusco): Walter Kategari
FENAMAD (Madre de Dios): Julio Pareja
CODEPISAM (San Martin): Juan de Dios Sangama Salas

Local organizations of AIDESEP:

CARE (Río Ene): Ruth Buendía
FECONACO (Río Corrientes): Petronila Chumpi Rosales
OIRA (Atalaya): Daniel Marsano
ODECOFROC (Cenepa): Idelfonso Espejo Tiwi


[1] ^^ See note 2 below

[2] ^^ old system of logging by mafias of entrepreneurs and public officials, that use “subcontracting” of authorizations to manipulate communities by paying them upfront for timber to be logged and having them sign illegal documents, and whereas the communities and not those responsible are eventually sanctioned – note of the translator

AIDESEP

Letter n. -2010-AIDESEP

Lima, September 9, 2010

Mr. Antonio Brack Egg

Minister of the Environment

Re: Opinion of the second draft of the Readiness Proposal (RPP) of Peru for the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF)

Dear Sir,

It is a pleasure for me to greet you on behalf of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon and with this letter I wish to share our opinion on the second draft of the FCPF R-PP for Peru and the deep concern of the indigenous peoples of our Amazon as regards the ongoing FCPF process in Peru. We already conveyed our points to the World Bank in Guyana last June and to your office with a letter N. 274-2010-AIDESEP.

We wish to inform that AIDESEP has taken part in some discussion groups on the REDD Readiness document (so-called R-PP), together with public officials and NGOs. We hereby state that in the brief period of time in which we have monitored the process, we found this to be an unpleasant experience. The whole of AIDESEP demands (new communities, enlargements, communal and territorial reserves) have not been taken on board, thereby bringing evidence of the fact, interests and contradictions of REDD.

Once more, we take note that MINAM’s insistence in indigenous participation is not consequent: only part of what we said has been considered and – if so – this was done in an erroneous manner, misrepresenting an information process as consultation. This was giving the impression of having engaged indigenous peoples in the REDD process, up until euros and dollars arrive, and then state bureaucracy and its allies in the conservative environmental circles will sideline us and spend their REDD millions to give a job to the same old friends.

Just to give an example: the R-PP includes projects for less than 17 million USD, and not a cent to solve the pending issue of regularization of titling of indigenous lands. (new communities, enlargements, communal and territorial reserve) and this will be a source of conflicts created by overlapping REDD contracts.

For this reason we are sending hereby a detailed commentary quoting original text and specific pages, to make it easier for you to identify the comments related to the specific parts of the R-PP document:

  1. As it stands now, the draft Forest and Forest Fauna law currently being debated in 2 Commissions of the Congress of the Republic under N.04141/2009-PE, (thus ignoring the Commission of Andean, Amazon, and Afro-peruvian peoples, environment and ecology) will NOT improve “forest governance” (pages 4, 65), nor will it improve the political level of the Directorate for Forests and Forest Fauna. It will rather abandon more than 12 million hectares of forests of indigenous peoples to their fate, giving preference to forestry concessions, plantations (biofuels), tourist concessions, etc that together with the legislation for the change of use of soil to permanent production (Supreme Decree N. 017-2009-AG) represent in practice new modalities of “latifundio” in the Amazon;
  2. The draft R-PP document does not clearly specify that one of the root causes of deforestation and degradation (page 5; page 50) is the illegal and indiscriminate logging of forests deriving from various factors of local , national and international mafias of different nature, that operate together to maintain illegality and impunity;
  3. Among the goals of the FIP (Forest Investment Programme), of MINAM, there is no reference to the pending regularization of titling of land in spite of a written request AIDESEP sent to MINAM. New communities, enlargement, communal and territorial reserves are areas on which REDD concessions and contracts are slated to be imposed, thereby generating increasing conflicts. This has been repeatedly pointed out to MINAM, and if they do not take this into consideration, it is because they apparently have an “anti-indigenous” position, beyond demagogic references to “indigenous participation”;
  4. Text in page 10 refers to something that does not exist and does not work. It is false that INDEPA “is coordinating the conclusion of territorial titling with COFOPRI”. This is untrue, since titling has never started, but rather, both entities oppose to titling, saying that they have no funds, while they in fact promote parcelization and division of titles;

    Moreover, INDEPA is an entity that has shown its marginalization in the State, being subject to continuous reorganizing, and once more merged in the new Ministry of Culture, thereby diminishing its relevance, having originally been established within PCM. For this reason, we believe that these “reorganizations” reflect a State strategy to have a weak entity in charge of indigenous rights;

  5. In pages 12 and 13, there is reference to indigenous organizations, that “participate to discuss and propose”. This is just declarative, because AIDESEP has advanced many proposals in meetings in Lima and Tarapoto, San Ramon and Cusco, as well as in writing and none of these has been taken into account. For this reason, we believe that our participation has been “ornamental” and seemingly even used to “sell” abroad what the State does no deliver home;
  6. In page 13, there is only reference to laws under discussion that will support REDD, such as the forestry law, or the law on prior consultation, but no explanation is given that the former does not prioritize autonomous management of indigenous forests, while in the latter the Executive envisages a law of prior consultation that is below the minimum requirements of the Convention ILO 169 , and hence anti-constitutional;
  7. Among the main issues under analysis in the REDD strategy (page15), including concrete projects (p. 54) AIDESEP proposals are ignored, especially as regards unresolved regularization of land titling, the definition that plantations are not forests, indigenous land management and others. Hence the functions attributed to the Grupo de Trabajo REDD (GTREDD) (page18) are only declaratory and there is no political will to support effective democratic participation;
  8. Page 20 mentions AIDESEP’s contribution and participation, but this will have to be clarified since while we have indeed taken part, NONE of our key proposals has been taken into account – notably pending regularization of titling of land, (new communities, enlargements, communal and territorial reserves) – and hence we can conclude that our participation was “ornamental”. Furthermore, no mention is made of the fact that AIDESEP has taken a position on REDD, and that at least this should be mentioned in the document. The failure to do so is another form of antidemocratic management of the process;
  9. References to the outcome of the National Coordination Group of the working groups (page 21) are misleadingly generic, since the reality is that the government had no political or technical interest in approving and then implementing the outcomes, in particular as regards the forestry law, and the law on prior consultation, where criteria being imposed are against indigenous peoples and run counter to ILO 169;
  10. As far as prior consultation is concerned ( p. 23-25, 65) – again – only generic information are provided and are misleadingly limited to inform about the approval of a law, while ILO169 has been in force for the last 15 years. No reference is made to the fact that the law currently under discussion in the Congress of the Republic, is a STEP BACKWARDS from what had been agreed upon last May 19th, since it limits consultation to areas with property titles, to those indigenous peoples that are directly affected (and not those that are indirectly affected), and the elimination of the conditions listed in article 7 of ILO 169, and to the imposition of what the State wants if no agreement is met. The framework of rights as envisaged in page 24, does not include our proposal related to “the right to be prioritized, to decide and control strategies of self-development” as per art. 7 of ILO 169, as well as art. 23 of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP);
  11. As far as consultation with indigenous peoples is concerned, (pages 25-26) there are various paragraphs and even a graph of the levels of indigenous organizations, that are only meant to impress the reader and resemble a democratic process. These are only descriptions of what “should” be done in the future, for the procedure (consultation) – but what would it be for , if in the content we still experience the same marginalization and inequality of rights? If what is being proposed now (pending regularization of land titling and others) is not taken into account, what can we expect next? We do not expect good language and texts, but rather acts and a concrete and transparent political will in the execution of the R-PP;
  12. As far as land tenure and overlapping of indigenous property titles with concessions are concerned (page 34), these are still not addressed, in spite of the fact that these are key issues. In spite of the repeated appeals by AIDESEP, the competent public authorities are ignoring as many as 300 communities that have ancestral titles and therefore should be taken into consideration. These communities’ property titles have been denied and the same happened to the broadening of titling and territories of almost 500 communities due to the fact that these had been titled more than 30 years ago, and that there is resource scarcity due to population growth. Studies and proposals that have been produced to create communal and territorial reserves (for peoples in isolation) are “decaying” in the Ministry’s shelves. ALL THESE AREAS ARE FORESTS, where conflicts may arise with REDD contracts, and therefore it is worth noting that this issue is not taken into due account in the R-PP
  13. We do not agree with the declaration of acceptance by the Peruvian state (p. 29) to the dictatorial dispositions of the United States, China and other countries, as contained in the erroneously denominated “Copenhagen Accord” where REDD for instance seems to be disconnected from the rights as envisaged in ILO169. An acceptance conditioned to money for bureaucratic programs without participation nor benefit for indigenous peoples;
  14. The project “Conservation of communal forests” (page 56) that is being proposed for Satipo (Quillabamba) will just give a sedative to an area striken by cancer, because there is no concrete technical proposal, nor are mechanisms envisaged to solve the problems that are affecting that area and its natural resources. These communities have been put in areas or 100-200 hectares that are quite exploited, and rather than respecting their right to territorial enlargement, this project denies it, and concentrates on actions to reclaim those forests, something that is important but not crucial, nor would it prevent the serious threat of extinction of these peoples;
  15. We do not accept that the fundamental issue is being ignored and that no money is allocated for the pending regularization of titling of land, and this is referred to only as a “critical problem” (page 71) with the attempt of confusing or substituting this with a project for “communal forest conservation” for which no budget is envisaged, while on the contrary as many as 40 million USD are allocated to regional governments for “forest conservation”. Nevertheless, the budgets for other projects are well detailed: 1,252,500 USD for studies, (table 2b, Strategies), consultations on zoning, “improvement” of State bureaucracy, strategy design (page 60); more than 250,000 USD for additional studies and provide market guarantees for REDD (table 2c, “implementation frame work”), (page 68); more than 250,000 USD for additional environmental and social impact studies (Table 2d, page 74); more than 1,600,500 USD to develop the implementation of REDD in Madre de Dios and San Martin, where no mention is made of indigenous communities (Table 3a reference scenario, page 81); more than 3,414,000 USD for the monitoring system (page 88) more than 10,023,000 for monitoring and indicators of other environmental benefits. Mr. Minister please stop with this waste without tackling the priority issues that Amazonian indigenous peoples coordinated by AIDESEP have identified in the letters sent to your office!
  16. As far as relevant legislation is concerned, (page 63) the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples is excluded , and this has to be corrected and thereby UNDRIP has to be included since the Peruvian State voted in favour of such Declaration, beyond being the Declaration part of international human rights norms;
  17. Among the “doubts” related to REDD (page 66) only reference is made to lack of economic and market incentives, and no mention is made to the conflict triggered by the Government’s decision to approve law decrees analyzed in the Mesa (Table) 2 that aim at approving a law on consultation that does not respect the minimum prerequisites of ILO 169, is against indigenous peoples, and that does not envisage a requirement for consultation with indigenous peoples for forest areas (from their alienation to use) and “indirect effects” of any project (art. 7 ILO 169);
  18. The supposed indigenous participation is envisaged “before” funds are disbursed, because as regards their management within the REDD institutional frame work (page 95), there is a allocation of responsibilities among officials of MINAM, MINAG, DGFFS, SERNAN, etc. No reference is made of indigenous organizations, not even in declaratory terms;
  19. Again, “prior consultation” is misinterpreted as being the same of “information workshops”. For instance the section in page 142 titled Consultation plan refers only to information workshops in accordance with the decision of the Constitutional Court;
  20. AIDESEP and CONAP proposals (page 146) are proposals originating from the Amazonian indigenous bloc. Nevertheless, they are mentioned in a very generic manner, like in the case of “regularization of land titling” that is hinted to as a “problem” , “challenge”, “what they ask for” etc. and downplayed throughout the whole document. Additional information was not included in the document, such as:
  • prior information on conflicts generated by REDD in the world
  • no consideration of plantations since these are not forests
  • no acceptance of the destructive and immoral legitimation of “continuing to emit toxic substances” and paying for dumping sites elsewhere in the world
  • include clauses giving overriding force to ILO169 and the UNDRIP among others in REDD policies, strategies and possible contracts.

Looking forward to your reply, I remain

Yours sincerely

Segundo Alberto Pizango Chota
President
AIDESEP

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