Archive for the ‘Indigenous REDD+ Proposal Proposta REDD+ Indígena’ Category

Suruí leaders confirm in meeting with president of Funai that they no longer want the carbon project on their land

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

By Patrícia Bonilha, 25/02/2015

Twelve leaders of the Paiter Suruí whose Indigenous Territory (IT) Sete de Setembro is located in the state of Rondônia, confirmed at a meeting held in the morning of the 24th of February with the president of the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), Flávio Chiarelli, that they want the Suruí Forest Carbon project to be suspended. The main arguments made by leaders were: serious divisions that have occurred among their peoples; non-fulfillment of promises that life in the communities would improve (while at the same time, they noted, a few families have benefited significantly); the removal of leaders and the centralization of representation of their peoples; and the threats made to several among their peoples who have recently voiced their opposition to the project.

The project signed [a contract] with Brazil’s largest cosmetics company, Natura, in September 2013, which includes carbon credits equivalent to 120,000 tons * [1] of carbon sequestered [in the forests] on the Sete de Setembro indigenous territory. The contract is from 2009 to 2012, for a reported value of R$ 1.2 million, according to press reports [2]. As the first REDD project on indigenous territory, and with international certification, the project won acclaim around the world, in addition to being “sold” as a model project by companies that promote the “green” economy.

However, when the current general chief of the Paiter Suruí, Henrique Iabaday Surui, gave an interview to the September 2014 issue of Porantim newspaper about the severe impacts of this project, another reality was revealed. “The promises were very good: Better quality of life, health, education. Everybody contributed. But soon the conflict started and there was a lack of respect. We are all guilty of accepting this, of signing. But we were deceived and now, we are experiencing the consequences. The suffering is increasing. We regret. This project is not working for us”, explained Jonaton Surui, second chief of the village Linha 14. Then, he said that “if this project continues, there will be deaths, fights, jail. Not only among the Suruí, but among other peoples who are also getting involved with these projects, such as the Arara.”

Speaking in the Suruí language, the elder Joaquim, deputy general chief, reinforced the concerns expressed by his kin, Jonaton and Henrique. “We fell into the trap of a misleading proposal. We’re here to call for the suspension of this project which was also approved by Funai. We are here in front of the president of Funai to call for him to also take responsibility towards us. We do not want this project for our peoples any longer”, he stated emphatically.

In a document delivered to Funai, indigenous peoples from 10 peoples in Rondônia state:
“We demand with urgency the suspension and subsequent cancellation of the carbon project on the Suruí and Cinta Larga indigenous territories and the halting of implementation of any project that involves this kind of exploitation in all indigenous territories in the state of Rondônia and in Brazil. We emphasize the responsibility of FUNAI for the implementation of the Carbon Project on Suruí territory, in the absence of legislation providing for such an initiative.”

After explaining that FUNAI gave approval to the project because they had concluded that the project would benefit the community, and at the insistence of one of the leaders of the peoples, Flávio Chiarelli said that the facts reported by the Suruí leaders present at the meeting were serious and that the agency first needed to better understand what was happening. “This is the first time that the community says that this project is a problem. Once we have heard more [detail], we can refer the case to the attorney to review and, if necessary, bring a lawsuit against it, “he said.
The ongoing struggle for land

After a debate on the need for strengthening of regional Funai coordination and of the agency as a whole, another topic discussed during the morning meeting was the situation regarding the demarcation processes of indigenous territories in the states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso.

The director of ‘Territorial Protection’ at Funai, Aluísio Azanha, after presenting a brief analysis of the difficult political context in which the Funai has been working due to a lack of staff and the curtailment and reduction of financial resources, in addition to the offensive against indigenous rights, provided information on some of these processes. He said that, for example, the Karitiana and Kaxarari indigenous territories were facing legal problems and that in relation to the territories of the Cujubim, Migueleno and Wajoro, it would not be possible to set up working groups this year. Regarding the study in relation to the land of the Puruburá peoples, Azanha confirmed that field work in the area claimed as indigenous territory was expected to take place still in 2015.

In response, representatives of the Puruburá peoples, Antônio and Hosana, urged swift action from Funai in relation to the demarcation of the land and respect for their peoples. “Funai pulled us away from our original territory. We would never have left. The dream of our Elders is to have our land demarcated, but they are dying without seeing this dream come true, having to live in hiding because of the threats that we suffer,” said Hosana Puruburá.

Discussions about the demarcation processes on indigenous territories of the indigenous peoples in Rondônia were held in a meeting in the afternoon. However, already during the meeting in the morning, several leaders expressed their concern about the grave, and unfortunately quite common, invasion of indigenous territories in that state by loggers. A complaint shared by all of the 10 peoples present was related to the feeling of having been abandoned by Funai and a need for the strengthening of this agency in order to be able to provide the support that indigenous peoples need, for example in relation to surveillance and punishment of those who steal wood.

[1] http://g1.globo.com/natureza/noticia/2013/09/indios-surui-concluem-1-venda-de-creditos-de-carbono-indigenas-do-pais.html
[2] http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/ambiente/2013/09/1340114-indios-de-ro-fecham-primeira-venda-de-carbono-certificado.shtml

The Suruí and the Carbon Project: For the world to know
24/02/2015. By Egon Heck, Cimi

“We request the immediate suspension of this carbon project, which is killing the Suruí.” This was the call from all chiefs and leaders of the Suruí at a hearing in the auditorium of the Federal Public Ministry that lasted for more than three hours. Deborah Duprat, coordinator of the 6th Chamber, listened carefully and discussed with the delegation of Indigenous Peoples from Rondônia, in an atmosphere of great trust and openness. After a brief presentation, Dr. Deborah expressed her bewilderment about the presence of some security guards in the auditorium. After having enquired who had sent them, she commented: “We never need such presence at our meetings with indigenous people. So I ask you to withdraw.” Despite claiming ‘higher orders’, they withdrew from the room.

“For me, this is perhaps one of the most important activities of our coming to Brasília,” said Antenor Karitiana. In fact, the Federal Public Ministry has become one of the important areas of struggle and guarantor of the rights of indigenous peoples. Even though the operating structure imposes limitations, it is undeniable that indigenous peoples have an important ally in their struggle for constitutional rights in the Federal Public Ministry.

Controversial project, abhorred by the Suruí
Most of the meeting time at the Federal Public Ministry revolved around the controversial Surui Forest Carbon Project which started in 2007. It is considered the first of its kind implemented on indigenous territory in our country. And in the view of the Suruí and the delegation of indigenous peoples from Rondônia, it should be the last. That is at least what they are fighting for, so that a similar deception is not repeated on any other indigenous territory. The general chief of the Suruí, Henrique Iabaday, who was part of the delegation, said the following about the project in an interview published in the September 2014 issue of Porantim: “The Carbon Project on our land is to take the life out of the Suruí Peoples, it will take the happiness from our life, take the right to live off the territory … It’s a bomb to the life of any human being … What happened to the Suruí Peoples is a story for life, and for the world .. . So that no other indigenous [peoples] engage in this type of project on their land … There is no way of expressing what happened to the Suruí. Our peoples are without life. We want the project to be suspended.”

After testimonies from Suruí leaders, Dr. Deborah Duprat shared her reflection: “I want to be very honest with you. We have a very serious problem with the Surui carbon sequestration project. The 6th Chamber advised not to accept the project. The contract was signed, and therefore, continues to be valid. For advancing a legal case, proof is required that what was agreed is not complied with. I can assure you that the Federal Public Ministry will press for a rigorous and thorough evaluation of the project and its consequences in terms of the violence that resulted, the serious conflicts that can lead to deaths and misappropriation of resources, and about who benefits from them. I’ll ask that Funai conduct a detailed assessment on which to base future decisions. What is needed is to analyze and discuss with all of the communities the terms of the contract. We will investigate, and you do your part.” And she made it very clear that: “The Public Ministry will not interfere with the internal matter of the peoples, because those in the best position to prevent this project are you.”

It was evident, after the more than two hours of debate and clarification that the perverse consequences of this type of project should serve as a lesson and strong reminder to prevent the same happening to other indigenous peoples. The important thing is to understand such a project as part of ‘green capitalism’ policies and as neocolonialism. In February 2012, Cimi issued a statement strongly condemning the insistence of implementation of REDD projects on indigenous territories. From the perspective of the rights and vision of these peoples “those projects transform nature into a commodity, gratitude in obligation, the mythical in terms of contracts and well-being in alleged ‘benefits of capital’. It is the commercialization of the sacred and the changing of human relations at the interface with the environment”, and therefore, we “join those who say NO to the financialization of nature, NO to the green economy and NO to the carbon market “(Porantim , September 2014).

War over land and health

The serious situation in relation to [indigenous] land, because of the invasion by large projects and various economic interests, as well as the paralyzed state of advance in recognition of indigenous territories, coupled with initiatives, such as the PEC 215, against indigenous peoples’ rights as enshrined in the Constitution, amounts to a declaration of war by the Brazilian State against indigenous peoples.

Regarding the paralysis [of the demarcation processes], Dr. Deborah pointed out that the Public Prosecution has urged Funai to take steps regarding the demarcation procedures under way and they have been considering adjustments to the process to enable the continuition of the cases. As for the PEC 215, she reported that steps had already been taken in relation to the unconstitutionality of the initiative.

The document submitted to the coordinator of the 6th Chamber further emphasized: “Another major problem we, indigenous peoples of Rondônia and Mato Grosso, face, is the use of pesticides in the surrounding of our territories. This is seriously affecting the health of our people and compromises biodiversity, reducing the fish in our rivers, the hunting in our forests, and it contaminates the water we consume.”

Regarding the health issues raised, the delegation denounced the overall lack of assistance and expressed their opposition to the creation of the INSI (National Institute for Indigenous Health.). Dr. Deborah added: “If the indigenous health is bad already, it will get worse.”

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

Because the Land Is Ours – The Rights of Mother Earth v. Carbon Trading

Friday, September 27th, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

Part 29 of the Harvesting Justice series

Inatoy Sidsagi and his cousin Esteban Herrera, from the indigenous Kuna Yala (also known as Guna Yala) nation in Panama, make up the indigenous rap group Kunarevolution. They rap about Mother Earth and the Kuna’s inalienable right to protect her lands and waters.

The Kuna Yala people recently prevailed over a threat to their lands, in the form of carbon trading. REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a global program promoted by the U.N., industrialized nations, and international financial institutions like the World Bank. REDD allows countries and corporations to buy “clean-air” credits from countries with undeveloped forests. In exchange, governments, indigenous nations, and other groups agree to preserve areas of their forests, with the rationale that the trees’ absorption of carbon, the element that causes global warming, will counteract damage done by industrial polluters.

In October 2011, the US-based Wildlife Works Carbon presented a REDD proposal to the Kuna Yala. The fifty-one communities spent a year and a half in consultation. In June 2013, the Kuna Yala general congress voted to reject the corporate proposal. They declared, further, their complete withdrawal “from all discussions at the national and international level on the REDD issue” and a prohibition on “organizing events, conferences, workshops and other activities on the issue.”

We interviewed the hip-hop artist Inatoy Sidsagi from a liberated territory of the Lenca indigenous people of Honduras, in a building plastered with stickers reading, “REDD: No capitalism in our forests.” Inatoy told us, “The rejection of REDD is for the patrimony. Having accepted it would have complicated life for future generations. Why? Because the land is ours. We are bound and obliged to leave it for perpetual use. REDD would have been a betrayal for the long-term, with many consequences – cultural ones, but even more, our possibility to be a people, to be a nation. It would have been the end of us as a people.”

Because indigenous nations and communities have preserved their forests so well, they are everywhere being targeted by REDD projects. What may sound like dry policy is in fact a contest in who has control over the land, the air, and future: those who have stewarded the earth for millennia, or those who want to buy and sell it as merchandise.

First among the problems of REDD is that it allows industries to pay to continue polluting. When corporations can buy the right to contaminate the air instead of changing their destructive practices, everyone and everything suffers.

Second, REDD’s very premise – attaching a monetary value to the ecological role of forests – commodifies what indigenous peoples say should never be commodified. Gustavo Castro Soto, co-coordinator of Otros Mundos in Chiapas, Mexico, said, “When a natural function like forest respiration becomes a product with a price, it’s easy to see who’s going to end up with control of the forests.”

Third, the market-based approach raises questions about who “owns” the forests in the first place. Agreements made with local or national governments, or with some indigenous “leaders” who may falsely claim to represent their people, cannot be trusted to protect the communities that live in the areas affected, or the earth itself.

The fourth problem concerns the kind of activities REDD allows. Tree plantations, vast fields of a single variety like oil palm or eucalyptus, are planted for quick harvest and large profit. By the U.N.’s definition, these ecologically destructive plantations can be counted as forests. This means that corporations and governments can log biologically diverse jungles and ancient woods, create plantations in their place, and collect REDD payments.

Fifth, REDD regulations can prohibit traditional indigenous agricultural practices and cause indigenous communities to be evicted.
For an excellent analysis of even more dangers of REDD, please see
“No Rights of Nature, No Reducing Emissions” by Jeff Conant and Anne Petermann.

Indigenous nations and social movements around the world have been denouncing REDD. To amplify their dissent, they have been forming alliances, gathering at international climate talks, and protesting. They insist on upholding an old concept which has recently been gaining currency as Mother Earth rights. This means that rights of the earth are intrinsic, and cannot be given or taken away by government or international institution. The framework is being used both to spread the worldview that the riches of nature should not be considered commodities to be bought and sold, and to mobilize people to unified action.

Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network and Dr. Daniel Wildcat of Haskell Indian Nation University wrote, “Goldtooth and Wildcat continued, “Our Indigenous lifeways are the original ‘green economies.’ This is more than an abstract philosophy. Our Mother Earth is the source of life. Water is her lifeblood. The well-being of the natural environment predicts the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual longevity of our Peoples. Mother Earth’s health and that of our Indigenous Peoples are intrinsically intertwined. When our homelands are in a state of good health our Peoples are truly healthy. This inseparable relationship must be respected for the sake of our future generations and for the well-being of the Earth herself.”

Goldtooth and Wildcat continued, “As Indigenous Peoples, we are accepting the responsibility designated by our prophecies to tell the world that we must live in peace with each other and the Earth to ensure harmony within Creation.”

At the December 2011 UN Conference in South Africa, a new coalition, the Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities against REDD and for Life, called for a moratorium on REDD. “We are here to express our concern about the false solutions that have made a business out of climate change,” said Marlon Santi, former president of the National Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador.

One of Earth Peoples co-ounder’s Hector Huertas explains the decision of indigenous peoples of Panama to withdraw from the UN-REDD process

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Below is a statement from one of Earth Peoples co-founders Hector Huertas, on behalf of the Legal Counsel to COONAPIP, explaining the decision to withdraw from the UN-REDD process

The National Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples of Panama (COONAPIP) is a body with representation from the seven Indigenous Peoples of Panama and was identified by the UN-REDD Programme as a key actor in planning the national REDD strategy for Panama. However, COONAPIP is concerned that in the “consultation” process both the government of Panama and UN officials refuse to comply with indigenous rights recognized by the Panamanian State and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For example, the officials refuse to recognize that almost 76% of the forests of Panama are found in indigenous lands and territories, which Indigenous Peoples have inalienable rights to, and which are recognized by the constitution and Panamanian law. Furthermore, it is contradictory that, on one hand, the officials minimalize the importance of indigenous issues for REDD, and on the other, allow logging companies to participate.

Indigenous Peoples have made it clear that a REDD strategy must first ensure the implementation of the nationally and internationally recognized rights of Indigenous Peoples. However, the UN-REDD officials say that it is not a priority of the Programme to help secure the land rights of Indigenous Peoples who do not have collective deeds and whose land has had protected areas superimposed upon them.

With regards to the issue of full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, the UN officials and the Panamanian government are dividing indigenous communities with money from the Programme to force supposed consultations. This unethical and reprehensible procedure prompted COONAPIP to stop participating in a process whose objective is to privatize the forests of Panama in violation of the Panamanian constitution and laws, and allow the State to cash in on carbon credits in utter contempt for the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Hector Huertas, Esquire
Legal Counsel of COONAPIP

Africans Unite against New Form of Colonialism: No REDD Network Born

Monday, April 1st, 2013

No REDD pencil (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

No REDD pencil - Earth Peoples

Outraged by the rampant land grabs and neocolonialism of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest degradation), Africans at the World Social Forum in Tunisia took the historic decision to launch the No REDD in Africa Network and join the global movement against REDD.

REDD+ is a carbon offset mechanism whereby industrialized Northern countries use forests, agriculture, soils and even water as sponges for their pollution instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at source.
“REDD is no longer just a false solution but a new form of colonialism,” denounced Nnimmo Bassey, Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate, former Executive Director of ERA/Friends of the Earth Nigeria. “In Africa, REDD+ is emerging as a new form of colonialism, economic subjugation and a driver of land grabs so massive that they may constitute a continent grab.We launch the No REDD in Africa Network to defend the continent from carbon colonialism.”
In the UN-REDD Framework Document, the United Nations itself admits that REDD could result in the “lock-up of forests,” “loss of land” and “new risks for the poor.”
REDD originally just included forests but its scope has been expanded to include soils and agriculture. In a teach-in session yesterday at the World Social Forum Tunis, members of the La Via Campesina,  the world’s largest peasant movement, were concerned that REDD projects in Africa would threaten food security and could eventually cause hunger.
A recent Via Campesina study on the N’hambita REDD project in Mozambique found that thousands of farmers were paid meager amounts for seven years for tending trees, but that because the contract is for 99 years, if the farmer dies his or her children and their children must tend the trees for free. “This constitutes carbon slavery,” denounced the emerging No REDD in Africa Network. The N’hambita project was celebrated by the UN on the website for Rio+20, the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro last year.
Mercia Andrews, Rural Women’s Assembly of Southern Africa urged “We as Africans need to go beyond the REDD problem to forging a solution.The last thing Africa needs is a new form of colonialism.”
Africans from Nigeria, South Africa, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Mozambique, Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Tanzania participated in the launch of the No REDD in Africa Network.
According the The New York Times, over 22,000 farmers with land deeds were violently evicted for a REDD-type project in Uganda in 2011 and Friday Mukamperezida, an eight-year-old boy was killed when his home was burned to the ground.
REDD and carbon forest projects are resulting in massive evictions, servitude, slavery, persecutions, killings, and imprisonment, according to the nascent No REDD in Africa Network.
“The Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change against REDD and for Life hails the birth of the NO REDD in Africa Network. This signals a growing resistance against REDD throughout the world,” Tom Goldtooth, Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “We know REDD could cause genocide and we are delighted that the Africans are taking a stand to stop what could be the biggest land grab of all time.”

A proposta REDD+ Indígena da COICA + WWF: sem o consentimento das bases indígenas

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Traduzido por Paul Wolters

Os professionais conferencistas da COICA (fortemente financiada e cortejada por entidades pró-REDD como a Fundação Ford, o Banco Mundial, a Noruega, a WWF, CI, EDF e outros)  realizaram no dia 18 de maio de 2012 um evento sobre uma proposta REDD+ Indígena, em Bonn, Alemanha, no âmbito da reunião preparativa para a Conferência do Clima da ONU em Doha.

Foi Juan Carlos Jintiach, “Especialista de Cooperação Internacional” que compartilhava em nome da COICA a visão “de seu povo” para a Redução de Emissões por Desmatamento e Degradação (REDD +). Supostamente trataria de uma proposta REDD+ indígena que, inclusive, poderia ser implementada com ou sem o mercado de carbono.

Porém, quando Juan Carlos Jintiach e outros indivíduos indígenas e membros da COICA anunciaram essa proposta para o REDD+ Indígena durante as negociações sobre as Mudanças do Clima da ONU, em Doha, comunidades e grupos indígenas, nações e povos que vivem no próprio solo, não tinham voz, não tinham nenhuma informação, nenhum conhecimento, nenhuma consulta, e, portanto, nenhuma idéia sobre o que a COICA está dizendo em seu nome a nível internacional.

VIDEO(Aritana Yawalapiti sobre ISA e REDD)
VIDEO(Pirakuman Yawalapiti sobre carbono)
VIDEO(Pirakuman Yawalapiti sobre representantes Indigenas na ONU)

“O que foi apresentado agora pela COICA como REDD+ Indígena, é uma proposta muito aguardada pelos povos indígenas da Amazônia …” ressalta o site da ong WWF, que começou a “apoiar” COICA desde 2008, certamente tão logo a falsa solução da REDD para alterações climáticas tornou-se a mais nova moda dentro da ONU, bem como fora dela.

“Isso é uma importante contribuição para a construção do mecanismo REDD+, uma vez que (…) promove ainda mais a cooperação de todas as partes involvidas …”, continua o artigo do sítio da WWF.

Talvez seja bom para eles, mas é muito ruim para os povos e ruins para o clima.

Cerca de um mês atrás, Earth Peoples / Povos da Terra foi informado por representantes de estados europeus que a Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Bacia Amazônica (COICA) havia enviado a proposta de REDD + Indígena para os estados, com o objetivo de buscar parcerias – e, finalmente financiamento.

Ao mesmo tempo, durante os últimos meses, vários indivíduos de organizações indígenas nacionais que pertencem às regiões de floresta tropical na América do Sul e que são membros da COICA, responderam a Earth Peoples / Povos da Terra, que os povos não tinham tomado qualquer decisão ) sobre a proposta de REDD + Indígena, nem durante as reuniões da COICA, como a reunião em Manaus com todos os membros presentes, nem durante o Acampamento Terra Livre, o contro-evento paralelo à conferência Rio +20.

Ou seja, a proposta da Coica acerca do REDD+ Indígena carece de legitimidade.

NÃO ao REDD! pencil by Earth Peoples

NÃO ao REDD! pencil by Earth Peoples