Archive for the ‘Hydroelectric Dam’ Category

Statement from the family of Arthur Manuel on his passing

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Arthur_ManuelOn Wednesday January 11, 2017 at 11:00 PM, Arthur Manuel, our beloved father, grandfather, husband, brother, uncle, warrior, and teacher passed away. Arthur was one of our most determined and outspoken Secwepemc leaders and activists—a pillar in the resistance, known globally for his tireless advocacy for Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination. He passed on into the spirit world surrounded by many generations of his loving family.

Arthur was the son of Marceline Paul of the Ktuanaxa Nation and George Manuel of the Secwepemc Nation. George was a political leader and visionary who served as president of the National Indian Brotherhood and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples.

Arthur was born into the struggle and groomed to be a leader and defender of Indigenous rights and title. Coming up as a young leader in the 1970s, he served as president of the National Native Youth Association, leading the occupation of Indian Affairs. He attended Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec) and Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto, Ontario).

He returned to his community and was elected Chief of Neskonlith Indian Band, Chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, and Chair of the Assembly of First Nations Delgamuukw Implementation Strategic Committee. He was a long-time co-chair of the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and former co-chair of the Global caucus. He was active in the Defenders of the Land and Idle No More movement and as a board member of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples. He was one of the main strategic thinkers of the decolonization movement in Canada. As the spokesman for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, he convinced the World Trade Organization to recognize that Indigenous peoples are subsidizing the BC lumber industry through the non-recognition of Aboriginal title. He was co-author, along with Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson, of the award-winning Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call, with a foreword by his friend and fellow activist Naomi Klein.

He worked selflessly in defence of Indigenous territorial authority and he fiercely opposed any termination of Indigenous land rights. He rejected provincial and federal authority over unceded Indigenous land, and challenged the extinguishment of Indigenous title through the BC treaty process. He fought climate change, battling the imminent threat of pipelines across Secwepemc territory.

He was a world traveller who connected Indigenous nations across the globe to unite in a common vision and defend their rights. He was gifted a button blanket by the Nuxalk nation and has received countless honours for his work around the world.

Arthur was also a teacher and a mentor to many. He was a source of knowledge for youth and young leaders. Through his fierce love for his people, he shone a light on the path to justice for a new generation of activists.

He’s a residential school survivor, having attended the Kamloops (Kamloops BC), St Eugene’s (Cranbrook BC) and St. Mary’s (Mission BC) residential schools.

Arthur is survived by his life partner, Nicole Schabus, by his sisters Emaline, Martha, Doreen, and Ida, his brothers George, Richard, and Ara, and by his children, Kanahus, Mayuk, Ska7cis and Snutetkwe. He is predeceased by his parents, sister Vera, brother Bobby, beloved son Neskie and his grandchildren Napika Amak and Megenetkwe.

In his most recent article on Canada’s 150th celebration, published only a week before his death, Arthur insisted again that Canada was built entirely on the theft of Indigenous lands.

“Our Indian reserves are only .02% of Canada’s land and yet Indigenous peoples are expected to survive on them. This has led to the systematic impoverishment of Indigenous people and the crippling oppression that indigenous peoples suffer under the current colonial system.

The .02 land based is used to keep us too poor and too weak to fight back. It is used to bribe and co-opt the Indigenous leadership into becoming neocolonial partners to treat the symptom of poverty on Indian reserves without addressing the root cause of the problem, which is the dispossession of all of the Indigenous territory by Canada and the provinces.” – First Nations Strategic Bulletin, August-December 2016 Issue

Wake: Friday, January 13th 5:00 PM and Saturday, January 14th, Adams Lake Indian Band Gymnasium, 6349 Chief Jules Drive, Chase, BC

Funeral Services: Sunday, January 15th 10:00 AM, Adams Lake Indian Band Gymnasium

Media contact: Russell Diabo at 613-296-0110 or rdiabo@rogers.com
Donations to support Arthur’s service can be sent to jacksoncrick7@yahoo.ca
Condolences to the family and photos of Arthur can be sent to erfeltes@gmail.com

Earth Peoples co-founder Arthur Manuel passed away, 66-years-old.

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Dear Earth Peoples.
Arthur Manuel was always working hard.
Tiokasin Ghosthorse brought me to collaborate with Rebecca Sommer, one of my best friends… and this is where I met Arthur. I was very glad to from the start. I was in line with him in the cafeteria at the UN during the indigenous peoples caucus for the Earth Peoples partners event. I got some coffee and was going to sit down at the table he was at. Arthur said with warning…you might not want to sit there. I said oh is this seat taken? He said no its just that you might not want to be associated with me. A lot of people do not like me.
I looked around over my shoulders and said.. jokingly I said….want me to beat them up for you? He laughed a lot. That was the comical and genuine relationship that I had with him from the start. He is someone I am honored to say has changed my life and i can call him my favorite person and a best friend. I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to know Arthur.
Arthur was my Earth Peoples brother, a child of our mother Earth and I loved him very much. I always looked up to him for saving the world. I remember saying to Arthur that I hope that I can somehow make a difference in the world like he does. I would like to make my life meaningful. He said Elaine, You don’t want to do what i do. He said… I am not complaining but Elaine, you have the creative arts and you can work in that medium and be effective. As you do…. and it seems more fun. That meant a lot to me. I appreciate that with all of my heart. I hope that i can send that message through my art so that I can make him proud and maybe send some laughs too.
He lives forever in our hearts. He lived. I only hope that I can too live a life that makes the ancestors proud  as was well.

Book Arhur ManualHis last writing to me was when he signed his book
Unsettling Canada
for me with the words “May the world be good to you my friend.
-Arthur”

He will be greatly missed!!!

Elaine+Arthur

A lógica perversa do capitalismo verde

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

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.

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

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

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.

Carbon Trade Watch Newsletter 2014/1

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

While governmental leaders in Lima meet to trade away the climate, we would like to share some publications and multimedia work published in 2014 by CTW. Some key highlights include: Support for resistance in Brazil against pre-salt offshore oil drilling, research into natural gas and other energy conflicts in Europe, and uncovering further financialisation of nature plans such as biodiversity offsetting, and the new Natural Capital Finance Facility.

Publications:

The Natural Capital Finance Facility: A window into the green economy
This new publication aims to break down the complexities of emerging “nature” financing by exploring a new pilot facility put forward by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, called the Natural Capital Finance Facility. The authors discover the lack of transparency and power relations behind the NCFF and outline in clear language how natural capital financing functions, where the money comes from, how profits are made and how public funds are leveraged. In addition, the publication explores how funding mechanisms emerge before policy has been decided and links this to REDD+ and the carbon markets. This paper outlines the dangers to this approach and explores what is lost when financial mechanisms are given priority over grant-based projects.
To order

A Tree for a Fish: The (il)logic behind selling biodiversity
Putting a price on ecological systems has been around for several decades, although it was especially heightened during the UN climate negotiations with the introduction of the carbon market, a system which places a monetary value on the carbon-cycle capacity of nature for trade in financial markets. The carbon market quickly became “the only game in town” that policy-makers and multilateral agencies would discuss and implement regarding climate change policy. Following this logic, the 2010 UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) called for “innovative financial mechanisms’” to deal with biodiversity loss, making biodiversity offsets the standard buzzword within conservation debates. At the same time, people have been resisting projects that claim to compensate for biodiversity destruction and continue to demonstrate how this concept fails to address the drivers of environmental and social damage.
To order
En español

Like a Dull Knife: The People’s Climate “Farce” (Quincy Saul, Truthout)

Friday, September 19th, 2014

By Quincy Saul, Truthout

In the lead-up to any large-scale protest, it is useful to bear in mind the potential dangers and drawbacks of such an endeavor. On the eve of what is being advertised as “the biggest climate march in history,” we might reflect on Malcolm X’s experience of the March on Washington, as recounted in the Autobiography of Malcolm X:

“Farce in Washington”, I call it. . . . It was like a movie. . . . For the status-seeker, it was a status symbol. “Were you there?”. . . . It had become an outing, a picnic. . . . What originally was planned to be an angry riptide, one English newspaper aptly described now as “the gentle flood”. . . . there wasn’t a single logistics aspect uncontrolled. . . . They had been told how to arrive, when, where to arrive, where to assemble, when to start marching, the route to march. . . . Yes, I was there. I observed that circus.

Of course, not everyone present concurred with Malcolm X about the March on Washington – and even in a top-down format, one hopes the upcoming march could draw much-needed attention to the climate movement. The question is: At what cost? In this vein, what follows are a few reflections on the buildup to the September 21 People’s Climate March in New York City, to provide some concrete analysis of concrete conditions, and propose some solutions.

Deadline

The climate justice movement has an expiration date. If the tipping points in the earth system are passed, and the feedback loops begin their vicious cycle, human attempts at mitigation will be futile, and climate justice will become an anachronism – or at worst a slogan for geo-engineering lobbies. Thousands of scientists have come to consensus on this point, and many years ago gave us a deadline: A carbon emissions peak in 2015 followed by rapid and permanent decline.

In other words, we have roughly four months to work for climate justice. The world is literally at stake; all life on earth is at risk. Never has there been a more urgent or comprehensive mandate.

Even the guardians and gatekeepers of the ruling class, from politicians to scientists, are forthcoming on this point. Listen to Al Gore: “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers, and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.” He said that in 2007. It is in this context that we must seek to better understand and analyze the People’s Climate March.

“An Invitation to Change Everything”

The People’s Climate March has a powerful slogan. It has world-class publicity. But the desire to bring the biggest possible number of people to the march has trumped all other considerations. The results are devastating:

No Target: The march is a U-turn through Times Square, beginning at a monument to genocide (Columbus Circle) and ending . . . in the middle of nowhere. Here in New York City where the ruling class of the whole world has made their diverse headquarters, the march will target none of them. The march will not even go near the United Nations, its ostensible symbolic target.

No Timing: The United Nations will convene leading figures from all over the world – several days after the march. The march does not coincide with anything, contemporary or historic.

No Demands: Again, to attract the largest number of people, the march has rallied around the lowest common denominator – in this case, nothing. Not only are there no demands, but there is in fact no content at all to the politics of the march, other than vague concern and nebulous urgency about “the climate,” which is itself undefined.

No Unity: While a large number of people are sure to converge on Columbus Circle on September 21, the only thing they will have in common is the same street. The revolutionary communists will link arms with the Green Zionist Alliance and the Democratic Party, and compete with Times Square billboards for the attention of tourists and the corporate media.What is the binding agent for this sudden and unprecedented unity? Fifty-one years later, the words of Malcolm X still ring true: “the white man’s money.”

No History: Instead of building on the momentum of a decades-old climate justice movement, this march appears to be taking us backwards. Here’s what Ricken Patel of Avaaz, one of the main funders of the march, said to The Guardian: “We in the movement, activists, have failed up until this point to put up a banner and say if you care about this, now is the time, here is the place, let’s come together, to show politicians the political power that is out there on there.”

It is as if the massive mobilizations outside the United Nations meeting in Copenhagen (2009), Cancun (2010) and Durban (2011) never took place, let alone the literally thousands of smaller, more localized actions and gatherings for climate justice. At all of these gatherings, activists convoked the world to demonstrate the power of the people, under banners which were far more radical and transformative than anything we have seen so far for this march.

No Integrity: The invitation to change everything has been permitted and approved by the New York City Police Department. This permit betrays a lack of respect for the people who will be making sacrifices to come all the way to New York City to change the world, and a lack of integrity among those who want to change everything, but seek permission for this change from one of the more obviously brutal guardians of business as usual. This lack of integrity sets up thousands of earnest souls for an onset of depression and cynicism when this march doesn’t change the world. This will in turn be fertile soil for everyone and anyone hawking false solutions.

No target, no demands, no timing, no unity, no history and no integrity amounts to one thing: No politics. The whole will be far less than the sum of its parts. The biggest climate march in history will amount to something less than Al Gore.

In discussions over the past month with a wide range of people – UN diplomats, radical Vermonters, unionists, professors, liberal Democrats, etc. – the same thing has been repeated to me by everyone: “If we get a huge number of people, no one will be able to ignore us.” “The mainstream media will be forced to cover it.”

So what is being billed and organized as The People’s Climate March, and An Invitation to Change Everything, turns out to be a massive photo op. The spectacle of thousands of First World citizens marching for climate justice, while they continue to generate the vast majority of carbon emissions, brings to mind the spectacle of George W. Bush visiting New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

So what are we left with? James Brown knew, when he said: “You’re like a dull knife; Just ain’t cutting. You’re just talking loud; And saying nothing. Just saying nothing. Good luck to you; Just allow you’re wrong. Then keep on singing that; Same old money song . . .”

So What Are We Going to Do About It?

This is not the place to complain, but to propose solutions. If we are unsatisfied with this march and its leadership, we have to provide an alternative. As James Brown knew, we “have to pay the cost to be the boss.” Here are some suggestions for starters:

We are going to stop lying to the people. This is the primary and cardinal rule of revolutionary politics. To invite people to change the world and corral them into cattle pens on a police-escorted parade through the heart of consumer society is astoundingly dishonest. From now on, we will stop lying to people. Climate justice requires nothing less than a global revolution in politics and production; it requires a historic transition to a new model of civilization, which will demand great sacrifice and creativity from everyone.
We are going to stop making demands of anyone or anything but ourselves and each other. The powers that be are deaf, dumb and deadly, and we will waste no further time trying to pressure or persuade them. We are going to stop speaking truth to power and start speaking truth to powerlessness. Either we are going to become the leaders we have been waiting for, starting now, or we are going to resign ourselves to the inevitability of catastrophic climate change and the sixth mass extinction.
We are going to return to the source. This means three things: (A) Return to the common people from the delirious heights of symbolic protest politics, with dedication to concrete local work, to divorce food, water, shelter and energy systems from capital. (B) Return to the livelihood and wisdom of our ancestors, the indigenous peoples of every continent, who have lived for thousands of years in harmony with nature, and who still possess the knowledge and skills to restore balance. (C) Return to the sun – a second Copernican revolution and a heliocentric energy policy. Either we return to a subsistence perspective that has prevailed for the majority of human history, or all future development of productive forces must be based exclusively on solar energy.
We are going to get arrested! The only thing that we can do to meet the deadline for climate justice is to engage in a massive and permanent campaign to shut down the fossil fuel economy. But we have to do this strategically, not in the symbolic cuff-and-stuffs that are a perversion and prostitution of the noble ideals of civil disobedience and revolutionary nonviolence. So we are going to shut down coal plants; we are going to block ports, distribution centers and railway hubs where fossil fuels are transported; whatever it takes to keep the oil in the soil. We’re going to put our bodies between the soil and the sky.So let’s make sure that the call to “Flood Wall Street” on September 22 is the “angry riptide” it should be, and not “the gentle flood.”
We are going to join the rest of the human race. For 200 years too long, citizens of the United States have been parasites and predators on the rest of the world. To prevent climate catastrophe, we are going to leave our imperial hubris behind, and join with the revolutionary ecosocialist uprisings that are sweeping the global South.

Berlin: Aufruf zur gemeinsamen Teilnahme an der Klimademo am Sonntag, 21.9.2014

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Liebe Mitstreiter,
gemeinsam mit Tausenden von Demonstranten in New York, London, Paris und weiteren Städten auf allen Kontinenten wollen wir die Politiker, die am Klimagipfel 2 Tage später teilnehmen, an ihre Verantwortung für diese Welt erinnern! Die Filmaufnahmen dieser Demos werden auf der Konferenz gezeigt werden.

TREFFPUNKTE am 21.9. um 14:30 Uhr
14 Uhr – Alexanderplatz – Fußgänger Demo mit Silent Climate Parade.
14.30 Uhr – Mariannenplatz Kreuzberg – Fahrrad-Demo
16.30 Uhr – Potsdamer Platz/Ebertstraße (Vor ‘Vapiano’) – Kinder- und Familiendemo

All drei Demozüge führen zum MAL SCHNELL DIE WELT RETTEN am Brandenburger Tor.

In Richtung Straße des 17. Juni wird es eine eine Schnippeldisko-Vokü geben, Upcycling-Events und Workshops sowie Infos und Diskussionen mit Umwelt- und Klimagruppen.

ABLAUF:
Wir sammeln uns an den angegebenen Treffpunkten. Abmarsch Richtung Brandenburger Tor – Ankunft Brandenburger Tor: ca 17 Uhr. Dort beginnt dann eine große Kundgebung mit vielfältigem Programm bis in die späten Abendstunden. Wir sollten dort noch eine Weile beieinander bleiben. Zwischen 17:30 und 18:00 Uhr werden Luftballons auf den Weg nach New York geschickt.

Die Demos sind als Silent Climate Parade konzipiert: das heißt für die Fußgänger TANZEND zum Brandenburger Tor zu ziehen. Die Musik dazu kommt über Kopfhörer, die man sich individuell am Neptunbrunnen bei den Hauptveranstaltern ausleihen kann (Ausgabe ab 13 Uhr, Personalausweis dabei haben!). Abgabe der Kopfhörer ab 17 Uhr am Brandenburger Tor.

Weitere Informationen:
Alle Aktionen auf dieser Demo sind umweltfreundlich, Musik wird über Kopfhörer gehört, auch die Luftballons, die zwischen 17.30 Uhr und 18.00 Uhr am Brandenburger Tor auf den Weg nach New York geschickt werden, sind biologisch abbaubar.

Bitte auch Information in Englisch lesen: Like a Dull Knife: The People’s Climate “Farce” (Quincy Saul, Truthout)Klick hier

Kickstarter: A film series about how proposed mega-dams in Borneo would negatively impact indigenous communities, wildlife, and climate change

Saturday, June 14th, 2014
The Borneo Project just started a short film series and launched a Kickstarter campaign that will allow them to complete the series. The series sheds light on the impacts that currently proposed mega-dams could have on indigenous people and the environment in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Here is the link to the Borneo Project Kickstarter campaign: Video

Beschwerde gegen die Andritz AG im Wirtschaftsministerium eingereicht

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

NGOs werfen dem Unternehmen Beteiligung am Xayaburi-Staudamm trotz Wissens über Menschenrechtlage und Umweltauswirkungen vor

Wien, 09.04.2014. Heute früh übermittelte ECA Watch Österreich eine Beschwerde gegen den österreichischen Anlagenbauer Andritz AG an den im Wirtschaftsministerium angesiedelten Nationalen Kontaktpunkt (NKP), der mit der Einhaltung der OECD-Leitsätze für multinationale Unternehmen befasst ist. Gemeinsam mit acht weiteren internationalen und lokalen zivilgesellschaftlichen Initiativen beschreibt ECA Watch, wie das Unternehmen im Rahmen des umstrittenen Xayaburi-Staudammprojekts am Mekong in Laos internationale Standards über ethische Unternehmensführung verletzt.

Seit dem Spatenstich im November 2012 sind in Laos die baulichen Vorbereitungen zum etwa drei Milliarden Euro teuren Xayaburi-Staudammprojekt im Gange. Andritz liefert im Rahmen eines Auftrags in der Höhe von 300 Millionen Euro wichtige Betriebstechnologien für das Projekt, ohne die der Staudamm nicht betrieben werden kann. Das Megaprojekt birgt massive Risken für die Umwelt und hunderttausende Menschen in Laos, Thailand, Kambodscha und Vietnam. So ist zu befürchten, dass durch Xayaburi und seine Folgeprojekte viele schon verarmte Familien entlang des Flusslaufs in noch verstärkte Armut und Mangelernährung getrieben würden.

Der Mekong Fluss ist unser Leben. Wir sind sehr besorgt darüber, dass der Xayaburi-Staudamm unsere Ländereien und Lebensgrundlagen zerstören wird”, meint Ormbun Thipsuna, Vertreter des Nordöstlichen Gemeinde-Netzwerks in sieben Provinzen des Mekong-Flussbeckens in Thailand. Wildtier- und UmweltexpertInnen gehen davon aus, dass der Staudamm die Wanderung der Fische extrem reduzieren wird. Dies hätte verheerende Folgen für Thailands und Kambodschas Fischergemeinden am Mekong und kann das Aussterben von ausschließlich im Mekong vorzufindenden Arten wie dem Mekong-Riesenwels zur Folge haben. „Der Xayaburi-Damm wird die Fischbestände zerstören, ohne die unsere Leute nicht überleben können”, so Om Savath, Direktor des Fischerei-Aktions-Koalitionsteams von Kambodscha.

Wie die Erfahrung mit anderen Großstaudämmen zeigt, wird Xayaburi den Durchfluss nährreicher Sedimente hin zum ökologisch sensiblen Mekong-Delta im Vietnam blockieren. „Der Xayaburi-Staudamm ist der erste von elf geplanten Wasserkraftprojekten am bisher noch nicht gestauten unteren Mekong. Die Dämme werden die Bodenfruchtbarkeit dramatisch verschlechtern, die für die Reis anbauenden Gemeinden im Delta lebensnotwendig ist”, erklärt Lam Thi Thu Suu vom Center for Social Research and Development (CSRD) in Vietnam. „Wir verlangen von Andritz, seinen Anteil zu leisten, um diese Bedrohung für unsere Ernährungssicherheit und Lebensgrundlagen abzuwenden,” so Lam Thi Thu Suu.

Als Lieferant spezialangefertigter Maschinen-Bauteile hat Andritz einen erheblichen Einfluss um die Gestaltung des Projekts zu verbessern. Dennoch ist laut Jonathan Kaufman, Anwaltskoordinator von EarthRights International, „kein Hinweis darauf zu finden, dass Andritz Schritte hinsichtlich der Auswirkungen seiner Aktivitäten eingeleitet hätte.” Die OECD-Leitsätze für multinationale Unternehmen – ein international anerkannter Verhaltenskodex, dem Österreich offiziell zugestimmt hat – legen fest, dass Unternehmen ihre Einflussmöglichkeiten verwenden sollen, um gravierende Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Umweltschäden zu verhindern und anzusprechen. In der Beschwerde wird das Unternehmen aufgefordert, den Leitsätzen gerecht zu werden, indem es selbsttätig Studien über die sozialen und ökologischen Auswirkungen durchführt und seinen Einfluss als Lieferant von Schlüsseltechnologie auf die Projektentwickler und die Regierung von Laos nützt. Nur so können negative Auswirkungen verhindert oder abgeschwächt werden. Andritz sollte Maßnahmen ergreifen, um in zukünftigen Projekten Schäden zu vermeiden und sich an wirksamen Entschädigungen für die betroffene Bevölkerung zu beteiligen.

Laut den Beschwerdeführern beschränkt sich das Umwelt und Menschenrechte ignorierende Verhalten von Andritz nicht nur auf Xayaburi. Die Firma ist an zahlreichen weiteren höchst umstrittenen Projekten wie dem Ilisu-Staudamm in der Türkei oder dem Belo-Monte-Staudamm in Brasilien beteiligt. „Wir hoffen, dass diese Beschwerde und die Vermittlungsarbeit des Nationalen Kontaktpunkts dabei helfen werden, einen konstruktiven Dialog mit Andritz herzustellen und den durch das Projekt in ihrer Existenz gefährdeten Menschen Gehör zu schaffen”, so Thomas Wenidoppler von ECA Watch Österreich. „Andritz ist eines von nur wenigen Unternehmen, die diese Technologie für Megaprojekte wie Xayaburi liefern können. Dadurch hat Andritz die Möglichkeit Einfluss sowohl auf das Projekt als auch auf den gesamten Sektor durch die Entwicklung von eigenen Umwelt- und Menschenrechts-Standards zu nehmen.“

Weitere Informationen:

→ Link zur Beschwerde an den Nationalen Kontaktpunkt: http://www.ftwatch.at/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/9-April-2014-Andritz-OECD-Complaint-Press-Release-FINAL-in-English-for-international-release.pdf

→ Link zur internationalen Presseaussendung (englisch) inklusive internationalen Pressekontakten:http://www.ftwatch.at/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/9-April-2014-Andritz-OECD-Complaint-Press-Release-FINAL-in-English-for-international-release.pdf

Hintergrundinformation zum Xayaburi-Staudamm: http://www.ftwatch.at/dogdy-deals/xayaburi/

Hidrelétricas, crime e tragédia no Rio Madeira: quem é que vai pagar por isso?

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Por Elder Andrade de Paula

Camponeses arriscam suas vidas na tentativa de colher bananas em uma plantação  inundada em Puerto Yumani, departamento de Beni-Bolívia (Fevereiro de 2014) Fonte: http://www.elcomercio.com/mundo/invierno-lluvias-Bolivia-carreteras-muertos-desaparecidos_0_1083491800.html

Camponeses arriscam suas vidas na tentativa de colher bananas em uma plantação inundada em Puerto Yumani, departamento de Beni-Bolívia (Fevereiro de 2014) Fonte: http://www.elcomercio.com/mundo/invierno-lluvias-Bolivia-carreteras-muertos-desaparecidos_0_1083491800.html

Entre as centenas de imagens que vi até o momento, essa é a que mais impressionou-me nessa mega e inconclusa tragédia no rio Madeira e seu entorno. O olhar e expressão dessa mulher campesina parece-me sintetizar toda a dor e desespero de milhares de pessoas que perderam tudo: moradias, plantações, familiares (só na Bolívia foram registrados mais de 60 pessoas mortas até o momento).

Por essa razão, ao mesmo tempo em que felicito a iniciativa do MPF e MPE de Rondônia em conjunto com OAB-RO, por impetrar ação civil pública solicitando a suspensão das atividades nas usinas hidrelétricas de Jirau e Santo Antônio – até que se refaçam os Estudos de Impactos Ambientais – considero-a insuficiente diante da magnitude desse crime. Isto é, as obras do complexo madeira iniciadas com as construções das usinas de Sto Antônio e Jirau foram executadas a ferro e fogo, transgrediram acintosamente a Constituição e sua regulamentação no que diz respeito aos procedimentos para licenciamento ambiental.

Existe uma vasta documentação destacadamente o PARECER TÉCNICO Nº 014/2007 – COHID/CGENE/DILIC/IBAMA de 21 de março de 2007. Esse documento se tornou mais conhecido pelo seu conteúdo e repercussões políticas: demissão do diretor de Licenciamento do Ibama, Luiz Felippe Kunz Jr e desmonte do IBAMA a partir daquele momento. Ao analisar o conjunto da documentação “Estudo de Impacto Ambiental (EIA), Relatório de Impacto Ambiental (RIMA), Audiências Publicas, vistorias técnicas, reuniões técnicas, documentação apensada ao processo” a equipe técnica do IBAMA expôs em 220 paginas, as insuficiências e omissões dos mesmos.

De acordo com o Parecer, a área a ser alagada poderá ser o dobro daquela projetada nos estudos apresentados. “Em síntese”, conclui o referido Parecer:

i) há notória insuficiência dos estudos e complementações apresentados, fato atestado pelas contribuições de demais órgãos e entidades ao processo, notadamente o Relatório de Análise do Conteúdo dos Estudos de Impacto Ambiental proporcionado pelo Ministerio Publico do Estado de Rondônia;

(ii) as áreas diretamente afetadas e as áreas de influencia direta e indireta são maiores do que as diagnosticadas;

(iii) as vistorias, Audiências Publicas e reuniões realizadas trouxeram maiores subsídios a analise do EIA, demonstrando que os estudos subdimensionam, ou negam, impactos potenciais. Mesmo para assumir um impacto, e preciso conhecê-lo, e a sua magnitude;

(iv) as analises dos impactos identificados demonstraram a fragilidade dos mecanismos e propostas de mitiga coes;

(v) a extensão dos impactos (diretos e indiretos) abrange outras regiões brasileiras e países vizinhos, comprometendo ambiental e economicamente territórios não contemplados no EIA, sendo, desta forma, impossível mensurá-los;

(vi) a nova configuração da área de influencia dos empreendimentos demanda do licenciamento, segundo a determinação presente na Resolução no 237/1997, o estudo dos significativos impactos ambientais de âmbitos regionais. Neste sentido, considerando a real área de abrangência dos projetos e o envolvimento do Peru e da Bolívia, a magnitude desses novos estudos remete a reelaboração do Estudo de Impacto Ambiental e instrumento apropriado a ser definido conjuntamente com esses países impactados. De qualquer forma, e necessária consulta a Procuradoria Geral do IBAMA para o adequado procedimento.

Dado o elevado grau de incerteza envolvido no processo; a identificação de áreas afetadas não contempladas no Estudo; o não dimensionamento de vários impactos com ausência de medidas mitigadoras e de controle ambiental necessárias a garantia do bem-estar das populações e uso sustentável dos recursos naturais; e a necessária observância do Principio da Precaução, a equipe técnica concluiu não ser possível atestar a viabilidade ambiental dos aproveitamentos Hidrelétricos Santo Antônio e Jirau, sendo imperiosa a realização de novo Estudo de Impacto Ambiental, mais abrangente, tanto em território nacional como em territórios transfronteiriços, incluindo a realização de novas audiências publicas. Portanto, recomenda-se a não emissão da Licença Previa (http://www.internationalrivers.org/files/attached-files/ibama_parecer_032007.pdf pg 220-221, grifos nossos).

ESSA TRAGÉDIA PODERIA TER SIDO EVITADA.

Ao jogar no lixo esse Parecer Técnico e todas as criticas e advertências emanadas de movimentos sociais como MAB, especialistas e intelectuais comprometidos com a justiça e defesa dos direitos dos povos, o governo Lula praticou conscientemente um duplo crime: de responsabilidade administrativa e ambiental. Por essa razão, tanto o chefe do executivo na época (Lula) quanto os que tiveram responsabilidades diretas no licenciamento das hidrelétricas do rio Madeira tem que ser processados.

Mais ainda, devemos exigir a suspensão imediata da construção de hidrelétricas, de Belo Monte e daquelas projetadas na bacia do rio Tapajós. Está coberto de razão o povo Munduruku ao travar uma luta sem tréguas contra as barragens no Tapajós e precisam mais do que nunca contar com todo nosso apoio, especialmente o de “nosotros”, aproximadamente 2 milhões de pessoas atingidas pela tragédia das hidrelétricas do rio Madeira na Amazônia brasileira, boliviana e peruana. As hidrelétricas, juntamente com mineração, agronegócio, exploração florestal madeireira e financeirização da natureza via Pagamentos por Serviços Ambientais -PSA, formam o eixo básico desse repertório macabro da destruição posta em marcha pelo capital na Amazônia. Ou desobedecemos e lutamos ou seremos tragados por esse “moinho satânico”.