Four reactions to Cancun: Via Campesina, Bolivia, Friends of the Earth International and Indigenous Environmental Network

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Four reactions to Cancun: Via Campesina, Bolivia, Friends of the Earth International and Indigenous Environmental Network

At the end of the two week-long UN climate change negotiations in Cancun, the Conference of the Parties adopted the Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (pdf file, (351 kB), which includes (among other things) an outline agreement on REDD.

There have been many reactions, ranging from enthusiastic support to complete rejection. REDD-Monitor tends towards the complete rejection end of the spectrum: The deal agreed in Cancun is pathetically weak on emission reduction targets. The REDD part of the deal is pathetically weak on the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities living in and near forests and it includes carbon trading as the way of financing REDD. Could it have been worse?

REDD-Monitor hopes to post detailed analysis of the REDD text in the coming weeks. Meanwhile here are four press releases Cancun, from Via Campesina (released before the end of the meeting, but providing an explanation of why Via Campesina was protesting in Cancun), Bolivia, Friends of the Earth International and the Indigenous Environmental Network. Thanks to Ian Angus at Climate and Capitalism for collecting these press releases.


Cancún: No agreement is better than a bad agreement!

December 9 statement by La Via Campesina: We call on humanity to act immediately to rebuild the life of all of nature, applying the concept of “life in balance.”

Members of La Vía Campesina from more than thirty countries from all over the world united our thousands of struggles in Cancun to demand environmental and social justice, and respect for Mother Earth at the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 16). We joined together to denounce the attempts of governments, mainly from the North, to commercialize the essential elements of life in benefit of transnational corporations and to publicize the thousands of grassroots solutions to cool the planet and stop the environmental devastation that seriously threatens humanity today.

Working mostly out of our base at the Alternative Global Forum for Life, Environmental and Social Justice, we held workshops, assemblies, and meetings with allies. On December 7 we staged a global action that we called “Thousands of Cancuns”. The events this day had an impact across the planet and even into the halls of the Moon Palace where delegates to the COP 16 meet. Actions included a march of thousands of members of La Via Campesina accompanied by indigenous Mayans from the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan and our allies from national and international organizations.

Mobilization to Cancun began November 28 with three caravans that left from San Luis Potosi, Guadalajara and Acapulco and traveled through places that exemplify environmental destruction, as well as local resistance of affected communities. The organization of the caravans was carried out along with the National Assembly of Environmentally Affected Peoples, the Movement for National Liberation, the Mexican Electricians Union (SME) and the hundreds of villages and people who opened their doors with generosity and solidarity. On November 30 the caravans arrived in Mexico City, where we held an International Forum and march accompanied by thousands of people and hundreds of organizations that also struggle for environmental and social justice.

On our journey to Cancun, other caravans—one from Chiapas, one from Oaxaca and one from Guatemala—joined us after many hours of traveling. We met up in Merida to hold a ceremony at Chichen Itza and finally arrived in Cancun on December 3 to set up our camp for Life and Environmental and Social Justice. The next day, Dec. 4, we inaugurated our Forum and began activities in Cancun.

Why did we go to Cancun?

Current models of consumption, production and trade have caused massive environmental destruction. Indigenous peoples and peasant farmers, men and women, are the main victims. So our mobilization to Cancun, and in Cancun, sought to tell the world that we need a change in economic and development paradigms.

We must go beyond the anthropocentric model. We must rebuild the cosmovision of our peoples, based on a holistic view of the relationship between the cosmos, Mother Earth, the air, the water and all living beings. Human beings do not own nature, but rather form part of all that lives.

Given the urgency to reconceive the system, the climate and the earth, we denounce:

  1. That governments remain indifferent to global warming and instead of debating the policy changes necessary for cooling the planet, they are debating speculative financial schemes, new “green” economies and the privatization of the commons.
  2. False and dangerous solutions that the neoliberal system implements like the REDD+ initiative (Reduction of Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation), the CDM (Clean Development Mechanisms), and geoengineering. These promote the commercialization of natural resources, and the purchase of permits to pollute, or “carbon credits”, with the promise of not cutting down forests and plantations of the South.
  3. The imposition of industrial agriculture through the implementation of genetically modified products and landgrabs that go against food sovereignty.
  4. Nuclear energy, which is very dangerous and in no way a real solution.
  5. The efforts of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization to facilitate the entry of huge transnational corporations in our countries.
  6. The impacts of Free Trade Agreements with the United States and the European Union– trade and investment treaties that open the doors of our countries to transnational companies to take control of our natural resources.
  7. The exclusion of peasant and indigenous peoples in discussions on key issues that affect human life and the Mother Earth.
  8. The expulsion of members of our organizations from the official talks of the COP 16 due to their opposition to government proposals that promote a system of depredation that threatens to exterminate the Mother Earth and humanity.

We do not agree with the simple idea of “mitigating” or “adapting” to climate change. We need social, ecological and climate justice, so we demand:

  1. Incorporation of the principles of the Cochabamba Accords of April 22, 2010 as a process that leads to real reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases and achieves social and environmental justice.
  2. Food sovereignty based on sustainable and agroecological peasant agriculture, given that the food crisis and the climate crisis are the same and both are consequences of the capitalist system.
  3. Changes in life-styles and destructive relations with the environment.

La Vía Campesina, as an organization that represents millions and millions of small farmer families in the world, is concerned about the need to recover climatic equilibrium. Therefore we call for:

  1. Assuming collective responsibility for Mother Earth, changing patterns of development and economic structures, and breaking down the power of transnational companies
  2. Recognizing governments like Bolivia, Tuvalu and others that have had the courage to resist the imposition of governments of the North and transnational corporations. We call on other governments to join the people’s resistance against climate crisis.
  3. Reaching binding agreements that force all those who pollute the environment to be accountable for the disasters they cause and the crimes they have committed against mother nature. Likewise, require a reduction of carbon gases at the source–polluters should stop polluting.
  4. Alert the social movements of the world about what is happening on the planet to defend life and Mother Earth, because we are defining the model for future generations.
  5. Grassroots action and mobilization of urban and peasant farm organizations, innovation and the recuperation of ancestral ways of life to save our Mother Earth from attacks by big capital and bad governments. This is our historic responsibility.
  6. Policies to protect biodiversity, food sovereignty, water management and administration based on experience and the full participation of the communities themselves.
  7. A worldwide consultation with people to decide the policies and global actions needed to defend against climate crisis.

Today, right now, we call on humanity to act immediately to rebuild the life of all of nature, applying the concept of “life in balance.”

This is why, from the four corners of the planet, we stand up to say:

    No more harm to our Mother Earth! No more destruction of the planet! No more evictions from our territories! No more murder of the sons and daughters of the Mother Earth! No more criminalization of our struggles!

    No to the Copenhagen agreement. Yes to the principles of Cochabamba.

    ¡REDD NO! ¡Cochabamba SI!

    The earth is not for sale, it must be recovered and defended!

    GLOBALIZE THE STRUGGLE, GLOBALIZE HOPE


Bolivia: Cancun deal is hollow and false;
Its cost will be measured in human lives

Statement issued by the Plurinational State of Bolivia, December 11, 2010

The Plurinational State of Bolivia believes that the Cancun text is a hollow and false victory that was imposed without consensus, and its cost will be measured in human lives. History will judge harshly.

There is only one way to measure the success of a climate agreement, and that is based on whether or not it will effectively reduce emissions to prevent runaway climate change. This text clearly fails, as it could allow global temperatures to increase by more than 4 degrees, a level disastrous for humanity.

Recent scientific reports show that 300,000 people already die each year from climate change-related disasters. This text threatens to increase the number of deaths annually to one million. This is something we can never accept.

Last year, everyone recognized that Copenhagen was a failure both in process and substance. Yet this year, a deliberate campaign to lower expectations and desperation for any agreement has led to one that in substance is little more than Copenhagen II.

A so-called victory for multilateralism is really a victory for the rich nations who bullied and cajoled other nations into accepting a deal on their terms. The richest nations offered us nothing new in terms of emission reductions or financing, and instead sought at every stage to backtrack on existing commitments, and include every loophole possible to reduce their obligation to act.

While developing nations – those that face the worst consequences of climate change – pleaded for ambition, we were instead offered the “realism” of empty gestures. Proposals by powerful countries like the US were sacrosanct, while ours were disposable.

Compromise was always at the expense of the victims, rather than the culprits of climate change.

When Bolivia said we did not agree with the text in the final hours of talks, we were overruled. An accord where only the powerful win is not a negotiation, it is an imposition.

Bolivia came to Cancun with concrete proposals that we believed would bring hope for the future. These proposals were agreed by 35,000 people in an historic World People’s Conference Cochabamba in April 2010. They seek just solutions to the climate crisis and address its root causes. In the year since Copenhagen, they were integrated into the negotiating text of the parties, and yet the Cancun text systematically excludes these voices.

Bolivia cannot be convinced to abandon its principles or those of the peoples we represent. We will continue to struggle alongside affected communities worldwide until climate justice is achieved.

Bolivia has participated in these negotiations in good faith and the hope that we could achieve an effective climate deal. We were prepared to compromise on many things, except the lives of our people. Sadly, that is what the world’s richest nations expect us to do.

Countries may try to isolate us for our position, but we come here in representation of the peoples and social movements who want real and effective action to protect the future of humanity and Mother Earth. We feel their support as our guide.

History will be the judge of what has happened in Cancun.


Friends of the Earth: Cancun Deal Merely Prevents Collapse; Leaves Kyoto on Life Support

11 December 2010

Statement by Friends of the Earth International: “The agreement reached here is wholly inadequate and could lead to catastrophic climate change.”

The agreement adopted at the UN climate talks in Cancun has failed to make progress on the most essential part: steep, binding emissions cuts for developed countries. Friends of the Earth International warns that this agreement provides a platform for abandoning the Kyoto Protocol, replacing it with a weak pledge and review system as a legacy of the Copenhagen Accord, that would lead to a devastating five degree Celsius warming.

Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International said:

    “The agreement reached here is wholly inadequate and could lead to catastrophic climate change. The rich countries that are primarily responsible for climate change, lead by the US, with Russia and Japan, are to blame for the lack of desperately needed greater ambition. This is a slap in the face of those who already suffer from climate change. But in the end all of us will be affected by the lack of ambition and political will of a small group of countries”

To prevent catastrophic climate change, an agreement is needed that includes science-based, aggregate targets for developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol, whereby rich countries reduce emissions by at least 40 percent with no role for carbon markets, offsets and loopholes. Carbon markets are not the solution for climate change but just a means for rich countries to continue business as usual.

Despite the lack of advancement on key issues, some progress has been made in other areas. The establishment of a Global Climate Fund is a step forward to build on. The 100 billion dollars put on the table for this fund, however, is not commensurate with equity and need. Rich countries must live up to their obligations to provide sufficient public funds to developing countries so they can grow cleanly and adept to the impacts of climate change they already suffer from. Progress has also been achieved in adaptation to help poor countries address the impacts of climate change. The World Bank having a role in climate finance is not acceptable.

Lucia Ortiz of Friends of the Earth Brazil said:

    “Mechanisms to stop deforestation are not supposed to allow rich countries to continue emitting carbon. Forests are not just stocks of carbon and they should not be commercialized. Money to protect forests must come from the developed countries.”

Nnimmo Bassey said:

    “The UN remains key to humanity’s collective response to this crisis and we see that the multilateral process is moving forward. However, the UN is only as strong as the countries that compose it.

    “We could not achieve the progress that is needed in Cancun because the rich countries that are primarily responsible for climate pollution have prevented it. Rich countries tried to assassinate the Kyoto Protocol and it is now on life support, we have to redouble our efforts in the coming year to revive it.”

Lucia Ortiz of Friends of the Earth Brazil, said:

    “We applaud the principled and courageous position of Bolivia, which has consistently called for and worked for ambitious action. Bolivia came here with a mandate from the Cochabamba agreement and listened to the thousands of people in Cancun.

    “All over the world people are taking to the streets and demanding real solutions to the climate crisis. The movement is growing, as we have seen here in Cancun, and Friends of the Earth International will continue to pressure governments to reach a global agreement the world needs, next year in Durban.”


Cancún Betrayal: UNFCCC Unmasked as WTO of the Sky
Real Solutions to the Climate Crisis Will Come From Grassroots Movements

11 December 2010

Statement by the Indigenous Environmental Network: “Mass-based movement building is our only hope to overturn the climate apartheid we now face.”

As representatives of Indigenous peoples and communities already suffering the immediate impacts of climate change, we express our outrage and disgust at the agreements that have emerged from the COP16 talks. As was exposed in the Wikileaks climate scandal, the Cancun Agreements are not the result of an informed and open consensus process, but the consequence of an ongoing US diplomatic offensive of backroom deals, arm-twisting and bribery that targeted nations in opposition to the Copenhagen Accord during the months leading up to the COP-16 talks.

We are not fooled by this diplomatic shell game. The Cancun Agreements have no substance. They are yet more hot air. Their only substance is to promote continued talks about climate mitigation strategies motivated by profit.

Such strategies have already proved fruitless and have been shown to violate human and Indigenous rights. The agreements implictly promote carbon markets, offsets, unproven technologies, and land grabs—anything but a commitment to real emissions reductions.

The Voices of the People Must be Respected

Indigenous Peoples from North to South cannot afford these unjust and false ‘solutions’, because climate change is killing our peoples, cultures and ecosystems. We need real commitments to reduce emissions at the source and to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Because we are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change, we came to COP-16 with an urgent call to address the root causes of the climate crisis, to demand respect for the Rights of Mother Earth, and to fundamentally redefine industrial society’s relationship with the planet.

Instead, the Climate COP has shut the doors on our participation and that of other impacted communities, while welcoming business, industry, and speculators with open arms.

The U.S., Industrialized nations, big business and unethical companies like Goldman Sachs will profit handsomely from these agreements while our people die.

Women and youth in our communities are disproportionately burdened by climate impacts and rights violations. Real solutions would strengthen our collective rights and land rights while ensuring the protection of women, youth and vulnerable communities.

While the Cancun Agreements do contain some language “noting” rights, it is exclusively in the context of market mechanisms, while failing to guarantee safeguards for the rights of peoples and communities.

The failures of the UN talks in Copenhagen have been compounded in Cancun. From the opening day to the closing moments of the talks, our voices were censored, dissenting opinions silenced and dozens ejected from the conference grounds.

The thousands who rallied outside to reject market mechanisms and demand recognition of human and Indigenous rights were ignored.

The Market Will Not Protect Our Rights

Market-based approaches have failed to stop climate change. They are designed to commodify and profit from the last remaining elements of our Mother Earth and the air.

Through its focus on market approaches like carbon trading, the UNFCCC has become the WTO of the Sky.

We are deeply concerned that the Cancun Agreements betray both our future and the rights of peoples, women, youth, and vulnerable populations.

While the preamble to the Cancun Agreements note a call for “studies on human rights and climate change,” this is in effect an empty reference, with no content and no standards, that will not protect the collective rights of peoples.

The market mechanisms that implicitly dominate both the spirit and the letter of the Cancun Agreements will neither avert climate change nor guarantee human rights, much less the Rights of Mother Earth.

Approaches based on carbon offsetting, like REDD, will permit polluters to continue poisoning land, water, air, and our bodies, while doing nothing to stop the climate crisis. Indeed, approaches based on the commodification of biodiversity, CO2, forests, water, and other sacred elements will only encourage the buying and selling of our human and environmental rights.

The Cochabamba People’s Agreement Points the Way Forward

There is another way forward: the Cochabamba People’s Agreement represents the vision of everyday people from all corners of the globe who are creating the solutions to climate change from the ground up, and calling for a global framework that respects human rights and the Rights of Mother Earth.

If any hope emerges from Cancun, it comes from the dramatic demonstrations we saw in the streets and from the deep and powerful alliances that were built among indigenous and social movements.

The Indigenous Environmental Network joined thousands of our brothers and sisters to demand real climate solutions based in the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the rights of Mother Earth, and a just transition away from fossil fuels. We will continue to stand with our allies to demand climate justice.

The communities on the frontlines of the problem––those who face the daily impacts of the climate crisis––are also on the frontlines of the solutions. Community-based solutions can cool the planet!

The fight for climate justice continues. We are committed to deepening our alliances with indigenous and social movements around the world as we build in our communities and mobilize toward COP-17 in Durban, South Africa.

Social movements in South Africa mobilized the world to overthrow Apartheid and create powerful, transformative change.

The same mass-based movement building is our only hope to overturn the climate apartheid we now face. We look forward to working with our African brothers and sisters and tribal communities in Durban.

We only have one Mother Earth. As Indigenous Peoples, we will continue our struggle to defend all our Relations and future generations.

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21 Comments

  1. Que dicen Accra Caucus e el Caucus Indigena?

  2. I am so happy that the Bolvian President is so truthful…
    he is so loved by his people because he listens to them , could the same be said with most other coutries leaders?
    Evo Morales Ayma is the true champion of the planet he is a ” BREATH OF FRESH AIR” ..for simply understanding his country and the planets enviroment and being staunch enough to stand up and say so.

  3. Dear our leaders,
    Saving our planet is in your hands. This will be partly achieved through protecting our remenant forests and supporting the poor people living in and around the forests who are strugling to survive by clearing forests to grow annual crops.

    PLEASE REACT TO THIS ISSUE!!!!!!!!!!

  4. What’s the text reference to the decision that carbon trading as the way of financing REDD?
    Cheers

  5. What a diversity of reactions.

  6. @Holly – You are right that there is no specific text in the agreement saying that REDD must be financed by carbon trading. The problem is that there is no text excluding carbon trading and many of the key actors are developing REDD as a carbon trading mechanism. The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, for example, was set up with the explicit aim of creating markets for forest carbon – as the Bank announced in a press release on 11 December 2007:

    The facility’s ultimate goal is to jump-start a forest carbon market that tips the economic balance in favor of conserving forests, says Benoit Bosquet, a World Bank senior natural resources management specialist who has led the development of the facility.

    I’m not saying that all is lost and we should give up trying to prevent REDD being financed by carbon trading, just that without text excluding carbon trading, REDD is by default a carbon trading mechanism – because of the vested interests behind REDD. Chapter III section D (pages 13-14) includes “opportunities for using markets” but it isn’t clear (to me, at least) whether this is referring to REDD or not.

    As I mentioned, I’m going to post a more detailed response to the text soon.

  7. @Natalie – I’ve not seen a press release from the Accra Caucus reacting to Cancun. IIPFCC put out the following press release on 10 December 2010:

    Press Release – For Immediate Release

    International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC)

    Indigenous Groups Announce Grave Concern on Possible Cancun Outcome

    December 10, 2010 (Cancun) – As the 16th UN Climate Change Conference winds down, Indigenous Peoples in attendance from around the world announced their grave concern with the possible outcomes of the negotiations.

    “As Indigenous Peoples, we have been engaging in the climate negotiations for many years to express our great concern over the current and future impacts of changes in the climate on our peoples, our cultures and our rights. We are continuously saddened at the lack of political will and good faith to truly and effectively combat climate change with a legally binding agreement of states, which includes a second commitment-period of the Kyoto Protocol,” stated Joan Carling of the Philippines, on behalf of the IIPFCC.

    “As members of the IIPFCC, we’ve come here to offer a number of proposals, but we feel as if we have been ignored. Today, on the International Day of Human Rights, we want to reiterate our determination to ensure protection of our rights, as laid out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, our right to free, prior, and informed, consent, the recognition and protection of our traditional knowledge, and ensure the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in all climate change processes. These proposals are not fully incorporated in the text still being negotiated,” remarked Janeth Cuji of Ecuador.

    “We take note and acknowledge some of the achievements in terms of including mentions of Indigenous Peoples and our rights as well as human rights in the negotiating text, but it does not yet guarantee that our rights and traditional knowledge are protected. We welcome the support of many states to our proposals and we urge all parties to incorporate them in any outcomes from Cancun and beyond,” asserted Nanta Mpaayei of Kenya.

    “We remain concerned that the carbon market, including the Clean Development Mechanism, carbon offsets, and REDD+, represents a threat to Indigenous Peoples of the world and our rights. We reject the carbon market, which proposes to commercialize nature to the detriment of the world’s Indigenous Peoples and biodiversity. We demand a strong system of monitoring and compliance of states on safeguards related to REDD to ensure the protection of our rights,” noted Ben Powless, of Canada.

    “We continue to practice and offer our traditional knowledge and innovations as real solutions to climate change. We want to make clear that the protection of Mother Earth is the obligation of all of humanity. For that reason, we are committed to retain our role as stewards of Mother Earth, and all the ecosystems upon which our collective survival depends,” offered Sheena Watt, of Australia.

    The IIPFCC is the representative body of Indigenous Peoples participating in the UNFCCC.

  8. I’m curious how you want to archieve non-market based reductions (not only in forests but all over) without a massive overhaul of power & property distribution worldwide first.

    I’m not saying that we should not strive for a massive redistribution of power & property – but I’m doubtful that such efforts will be successful in time to stop the worst effects of climate change.

    So far I cannot see any concrete proposals how to stop Sinar Mas etc. based on “community based actions”. Neither on how to stop the coal fired power cooperations. Or the oil companies. Or the Meat companies. Or the military and solider coorporations.

    Sorry, but before giving up on market-based, profit oriented activities I need to see at least a concept of how to archieve transformations under the given distribution of power + a huge pool of disinterested consumers (and voters) who keep giving their money (and votes) to the polluters for meat, paper and power.

  9. @Tim Scholendorn – Thanks for this thoughtful comment. I agree that if we wait for a revolution (or the overthrow of capitalism, or whatever), the planet will probably fry first. That does not mean however that the current form of uncontrolled capitalism is not a major cause of the problem. So, it seems unlikely that creating a new commodity out of carbon, creating fancy new derivatives and swapping emissions reductions in one place for continued pollution in another is likely to improve matters very much in terms of addressing climate change. It is far more likely to create an extremely complex, fragile, non-transparent multi-billion dollar scheme that will allow business as usual to continue for as long as possible.

    I think that regulation of greenhouse gas emissions is needed. The Kyoto Protocol, for all its faults, at least includes legally binding emissions reduction targets. But at the same time the Kyoto Protocol introduced carbon trading as a way of meeting some of these emissions reductions. That probably wouldn’t matter too much if the cap – the proposed emissions reductions – were sufficiently ambitious.

    Currently, we do not have ambitious caps on emissions. To address climate change we need a serious reduction in burning fossil fuels.

    The other way of looking at this is that carbon markets will not function without ambitious caps on emissions. (See this post – and the comments following the post, for more on this theme.) I probably wouldn’t be so concerned about carbon markets if we had adequate caps (even though carbon trade creates a loophole in the cap is open to fraud, corruption and creative accounting and will not reduce emissions). Currently we have carbon trade without meaningful caps. That’s the worst possible situation.

  10. @Tim Schloendorn – I’m also very curious on how to achieve non-market based reductions in greenhouse emissions without a massive overhaul of power & property distribution worldwide first. I notice that the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change state that they “reject the carbon market, which proposes to commercialize nature to the detriment of the world’s Indigenous Peoples and biodiversity”. Unfortunately many indigenous peoples around the world have already placed a commercial value on their traditional forests. One example is New Guinea, where tribal people allow logging on their ancestral lands in exchange for token amounts of money from the logging companies. Unfortunately many of these people are in dire poverty and when a company offers even small amounts of money the people sign. This would not happen if these people had a more equitable share of the world’s ‘power and property’. In Sarawak (Malaysia) it is also common practice for the logging and palm oil companies to give payments to Headmen and villages in exchange for unhindered access to the surrounding forests. I recently saw a Penan blockade with a sign stating the logging company could get access if they paid RM60,000 (approximately US$20,000). Isn’t this already putting a commercial value on their forests? In my opinion a correctly planned and managed REDD scheme would be far better for both these people and the forests. Not only could it provide the much needed development money to raise these people out of poverty, it would also save their traditional forests from being first logged and then being converted to oil palm plantations.

  11. Here is FERN’s reaction to the Cancun REDD text:

    Questions remain about Cancun forests agreement

    In the early hours of 11 December 2010, after three years of negotiations, a global deal to protect forests was agreed as part of the Cancun Agreement at the UN climate summit in Mexico. The final text of the ‘REDD’ agreement asks countries receiving compensation for protecting their forests to provide information about how they are respecting the environmental and social safeguards which environmental groups and indigenous peoples organisations fought hard for in the text – though there is no agreement on how these reports will be made, or monitored and verified. Crucially there is also no agreement on the consequences of either not producing such reports, or producing reports which show unsatisfactory respect for the safeguards.

    On the critical question of how REDD will be financed, the agreement does not explicitly state where long term finance will come from, but requests governments to explore financing options before the climate talks in South Africa next year. There is a fundamental split between parties over whether to allow REDD finance to be generated through a carbon market, which would allow developed countries to buy forest carbon credits rather than reduce their carbon emissions at home. Many Parties prefer that the raising of monies for a fund not be left to market forces/carbon trading.

    FERN’s analysis is that it is not possible to accurately measure carbon fluxes in forests, but even if this were achievable, the REDD agreement has a potential loophole for sub-national accounting of emission reductions from deforestation. Observers fear that this could lead to an actual increase in deforestation if there are no requirements in place to account for ‘leakage’ – where deforestation moves within a country or from one country to another. Overall, without adequate and binding emission reduction targets by industrialised countries, a REDD agreement will do little to halt climate change, and could create harm if it allows developed countries to shift their emissions reductions obligations onto developing countries.

  12. @Tim Schloendorn and Brett Pritchard – In the cattle and palm oil sectors, good research and media exposure by a few imaginitive people (Greenpeace) on a small budget has had great leverage both on disinterested consumers and their brand-name suppliers.
    However, this needs to be sustained, broadened strategically (e.g. to achieve a domino effect) and the ratchet tightened (more rapipdly than the norm within FSC/GFTN membership).
    This simple but potent market mechanism can be effective – from Brussels to Brazilia, Bombay, Beijing and Batavia (Jakarta).

  13. One thing you have not mentioned is over population of people…..
    and how much do these people cost……
    and how much do these people admit…
    and how many more of these people will there be by say 2020….and what they will cost and admit then…
    We are breeding overweight useless people who are highly educated.
    Most dialogue is and has been a waste of time in these discussions..its very simple to set up military surveillance to protect Rain forests.
    The REDD efforts design should have been to improve already ruined enviroments and salinity areas of the planet.
    The REDD expences also should have been designed to address the global ‘hydrology’ problems on the plant.
    Salinity and hydrology demise , through out the worlds history has been the ruin and colapse of civilisations.

  14. Chris, can we take Ben Powless’ (Canada) statement on REDD as the official position of International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC)?

  15. @Tin – Thanks for the question. I don’t know whether what Ben Powless said in this press release is the IIPFCC’s “official position” or not. I’d suggest asking IIPFCC directly:

    http://www.international-alliance.org/contact_us.htm

  16. Chris, thanks.

    I understand that REDD-Monitor is officially against this scheme. Unfortunately, I have heard that some IP groups, or at least people who claim to represent them, are supportive of REDD. I think it’s fair to say that I have read considerable material on REDD, and having said that, cannot imagine why IPs would want to be part of such an insidious scheme that make scapegoats of them (and all those who fall for its rhetoric).

    So my question is, why you think some IP groups are for it? My sense is that they are misinformed, some (especially the people who claim to represent them) have turned collaborationists, or others just badly need the pittance they’d get from offset purchasers.

  17. Tin the simple reason is , they all think that a global REDD stratergey will give them a ‘job’ with their associated countries.
    And because REDD is a under a World Bank UNFCCC banner they think it will give them comfort and security.
    The people being preached(IP groups) have no idea of the real issues of lets say ‘ forest protection’its really not their concern , their concern is putting food on their own tables.
    The whole world monartary system has been a failure since Romans ruled and has grown worse in time.
    Since the World Bank G88 ideas and policies the world has deterioated socially , morally and economically.
    For examble take one ancient meaning of GOLD..GodObsessionLuciferDevil.. and this is the monatary placement foundation of the world.
    Why is AU worth $1400 per oz per sale and 1 acre(4000sq meters) of RAIN FOREST worth $320 per CARBON TRADE?
    These are the real issues swimming around in those WB World Carbon economists heads, and also mine.

  18. Don, who is “they” and “them”? The IPs/ their representatives?

    What you say about the “UNFCCC banner” could be true. Then again, those who know better know not to trust in a multilateral institution like the UN – especially not when the Chair of the UNPFII (Victoria Corpus, Philippines) seems to be espousing compromised positions on issues IPs and progressive organizations are against. I’m talking about REDD here.

  19. @Tin – Thanks for your question: “why you think some IP groups are for it [REDD]?” I can’t really answer that question. The answer should come from the indigenous groups themselves.

    I interviewed Victoria Tauli-Corpuz in Poznan in 2008: “Even at a conceptual stage indigenous peoples should be involved”: Interview with Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.”

    There’s also an interesting discussion after this post in April 2009: “Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on Indigenous Peoples and carbon trading.”

    And I did an interview with Abdon Nababan and Mina Setra from AMAN in Indonesia, shortly after Indonesia and Norway signed the billion dollar REDD deal: “We want to change this threat to an opportunity”: Interview with Abdon Nababan and Mina Setra.

  20. Tin , please follow the tune, dont sing out of key.

  21. Chris, thanks for the links! And yes, you are right. Answers should directly come from IPs themselves. I just assumed that you would have some insight on this given your organization’s extensive work on REDD. I’ve been e-mailing IP groups left and right in my vain effort to come up with a shortlist of IP groups/ networks for and against REDD.

    As far as the 2008 interview and the 2009 statement are concerned, and after having seen a short and recent interview of Corpus (2010 or during the Cancun period, even, if I’m not mistaken), I can tell that her position seems to have settled for support.

    I totally respect what she says (in the 2009 statement) about self-determination, but here is a caveat. The way by which the IPs come to understand REDD depends on who informs them, what kind of information is relayed, and how much is revealed. So if you have an NGO or a person who has clear sympathies for conservative/ conventional/ mainstream positions, the chances of having an IP community/ group supportive of the scheme increases. I do not know a lot about Corpus, but as far as I know, she’s made some very controversial positions. Your thoughts on this, Chris?

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