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Indigenous Peoples Condemn Climate Talks Fiasco and Demand Moratoria on REDD+

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“The UN climate negotiation is not about saving the climate, it is about privatization of forests, agriculture and the air,” Berenice Sanchez of the Mesoamerica Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network says in a press release earlier this week.

The press release came from The Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities against REDD+ and for Life, that was formed in Durban during the UN climate negotiations, COP17. It’s interesting because the Alliance includes indigenous peoples from both North and South. The press release expresses concern about the melting sea ice of the Inupiat, Yupik and Inuit in the Arctic as well as the fate of the world’s rainforests. The press release is also available in Spanish, below.

Indigenous Peoples Condemn Climate Talks Fiasco and Demand Moratoria on REDD+

 
Contact: Tom Goldtooth
 
December 14, 2011 – Indigenous leaders returning from Durban, South Africa condemn the fiasco of the United Nations climate change talks and demand a moratorium on a forest carbon offset scheme called REDD+ which they say threatens the future of humanity and Indigenous Peoples’ very survival. During the UN climate negotiations, a Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities against REDD+ and for Life was formed to bring attention to the lack of full recognition of Indigenous rights being problematic in the texts of the UN climate negotiations.
 
“It was very disappointing that our efforts to strengthen the vague Indigenous rights REDD safeguards from the Cancun Agreements evaporated as the Durban UN negotiations went on. It is clear that the focus was not on strong, binding commitments on Indigenous rights and safeguards, nor limiting emissions, but on creating a framework for financing and carbon markets, which they did. Now Indigenous Peoples’ forests may really be up for grabs,” says Alberto Saldamando, legal counsel participating in the Indigenous Environmental Network delegation.
 
Berenice Sanchez of the Mesoamerica Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network says, “Instead of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80% like we need, the UN is promoting false solutions to climate change like carbon trading and offsets, through the Clean Development Mechanism and the proposed REDD+ which provide polluters with permits to pollute. The UN climate negotiation is not about saving the climate, it is about privatization of forests, agriculture and the air.”
 
Tom Goldtooth, Director of Indigenous Environmental Network based in Minnesota, USA does not mince words. “By refusing to take immediate binding action to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions, industrialized countries like the United States and Canada are essentially incinerating Africa and drowning the small island states of the Pacific. The sea ice of the Inupiat, Yupik and Inuit of the Arctic is melting right before their eyes, creating a forced choice to adapt or perish. This constitutes climate racism, ecocide and genocide of an unprecedented scale.”
 
Of particular concern for indigenous peoples is a forest offset scheme known as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Hyped as a way of saving the climate and paying communities to take care of forests as sponges for Northern pollution, REDD+ is rife with fundamental flaws that make it little more than a green mask for more pollution and the expansion of monoculture tree plantations. The Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities against REDD+ and for Life, formed at the Durban UN climate negotiations, call for an immediate moratorium on REDD+-type projects because they fear that REDD+ could result in “the biggest land grab of all time,” thus threatening the very survival of indigenous peoples and local communities.
 
“At Durban, CDM and REDD carbon and emission offset regimes were prioritized, not emission reductions. All I saw was the UN, World Bank, industrialized countries and private investors marketing solutions to market pollution. This is unacceptable. The solutions for climate change must not be placed in the hands of financiers and corporate polluters. I fear that local communities could increasingly become the victims of carbon cowboys, without adequate and binding mechanisms to ensure that the rights of indigenous peoples and local forested and agricultural communities are respected,” Goldtooth added.
 
“We call for an immediate moratorium on REDD+-type policies and projects because REDD is a monster that is already violating our rights and destroying our forests,” Monica González of the Kukapa People and Head of Indigenous Issues of the Mexican human rights organization Comision Ciudadana de Derechos Humanos del Noreste.
 
The President of the Ogiek Council of Elders of the Mau Forest of Kenya, Joseph K. Towett, said “We support the moratorium because anything that hurts our cousins, hurts us all.”
 
“We will not allow our sacred Amazon rainforest to be turned into a carbon dump. REDD is a hypocrisy that does not stop global warming,” said Marlon Santi, leader of the Kichwa community of Sarayaku, Ecuador and long time participant of UN and climate change meetings.
 
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NO REDD Resources http://noredd.makenoise.org/

 

Pueblos Indígenas condenan el fiasco de las conversaciones sobre el clima y demandan una Moratoria para REDD +

 
14 de diciembre 2011
 
A su regreso de Durban, África del Sur, distinguidos líderes indígenas del mundo condenan el fracaso de las conversaciones de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático y demandan una moratoria al esquema de compensación de carbono llamado REDD+, afirman que este amenaza el futuro de la humanidad y la supervivencia de los pueblos indígenas. Durante las negociaciones, una Alianza Global de los Pueblos Indígenas y comunidades locales en contra de REDD + y por la Vida se creó para llamar la atención ante la falta del reconocimiento pleno de los derechos indígenas en los textos de las negociaciones oficiales sobre cambio climático de la ONU.
 
“Fue muy decepcionante que nuestros esfuerzos para fortalecer de los derechos indígenas a través de las vagas salvaguardas de REDD en los Acuerdos de Cancún se evaporaron también durante las negociaciones de la ONU en Durban. Está claro que el enfoque de estas reuniones no está en los compromisos fuertes y vinculantes para los derechos indígenas y las salvaguardas de estos, ni tampoco en limitar las emisiones; y mas bien lo que hicieron fue concentrarse en la creación de un marco para los mercados de de carbono y su financiamiento. Los bosques de los pueblos indígenas ahora “pueden estar realmente en riesgo”, dice Alberto Saldamando, abogado que participó en la delegación de la Red Ambiental Indígena.
 
Berenice Sánchez de la Red de Mujeres Indígenas sobre Biodiversidad, de Mesoamérica dice: “En lugar de reducir las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero en un 80% como lo necesitamos, la ONU está promoviendo falsas soluciones al cambio climático, como el comercio de carbono y las compensaciones, a través del Mecanismo de Desarrollo Limpio y el REDD + que no son más que propuestas que proporcionan permisos para continuar con la contaminación. Las negociación sobre el clima en la ONU no tratan de salvar el clima, sino que tratan sobre la privatización de los bosques, la agricultura y el aire”.
 
Tom Goldtooth, Director de la Red Ambiental Indígena con sede en Minnesota, EE.UU. no tiene pelos en la lengua. “Al negarse a tomar medidas inmediatas de reducir la concentración de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero, los países industrializados como Estados Unidos y Canadá, se convierten en los incineradores de África y responsables por ahogar a los pequeños Estados insulares del Pacífico. El hielo marino, sustento de los pueblos Inupiat, Yupik e Inuit en el Ártico se está derritiendo ante sus ojos, creando una acción forzada, la de adaptarse o perecer. Esto constituye un racismo climático, ecocidio y genocidio de una escala sin precedentes “.
 
De particular preocupación para los pueblos indígenas es el esquema de compensación forestal conocida como REDD + (Reducción de Emisiones por Deforestación y Degradación Forestal). Promocionada como una manera de salvar el clima y el pago a las comunidades para cuidar los bosques como esponjas para la contaminación de los países del Norte, REDD + está plagado de errores fundamentales que hacen que sea poco más que una máscara verde de más contaminación y la expansión de los monocultivos de árboles. La Alianza Mundial de los Pueblos Indígenas y Comunidades Locales en contra de REDD + y por la Vida, formada durante las negociaciones sobre el clima de la ONU en Durban, hacen un llamado a una moratoria inmediata sobre proyectos tipo REDD + porque temen que puede resultar en “la usurpación de tierra más grande de todos los tiempos” lo que amenaza la supervivencia misma de los pueblos indígenas y comunidades locales.
 
“En Durban, los MDL, REDD y los regímenes de compensación por de emisiones de carbono fueron priorizados, mas no las reducciones de emisiones. Todo lo que vi en la cumbre de la ONU, fue al Banco Mundial, los países industrializados y soluciones de marketing de los inversores privados, trabajando para lograr un mercado de la contaminación. Esto es inaceptable! Las soluciones para el cambio climático no deben ser puestas en manos de las entidades financieras y de las corporaciones que contaminan. Me temo que las comunidades locales cada vez más podrían convertirse en las víctimas de los vaqueros de carbono, sin que existan mecanismos adecuados y vinculantes para garantizar que los derechos de los pueblos indígenas y las comunidades forestales y agrícolas sean respetados “, añadió Goldtooth.
 
“Hacemos un llamado para una moratoria inmediata sobre las políticas y proyectos REDD +, porque REDD es un monstruo que ya está violando nuestros derechos y destruyendo nuestros bosques”, dijo Mónica González, del peublo Kukapa y Jefe de Asuntos Indígenas de la Comision Ciudadana de Derechos Humanos del Noreste de México. El Presidente del Consejo de Ancianos Ogiek del Bosque Mau de Kenia, Joseph K. Towett, dijo: “Apoyamos la moratoria porque cualquier cosa que perjudica a nuestros primos, nos duele a todos.”
 
“No vamos a permitir que nuestra sagrada selva amazónica se convierta en un basurero de carbono. REDD es una hipocresía que no detiene el calentamiento global “, dijo Marlon Santi, líder de la comunidad Kichwa de Sarayaku, en Ecuador y participante con larga trayectoria en las las reuniones sobre el cambio climático de las Naciones Unidas.

 

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  1. THERE are many places where REDD or IFM is working, helping local communities and protecting forests..there is no doubt that safeguards are required through the certification schemes but carbon markets and the p[rivate sector can, and are making a difference…every region, forest type and land use system is different. Before you rant to much about the negative, maybe you should also look at the positive and produce a more balanced article.

  2. @Marc Baker (#1) – Thanks for this comment. Whether or not there are “many places where REDD or IFM is working” doesn’t change the fact that some indigenous people who were in Durban put out a press release demanding a moratorium on REDD. This isn’t an article, it’s a press release. Hint: I mentioned the words “press release” three times in the introductory two paragraphs.

    Having said that, REDD-Monitor would be interested in hearing more about your company’s work in Tanzania (carbontanzania.com). In particular, please explain how you think that selling carbon offsets from forestry project can address climate change, given that the purchasers of the carbon credits use the credits to continue polluting and therefore delay structural changes to less polluting operations. Would you be interested in doing an interview with REDD-Monitor?

  3. Ha this is a nice one, iam of the opinion that the REDD PLUS scheme is a better way of keeping and sustainably managing these forsts that have indigenious peoples as compared to the status quo im most of these African countries where i come from. The indigenious peoples need to sit and listen to the other side of REDD PLUS before they villify it,

    Actually it may turn out to be the better option to any other imagined method of forest management. it is also not true that REDD PLUS will result in monocultures, far from it a mixed and especially indigeniuos forests soak more carbon and store it as compared to the monocultures (another dates debate.

    Meanwhile the polluters pay principle is at best in REDD PLUS.

  4. @Nils Herman Ranum (#4) – Thanks for this. I have seen the IP caucus press release – it’s posted here: http://bit.ly/v4DTLy (as a comment to another post on R-M about REDD in Durban). But when I posted the press release above, I hadn’t seen the IP caucus press release… I should perhaps do a separate post of the IP caucus press release.