Tonya Frichner began her journey to Creator on February 14, 2015

February 16th, 2015 by EARTH PEOPLES
Tonya Frichner began her journey to Creator on February 14, 2015 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Tonya Frichner began her journey to Creator on February 14, 2015 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Ms. Gonnella Frichner, 67 of Union City, New Jersey began her journey to Creator on February 14, 2015 and is survived by her loving husband of 42 years, University Professor and Fashion Institute of Technology Herb Frichner, and their son Jason M. Frichner (Eva), Assistant Vice-President of Marketing for the Hanes Corporation. Ms. Gonnella Frichner is also survived by her sister Nannette Gonnella (Carol), brother Henry Gonnella, Jr., brother Michael Gonnella, brother Thomas Gonnella (Lucia), sister Jacquelyn Gonnella Thomas, brother Christopher Gonnella, her beloved nieces Betty Lyons (Tadodaho Sidney Hill), Maya Thomas; nephews David Tobian, Matthew Gonnella; and several nieces and nephews. Ms. Gonnella Frichner held dear to her heart the AILA staff that supported her work, Chief of Staff, Murrielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahanock Nations) and Research & Policy Adviser, Roger Drew.

Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Esq. Gowanahs, Snipe Clan name, a citizen of the Onondaga Nation, Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, Haudenosaunee. Ms. Gonnella Frichner, the eldest of eight children of Henry and Maxine Nolan Gonnella. A global indigenous leader and President and Founder of the American Indian Law Alliance (AILA), since 1989. AILA is a Non-Governmental Organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Ms. Gonnella Frichner was a lawyer, activist and professor of American Indian history and law, Federal Indian Law, and anthropology and human rights for over twenty years. Ms. Gonnella Frichner taught at the City College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and Manhattanville College for eight years, as well as CUNY Hunter College and New York University. Ms. Gonnella Frichner also served as an Associate Member of Columbia’s University Seminar on Indigenous Studies. Ms. Gonnella Frichner, worked closely with global Indigenous leadership, as well as the Onondaga Nation and the Haudenosaunee. She devoted her life to the pursuing of the right to self-determination, sovereignty, treaty rights, and individual and collective rights for Indigenous Peoples.  Ms. Gonnella Frichner was appointed as the North American Regional Representative for a three year term from 2008-2010, to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), by the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), an advisory body to the ECOSOC. In that position, her mandates included: human rights, economic and social development, environment, health, education and media. Ms. Gonnella Frichner was nominated by Indigenous Nations, Peoples and Non-Governmental Organizations to the position for her work in the international arena. During that time, Ms. Gonnella Frichner served as Vice-Chairperson as well as the Special Rapporteur for the “Preliminary study of the impact on indigenous peoples of the international legal construct known as the Doctrine of Discovery,” (E/C.19/2010/13), submitted to the UNPFII, Ninth Session, 2010. She has served as an active participant and legal and diplomatic counsel to Indigenous delegations in virtually all United Nations international fora affecting Indigenous Peoples especially during the drafting, negotiations and passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), overwhelmingly adopted in December 2007 (A/RES/61/295) by the UN General Assembly. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) sets the minimum standard for the survival, dignity and individual and collective rights of Indigenous Peoples globally. Ms. Gonnella Frichner has received many distinguished awards for her service. Most recently, she received the Drums Along the Hudson award in June 2014, shared with the Honorable David N. Dinkins, the 106th Mayor of New York City. Other awards include the Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Award, the Thunderbird Indian of the Year Award, the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, the American Indian Community House International Service Award, the SilverCloud Singer Outstanding Service Award for advancing Indigenous Youth, the Ms. Foundation Female Role Model of the Year, which was shared with author J.K. Rowlings and others, The Mosaic Council, Inc. Visionary Award for Marking a Difference, which was shared with entertainer Queen Latifah, the New York County Lawyers Association Award for Outstanding Public Service, the Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa O’Peqtaw Metaehmoh – Flying Eagle Woman Fund for Peace, Justice, and Sovereignty Award, the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team Recognition, a City of Philadelphia proclamation in honor of United Nations Day and Ms. Gonnella Frichner’s work to “promote the rights for native people around the world,” recognition from the Temple of Understanding, recognition from the Beacon Two Row Wampum Festival, and the Alston Bannerman Fellowship. Ms. Gonnella Frichner co-founded the Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus, together with Ms. Tia Oros Peters (Zuni), Executive Director of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, and Ms. Esmeralda Brown, President of the Southern Diaspora Research and Development Center.Ms. Gonnella Frichner served on several boards of directors including serving as the Chairperson of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, the City University of New York School of Law Board of Visitors, the Interfaith Center of New York, the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, the Seven Eagles Corporation, the Flying Eagle Women Fund for Peace, Justice and Sovereignty, the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism, the Boarding School Healing Project, and the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team, the official national team of the Haudenosaunee since 1984. It is a Federation of International Lacrosse member nation and World Lacrosse Championship medalists. Ms. Gonnella Frichner authored a number of articles and papers on Indigenous Peoples and was working on two books, including an autobiography. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University of New York and graduated magna cum laude in 1980, she earned a Juris Doctor from the City University of New York School of Law in 1987 and a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Colby College, Waterville in Maine in 2012. In September 2014 United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon quoted Ms. Gonnella Frichner in his remarks: “A longtime indigenous activist and former member of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Tonya Gonnella Frichner, once said, “Indigenous peoples all speak many different languages but in our meetings, we are speaking one language. Our relationship to Mother Earth is identical.”
Calling hours will be held at the Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home located at 2584 Field Lane LaFayette , NY 13084 on Tuesday, February 17th from 3pm-7pm. Funeral services will be on Wednesday February 18th at 10am at the Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home 2584 Field Lane, LaFayette , NY 13084 and 11am at the longhouse. Internment to be on the Onondaga Nation Cemetery located on Route 11a.Donations can be made to the American Indian Law Alliance to carry on Tonya’s important work. For more info on donations email aila@ailanyc.org.

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Docip VIDEO: Bridge to the Future / Un Puente al Futuro / Un pont vers l’avenir / МОСТ В БУДУЩЕЕ

February 1st, 2015 by EARTH PEOPLES

Published on youtube May 6, 2014 by DOCIP
VIDEO: Bridge to the Future / Un Puente al Futuro / Un pont vers l’avenir / МОСТ В БУДУЩЕЕ

Indigenous Youth document the achievements of the First Indigenous Peoples’ delegates at the United Nations / La juventud indígena documenta los logros de los primeros delegados de los Pueblos Indígenas en las Naciones Unidas / La jeunesse autochtone documente les succès des premiers délégués des peuples autochtones à l’ONU / Молодежь из числа коренного населения запечатляет достижения первых делегатов от коренных народов в Организации Объединенных Наций

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Indigenous Peoples: REPORT CONCERNING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SUBMITTED TO THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

February 1st, 2015 by EARTH PEOPLES

REPORT SUBMITTED TO THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
In regard to the
UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW CONCERNING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Second Cycle-22nd Session
April-May 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Submitted by Indigenous World Association (IWA) an ECOSOC NGO and the Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment
This Report is submitted by the Indigenous World Association (IWA), an ECOSOC accredited NGO, together with the Laguna-Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment (LACSE). LACSE, an organization of Laguna Pueblo and Acoma Pueblo residents, in New Mexico, USA, is committed to addressing uranium mining legacy issues, including protection of sacred areas, affecting both indigenous nations, and is a member of the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE, masecoalition.org)., which addresses issues of environmental justice related to uranium mining in the Grants uranium belt in Northwestern New Mexico.

Summary

Despite the 2010 statement in support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by the United States, the United States has failed to provide meaningful implementation of the rights contained in the UNDRIP. Perhaps in response to the calls by this body in the last UPR cycle in March 2010, as well as that of other UN Human bodies, the United States issued a statement in support of the UNDRIP in December 2010. However the United States continues to insist that the UNDRIP is “a non-binding, aspirational document” and renders the UNDRIP ineffective through federal, state and local actions that deny indigenous peoples the exercise of rights contained in the ICCPR, the ICERD, and the UNDRIP.

This report addresses the United States’ failure to provide substantive protection for sacred areas and landscapes, in the face of recommendations by the Human Rights Committee in the 2014 ICCPR review, by the CERD committee in the 2014 CERD Review, and by several UN special rapporteurs. Related to these rights are those impacted by extractive activities that impact sacred areas and discriminatorily deprive indigenous communities of essential human rights such as the right to free prior and informed consent and rights related to religion and culture.

1. Mt. Taylor (“Kaaweesthiimaa” in the Acoma language, “Tsibiinaa” in the Laguna language), a sacred landscape and area to Acoma, Laguna, and other Indigenous Nations in the region, is under threat of irreparable harm should proposed uranium mining by Roca Honda Resources, LLC, and others proceed in the area. Despite the recognition of this area as a traditional cultural property under federal and state law, the United States Forest Service, an agency of the United States government, has taken actions which substantively disregard United States obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), especially rights with regard to property, health, and participation in cultural activities provided in Article 5 of the ICERD. Despite the Recommendation of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (hereinafter “CERD”) in 2008, to ensure that activities carried out in areas of spiritual and cultural significance to Native Americans do not have a negative impact on the enjoyment of their rights under the Convention, the United States has failed to observe its human rights obligations in this situation.

2. Current federal law purporting to provide protection for cultural rights, and policy on consultation in cases affecting protection of cultural rights, including Executive Orders, have provided no substantive protection for cultural rights. Both the federal and state governments are responsible permitting agencies for mining activities. However, the United States has not taken sufficient steps to establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure a coordinated approach towards the implementation of the Convention at the federal, state and local levels, which are all implicated in the case of Mt. Taylor.

3. The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the New Mexico Environment Department have failed to clean up 97 abandoned uranium mines and 5 former mills in the Grants Mining District in New Mexico after 30 plus years. This includes the Homestake-Barrick Gold mill site now a U.S. Superfund site.

4. The United States Department of Agriculture, and its subsidiary the United States Forest Service, is seeking to permit new uranium mining which will irreparably impact the Mt. Taylor Traditional Cultural Property. The free prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples impacted, including Laguna Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, Zuni Tribe and Navajo Nation has not been fully obtained for new proposed uranium mining at Mt. Taylor, which is within the aboriginal lands of these indigenous peoples in New Mexico. obtained.

5. Human rights violations of affected indigenous people in New Mexico have been presented in reports to the Human Rights Committee in the United States Review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and to the CERD Committee as part of the United States review under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) during 2014. In both reviews, the United Nations monitoring committees issued conclusions and recommendations regarding protection of sacred places and the need to provide free, prior and informed consent especially in cases regarding extractive activities.

6. The United States has failed to implement existing laws in a manner that fully implements the rights contained in the UNDRIP, including access to sacred sites and cultural rights. These laws include the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (42 U.S.C. 1996), the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.), the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000 bbl), and the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) It also violates Executive Order 13007, which directs federal agencies to “accommodate access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites by Indian religious practioners.”

7. The United is ignoring established federal laws and policies protecting indigenous sacred sites when it permits new extractive mining. Specifically it ignores Cite: See Shadow Reports referenced herein and submitted to ICCPR and CERD. See also, Letter of Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, dated June 13, 2013, pp. 5-7.

8. The United States continues to apply discriminatory laws, such as the General Mining Act of 1872, the 1897 Organic Act, and the 1955 Multiple Use Mining Act, all of which preference mining activities over cultural practices on public land.

9. The United States has so far failed to educate federal agencies, state agencies, and local governments on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The UPR Working Group, in the first UPR cycle for the United States, urged the United States to incorporate human rights training and education in their public policies.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. That the United States follow the recommendation of several human rights bodies and establish a National Human Rights institution.
2. That the United States fully implement the UNDRIP.
3. That the United States undertake a comprehensive review of domestic laws and policies, which some U.S. and state agencies interpret to privilege extractive activities over the rights of indigenous peoples, and bring them into compliance with international human rights standards.
4. That the United States adopt effective measures to protect cultural landscapes and sacred areas of indigenous peoples against desecration, contamination and destruction and ensure that consultations are held with the communities that might be adversely affected by State party’s development projects and exploitation of natural resources with a view to obtaining their free, prior and informed consent for the potential project activities.
5. Recommend that the United States take steps to establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure a coordinated approach towards the implementation of the Convention at the federal, state and local levels.”

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Video: Piñon Pipeline Endangers Chaco’s Ancient Heritage

January 30th, 2015 by EARTH PEOPLES

Piñon Pipeline Endangers Chaco’s Ancient Heritage

Watch VIDEO

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering allowing a private company to build a 130 mile pipeline and greatly increase drilling near Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Chaco is a World Heritage Site known for magnificent architecture built 1000 years ago by the ancestors of today’s Pueblo Indians. There is concern among archaeologists that damage could occur to the wider cultural landscape around the canyon, erasing part of the legacy of these fascinating ancient people. Mike Eisenfeld of San Juan Citizens Alliance takes us on a tour of the exploratory drilling already underway.

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Indígenas bloqueiam BR que liga o estado de Roraima a Venezuela contra a PEC 215

December 21st, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

Cerca de 1000 indígenas bloquearam na manhã de hoje, 17, de dezembro, a BR- 174 que liga o estado de Roraima a Venezuela em protesto contra a PEC 215. A manifestação é pacífica e os indígenas do estado de Roraima exigem o arquivamento da medida legislativa.

Neste clima de intranquilidade, os povos indígenas clamam por justiça e pedem pela garantia dos direitos previstos na Constituição Federal. Os povos afirmam que a PEC 215 é inconstitucional e infringe direitos previstos na lei.

Entenda a PEC 215

A Proposta de Emenda Constitucional (PEC 215/2000) é de autoria do ex-deputado federal Almir Sá (RR) que, “acrescenta o inciso XVIII ao art. 49; modifica o § 4º e acrescenta o § 8º ambos no art. 231, da Constituição Federal” para incluir dentre as competências exclusivas do Congresso Nacional a aprovação de demarcação das terras tradicionalmente ocupadas pelos índios e a ratificação das demarcações já homologadas; e para estabelecer critérios e procedimentos de demarcação serão regulamentados por lei”.

No momento, a discussão da PEC 215 está na Comissão Especial da Câmara dos Deputados criada na apresentar parecer. A Comissão é formada na sua maioria por deputados ligados a bancada ruralista que apoiam a PEC 215 e tentam aprovar um Relatório Substitutivo.

O novo parecer além de corroborar o texto original, inclui as piores e inconstitucionais condicionantes do Caso da Raposa Serra do Sol estabelecida pelo Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF). Tais condicionantes foram consideradas pelos ministros do STF como não vinculantes, portanto, não devem se estender a outras terras, mesmo assim a bancada ruralista tenta incorporar no texto da PEC 215.

Além disso, segundo informações publicadas em jornais e pelo Ministério Público Federal, o Relatório Substitutivo a ser discutido teria sido produzido fora da Comissão Especial, por advogado ligado ao CNA pago para atender os interesses individuais dos ruralistas envolvidos em invasão em terras indígenas no Mato Grosso do Sul.

A PEC 215 afronta seriamente os direitos constitucionais. Coloca em risco a sobrevivência física e cultural dos povos indígenas que dependem de suas terras. Somado a isso, contraria os princípios de separação de poderes ao propor transferir para o Congresso Nacional responsabilidades administrativas do governo federal, com absurda interferência clara da bancada ruralista. E o mais grave, os povos indígenas deixados de fora, do processo e das discussões, sem consultas e sem direito de entrar, falar ou defender na casa, considerado do povo, o Congresso Nacional.

As lideranças indígenas de diversas partes do estado de Roraima permanecem na manifestação divulgando suas preocupações e alertando autoridades e a sociedade brasileira sobre o risco de seus direitos.

Conselho Indígena de Roraima

17 de dezembro de 2014

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San Carlos Apache Tribe ask you to sign petition against Southeastern Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act

December 21st, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

To All:

On this Sunday, I ask everyone to pray with the San Carlos Apaches, other
Tribes, and other organizations to ask our Creator God to make Congress
understand that the Southeastern Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act
is a bad deal for Apaches, Arizona, and America.

I ask you to sign the petition below and join us in making our voices heard
in Washington, DC. On behalf of my people, all Indian Tribes across the
United States, and other people that believe in what we believe in, thank
you from the bottom of my heart. Please share with others.

Terry Rambler, Chairman
San Carlos Apache Tribe

Stop Apache Land Grab | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government
SIGN PETITION

Watch Video ” Save Oak Flats Sacred and Holy site on the San Carlos
Apache Reservation” here

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Sign on petition to stand with CONAIE for the rights of Indigenous Peoples

December 21st, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

We call upon all of our brothers and sisters of the world community to stand with
CONAIE for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, communities and Nations.

Go to this petition site now and take action today:thepetitionsite

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CONAIE Indigenous Organization Evicted from Headquarters by Ecuadorian Government

December 21st, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

Written by Marc Becker   

The Ecuadorian government has announced that it is giving an Indigenous organization two weeks to abandon the headquarters it has held for almost a quarter of a center.
A December 11 letter from the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion informed the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) that it needed their building to use as a center for homeless children addicted to drugs and alcohol.

The CONAIE leadership says that they will refuse to leave. They demanded that they be given title to the building that they have used since 1991.

Jorge Herrera, president of the CONAIE, declared that the building “has been a symbol of the construction of a relationship between the state and Indigenous peoples.” He denounced their removal as a colonial act on the part of the government, and categorized the government’s action as “persecution of the Indigenous movement struggle.”

According to Herrera, in the building “we drafted proposals for a new constitution, we gave life to the proposal for a plurinational state.” He said, “in this building we have defended democracy.” The building belonged to everyone, and Herrera said they would not allow the government to kick them out.

Nina Pacari, former Minister of Foreign affairs, member of the United Nations Forum for Indigenous Peoples, and Judge of Ecuador’s Supreme Court, defined the eviction as direct persecution against Indigenous peoples.

Former CONAIE president Humberto Cholango proclaimed that if the government threw them out they would return. He criticized Correa’s actions as part of an ongoing campaign against the CONAIE, including its bilingual education and collective rights campaigns.

International supporters have denounced the government’s decision. In an open letter to president Rafael Correa, Portuguese sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos wrote “the legal justifications aside, kicking the CONAIE out of its building is an unjust and politically imprudent act.”

A quarter century of struggle

The CONAIE was founded in 1986 to unify all Indigenous peoples and nationalities in Ecuador into one unified movement.

In 1990, the CONAIE emerged as the primary leader of a massive social uprising that challenged the social, economic, and political exclusion of Indigenous peoples in Ecuador.

At the time, Democratic Left (ID) president Rodrigo Borja said he could not understand why the movement had revolted because no government had done as much for Indigenous peoples as had his administration.

After strikes and negotiations, in July 1991 the Ministry of Social Welfare signed an agreement to let the CONAIE use the building until 2021. Over time, Indigenous activists expanded a simple building into a three-floor complex.

The CONAIE headquarters have been a center for social movement struggles against oppressive neoliberal economic policies. Repeated protests and campaigns, as well as positive proposal and initiatives, have come out of the building.

Rafael Correa

The CONAIE has had tense relations with current leftist president Rafael Correa since the beginning of his political career in 2006.

Initially some activists dreamed of an alliance between Ecuador’s strong social movements that had opened up political space for a progressive government and Correa. The future president had gained renown as a dissident voice as minister of finance in a previous administration.

Talks between Correa and social movements broke down when he refused to run in the vice presidential slot with an Indigenous candidate at the head of the ticket.

During Correa’s almost eight years in power, relations with what should have been his strongest social movement allies have slowly degenerated.

Indigenous activists have been particularly vocal in their criticism of the government’s extractive policies. Repeated protests have denounced the government’s reliance on gold and copper mining and petroleum extraction, and have defended community access to water rights.

Seemingly the final straw for the Correa administration was when the CONAIE joined a reinvigorated Unified Workers Federation (FUT) protest on November 19 against reforms to the labor code.

In 1938, maverick General Alberto Enríquez Gallo promulgated a very progressive labor code that borrowed heavily from Article 127 in the landmark 1917 Mexican constitution.

Labor activists, together with their social movement allies in the CONAIE, opposed the revisions that would outlaw the creation of public sector labor unions.

Correa claimed that the almost eighty-year-old labor code was in need of updating to meet the realities of the twenty first century.

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A lógica perversa do capitalismo verde

December 17th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

By Pravda.ru

Para entender como e por que o capitalismo verde avança sobre os territórios indígenas e das populações tradicionais é necessário reconhecer os paradoxos da água. Ou seja, a água é vida e morte, liberdade e escravidão, esperança e opressão, guerra e paz. A água é um bem imensurável, insubstituível e indispensável à vida em nosso planeta, considerada pelo Artigo 225 da Constituição Federal, bem difuso, de uso comum do povo.
Fonte da notícia: Jornal Porantim – Edição Especial “NÃO à Economia “Verde”
“Tudo o que é financeiro, lamentavelmente, é econômico. Mas nem tudo o que é econômico é financeiro”
Por Amyra El Khalili
Nesse sentido, a recente descoberta do que pode ser o maior aquífero de água doce do mundo na região amazônica, o Alter do Chão, que se estende sob os estados do Amazonas, Amapá e Pará, exige atenção e cuidado por parte da sociedade brasileira[i].

O aquífero Alter do Chão, que chega a 86 mil quilômetros cúbicos, possui quase o dobro da capacidade hídrica do Aquífero Guarani, com 45 mil quilômetros cúbicos. Sendo assim, ele atrai, inevitavelmente, a cobiça dos países do hemisfério Norte, que já não têm mais água para o consumo, e pode tornar-se a causa de enfrentamentos geopolíticos. Processo similar acontece no Oriente Médio, com disputas sangrentas pelo petróleo e gás natural.

O controle sobre esta riqueza hídrica depende exclusivamente do controle territorial. As águas são transfronteiriças e avançam sobre os limites entre municípios, estados e países. O recorde histórico da cheia do Rio Madeira neste ano de 2014, que inundou cidades na Bolívia, além das trágicas inundações nos estados de Rondônia e no Acre, é um bom exemplo desta característica das águas.

De modo geral, a água está sendo contaminada com a mineração e com o despejo de efluentes, agrotóxicos e químicos, e poderá ser poluída também com a eminência da exploração de gás de xisto, onde a técnica usada para fraturar a rocha pode contaminar as águas subterrâneas.

Terra à venda

Segundo estimativas de um relatório do projeto Land Matrix, que reúne organizações internacionais focadas na questão agrária, mais de 83,2 milhões de hectares de terra em países em desenvolvimento foram vendidos em grandes transações internacionais desde 2000. Os países economicamente mais vulneráveis da África e da Ásia perderam extensas fatias de terras em transações internacionais nos últimos 10 anos, sendo que a África é o principal alvo das aquisições, seguida da Ásia e da América Latina. Estas compras são estimuladas pelo aumento nos preços das commodities agrícolas e pela escassez de água em alguns dos países compradores, que o fazem para a exploração da agricultura, mineração, madeira e do turismo[ii].

Outros países são alvos desta ofensiva fundiária, como a Indonésia, Filipinas, Malásia, Congo, Etiópia, Sudão e o Brasil, que teve mais de 3,8 milhões de hectares vendidos para estrangeiros somente nos últimos 12 anos. É importante salientar que, até aqui, estamos falando de terras que podem ser adquiridas, em tese, através da compra. Porém, as terras indígenas e de populações tradicionais são terras da União e, não podem ser negociadas e nem alienadas, pois estão protegidas por leis nacionais e internacionais.

Acontece que são justamente estas as terras que estão preservadas e conservadas ambientalmente e são as mais ricas em biodiversidade, água, minério e energia (bens comuns). E, portanto, são nessas áreas que ocorre o avanço desenfreado do capitalismo verde que nada mais é que o velho e desgastado modelo colonialista, extrativista e expansionista neoliberal com uma roupagem atualizada, que visa a apropriação dos bens comuns. Esses bens são definidos como “recursos naturais”, assim como os trabalhadores são considerados pelo sistema como “recursos humanos”. Tudo neste modelo “verde” é usado ilimitadamente e no curto prazo.

Essa concepção utilitarista do “capitalismo verde” já é confrontada com outros modelos de vida, como o Bem Viver, dos povos das florestas, a economia socioambiental, a economia solidária e a agroecologia, dentre outras que estão florescendo.

Para a implementação deste modelo com purpurina verde, algumas leis estão sendo aprovadas com o claro propósito de beneficiar o mercado financeiro. Paralelamente, outras leis são desmanteladas para institucionalizar e legitimar a ocupação de estrangeiros, empresários e banqueiros em territórios latino-americanos e caribenhos, como é o caso dos direitos fundamentais dos povos indígenas, do Código Florestal e dos direitos trabalhistas.

Confundir para se apropriar

Desse modo, contratos unilaterais e perversos são assinados por atores com forças políticas totalmente desiguais, em que confunde-se, propositadamente, “financiar” com “financeirizar”.

Aqui cabe uma elucidativa exemplificação: financiar é, por exemplo, permitir que uma costureira compre uma máquina de costura e consiga pagá-la com o fruto de seu trabalho, tornando-se independente de um empregador para que venha a ser empreendedora.

Já, financeirizar é fazer com que a costureira endivide-se para comprar uma máquina de costura e jamais consiga pagá-la, até que o credor possa tomar a máquina da costureira por inadimplência (não cumprimento do acordo mercantil)

A financeirização faz com que uma parte do acordo, a descapitalizada, fique endividada e tenha que entregar o que ainda possui, como as terras indígenas. E, assim, são desenhados perversos contratos financeiros e mercantis com a finalidade de vincular as terras ricas em bens comuns para que essas garantias fiquem alienadas e à disposição da parte mais forte: a capitalizada.

Nestes termos, as populações indígenas e os povos das florestas deixam de poder usar o que lhes mantém vivos e o que preservam há séculos para as presentes e futuras gerações, as florestas e as águas, para que terceiros possam utilizá-los, além de que estes passam também a controlar seus territórios.

É esta a lógica perversa do capitalismo verde, sustentado pelo argumento de que as florestas “em pé” somente serão viáveis se tiverem valor econômico. O que é uma falácia, pois valor econômico as florestas “em pé” e as águas sempre tiveram. O que não tinham, até então, era valor financeiro, já que não há preço que pague o valor econômico das florestas, dos bens comuns e dos “serviços” que a natureza nos proporciona gratuitamente.

O capitalismo somente avança nas fronteiras que consegue quantificar. Porém, jamais conseguirá se apropriar do que a sociedade puder qualificar.
O bem ambiental é definido pela Constituição como sendo “de uso comum do povo”, ou seja, não é bem de propriedade pública, mas sim de natureza difusa, razão pela qual ninguém pode adotar medidas que impliquem gozar, dispor, fruir do bem ambiental ou destruí-lo. Ao contrário, ao bem ambiental, é somente conferido o direito de usá-lo, garantindo o direito das presentes e futuras gerações.
Somente qualificando o bem comum, ao dar-lhe importância econômica pela garantia da qualidade de vida que nos proporcionam e nos recusando a colocar-lhes preço (financeirizando-o), é que poderemos impedir o avanço desenfreado do capitalismo verde sobre os territórios indígenas e das populações tradicionais.
Não podemos nos omitir nem deixar de nos posicionar em favor daqueles que são os guardiões das florestas e das águas. Se o povo, o proprietário hereditário dos bens comuns, decidir que o ouro, o petróleo e o gás de xisto, dentre outros minérios, devem ficar debaixo do solo para que possamos ter água com segurança hídrica e alimentar, que sua vontade soberana seja cumprida.

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Panel finds corporations, United Nations and governments guilty of violating nature’s rights

December 13th, 2014 by EARTH PEOPLES

By Indigenous Environmental Network.

Lima, Peru (Dec. 7, 2014)– The International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature judged twelve international and domestic cases; examining the violation of the rights of peoples and nature committed by corporations, The United Nations, and governmental entities. The judgments reference the legal framework of the Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. The cases were reviewed on Dec. 5th and 6th in Lima’s Gran Hotel Bolivar.

According to Alberto Acosta, president of the Tribunal and former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador, the rights of nature must have a universal validity. “This ethical tribunal arises when States fail to fulfill their obligation to preserve the lives of living beings,” said Acosta. “As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, the climate or nature.”

Acosta led the 13 judges through 12 cases

The Tribunal was dedicated to Shuar leader, José Tendentza, who was found murdered just days before the Tribunal. Tendentza of Southern Ecuador was scheduled to present the Condor Mine case. Acosta led the 13 judges through 12 cases that were determined by the judges to demonstrate egregious violations to rights of nature and human rights. Cases included:

-False Solutions related to Climate Change and REDD+;
-Peruvian cases: Conga Mine, Bagua Massacre – Defenders of Earth, 4 River Basins of Peru;
-Ecuadorian cases: Condor Mine, Chevron/Texaco, and Yasuni ITT
Brazil: Belo Monte Dam
-USA and Bolivia: Hydraulic fracturing “fracking”
-Oceans: BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, coal mine and other threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Of the cases, the oil exploitation of the Yasuni territory of Ecuador was condemned in addition to the relentless persecution Yasunidos are facing for their dissent. Since 2013, the Ecuadorian government green-lighted oil drilling in Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world and home to two indigenous nations in voluntary isolation.

In protest, a group of young Yasunidos joined together to claim the rights of nature, which are guaranteed in the Constitution of Ecuador. They collected more than 800,000 signatures to call for a referendum on the oil exploitation, but their request was rejected by electoral institutions. The Yasunidos are now suing the Ecuadorian government, led by President Rafael Correa, and are waiting for their complaint to be reviewed by the tribunal of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

Additionally, the Tribunal for the Rights of Nature found Chevron-Texaco in Ecuador to be guilty of using inappropriate technology and causing irreversible damage to the environment. They determined that the corporation must fully compensate those affected by the environmental impact.

The Peruvian cases of Conga and Bagua were accepted as threats of violation to the rights of nature. An international special commission was appointed to visit the impacted Amazonian basins to collect more information on the contamination.

The case of the mining project in the Cordillera del Condor was found by the Tribunal to be in direct violation of the rights of nature. They determined that mining must be suspended and those affected must be compensated. They urge the state to investigate and punish those responsible for the death of José Tendentza, the prominent social activist that was in opposition to the mining.

A widow of one of the four murdered activists shares her testimony

The Peruvian cases of Conga and Bagua were accepted as threats of violation to the rights of nature. An international special commission was appointed to visit the impacted Amazonian basins to collect more information on the contamination.

Shannon Biggs, director of Movement Rights, shared testimony on the impacts of fracking , a process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth. “You cannot do safe fracking,” said Biggs. “This technique should have never been invented. It is one of the most destructive activities against the environment ever seen.”

According to Biggs, 800,000 active oil and gas wells are being fracked in the United States, producing roughly 300,000 natural gas barrels per day. Severe water pollution and earthquakes have been linked with fracking. “We die from fracking. The population is suffering from cancer; my sister has died,” said Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca) of Oklahoma in her testimony. “The water is contaminated; we cannot fish. We are in danger of extinction.”

Plans to develop large-scale hydraulic fracking in Bolivia were reported by Martin Vilela of Platform Climate Reaction. In recent years the country has increased the production and export of natural gas. 82.4% of its production is exported, generating more than six billion dollars a year. Bolivia has 8.23 trillion cubic feet of gas, and YPFB plans to invest over 40 million dollars between 2013 and 2015. Vilela explained that in 2013 this corporation signed an agreement for fracking in the Chaco area, a region with water scarcity to extract 48 trillion cubic feet of shale gas. Estimates determine that this would consume between 112 and 335 billion liters of water.

Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian architect, environmental activist presented on the contamination and temperature rise affecting Nigeria. According to Bassey, oil fields and pipelines have caused deep environmental degradation, deforestation, and countless oil spills. Life expectancy in these impacted areas is 44 years.

Bassey warned that climate change will have catastrophic consequences. “For every degree the temperature rises globally, in Africa it will rise an additional 50%.” In 2012 floods in Nigeria led to the relocation of 6 million inhabitants. Bassey speculates that in 2030 Africa violent conflicts will increase by 54% due to the lack of access to natural resources.

At the hearing on “false climate solutions,” geoengineering techniques that seek to manipulate climate without changing the conditions that cause climate change were reviewed.

REDD+ was also put on trial. President of the Huni Kui people of Acre, Brazil, Ninawa Kaxinawá (Hunikui) testified that “REDD is a lie. We do not accept putting nature on market because it is our soul and spirit; it is priceless, it is our voice.”

According to Ruth Nyambura, of the Biodiversity Network Africa, says that in Kenya, evictions are occurring as a result of REDD. “Four indigenous people were arrested,” said Nyambura. “A woman was hit by the forest service because she was outside of her land.”

The Tribunal is calling for a special hearing in Paris in 2015 to coincide with the upcoming UN COP 21 summit.

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