Archive for the ‘Water Rights’ Category

Brazil’s Temer threatens constitutional indigenous land rights

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

by Sue Branford and Maurício Torres on 1 August 2017

– President Temer, influenced by the rural lobby in congress whose
votes he needs to not be tried by the Supreme Court on corruption charges, has okayed new criteria meant to delegitimize indigenous land boundary claims, legal experts say.

– One rule rejects any indigenous demarcation of land where Indians were not physically present on a traditional territory in 1988, which would disqualify many legitimate claims.

– Another allows government to undertake “strategic” public works, such as dams and roads, without indigenous consent, violating the International Labor Organization’s 169 Convention, signed by Brazil.

– The administration also introduced a bill likely to be passed by congress that reclassifies 349,000 hectares (1,347 square miles) of Jamanxim National Forest in the Amazon, gutting protections, allowing economic activities — logging, ranching, farming and mining — and legitimizing land grabs there.

Hundreds of thousands of Indians live on indigenous lands in Brazil, but much of that land has never been officially demarcated due to decades of government delay. Now, President Temer’s political maneuvering threatens to shut down the demarcation process in favor of land thieves, ranchers, soy growers, mining concerns, and construction companies with much to profit from Amazon dam and road government contracts.

A storm of protest greeted the 19 July announcement that Brazilian President Michel Temer has approved a recommendation made by the Attorney General’s office (AGU), that federal government bodies should adopt new criteria for setting the boundaries of indigenous land.

Respected lawyer Dalmo de Abreu Dallari, who headed the University of São Paulo’s legal faculty for many years, said that the recommendation was a “legal farce,” with the objective of “extorting from the indigenous communities their right to the land they have traditionally occupied.”

But the bancada ruralista rural caucus in Congress is triumphant. Federal deputy Luiz Carlos Heinze, a leading member of the caucus, celebrated the AGU recommendation, saying in a video circulated on social media that it will lead to a reassessment of more than 700 cases, resulting ultimately in the dismissal of 90 percent of ongoing indigenous territory land claims.

The Civil Office of the Presidency has already returned to the justice ministry 19 indigenous territories, covering 792,370 hectares (3,059 square miles), which were close to completion, saying that the recognition of these reserves is to be reviewed. With the process for recognizing many of the other new territories at an early stage, it is impossible to calculate precisely how much land is involved.

However, if created, the new reserves would undoubtedly add millions of hectares to the 177 million hectares (683,400 square miles), 13.8 percent of the Brazilian territory, that is in indigenous hands. By far the largest share — 98 percent of all indigenous territory — is located in the Amazon, where the reserves prove an effective bulwark against deforestation. The long process of recognizing indigenous ownership is not complete in all these territories, so some of these lands could become vulnerable to reclassification.

The “Marco temporal” debate

The most controversial aspect of the AGU’s recommendation is the introduction of the so-called “marco temporal” an arbitrary cut-off date for land claims.

Under the new measure, Indian groups will only have the legal right to claim traditionally held territory that they were physically occupying as of 5 October 1988, the day the most recent federal Constitution was approved — a date, historians point out, by which many Indian groups had already been forced from their lands.

The concept of “marco temporal” was first adopted by the Supreme Federal Court (STF), when it settled a long, contentious dispute over boundaries for the Raposa/Serra do Sol indigenous reserve in Roraima in 2009.

The Dilma Rousseff government, with its strong anti-indigenous bent, was keen to make this cut-off point vinculante, a norm to be universally followed for establishing other indigenous territories in the future, and the AGU issued Portaria 303/2012, an order to that effect. However, STF minister Ricardo Lewandowski, in a 2013 ruling, made it clear that the 19 conditions for such settlements — including the “marco temporal” — could not legally be applied to the demarcation of all indigenous lands. This decision, combined with strong indigenous pressure, led to Portaria 303’s eventual revocation.

The rural elite, however, never accepted the high court’s finding. It wanted the criteria, especially that referring to the “marco temporal,” along with another that forbids the enlargement of indigenous territory already marked out, to become vinculante, the norm and extended to all future cases.

Importantly, the AGU’s July recommendation also makes it possible to undertake “strategic” public works, such as hydroelectric dams and roads, without Indian consent. This seems to be a direct breach of the International Labor Organization’s 169 Convention, signed by Brazil, in which nations commit to full consultation with indigenous people whenever a public work will affect their land or way of life.

Outcry against demarcation rule changes
Protests against the AGU’s recommendation, particularly the 1988 cut-off date, have been vociferous, despite the huge amount of civil strife already unfolding in Brazil — with landless peasants occupying elite estates, including one owned by the family of agriculture minister Blairo Maggi, and with President Temer’s legitimacy threatened by serious corruption charges.

Journalist Rubens Valente, who has just published a book about Brazilian atrocities committed against Indians during the military dictatorship, called Temer’s July decision “a 50-year setback. It’s as if the International Labor Organization’s 169 Convention didn’t exist.”

Well-known forestry consultant Tasso Azevedo, former director of Brazil’s National Forest program under the Lula government, fumed: “Imagine a Polish law that said that the claimant — for example, a Jewish family persecuted during the Second World War — could only get their property back if they were living in the house when it was expropriated? It would be seen as absurd.” He went on: “The AGU recommendation shreds indigenous rights. You want a road? No need to ask. Just go ahead and do it.”

Others point to the tragic predicament of Guarani Indian groups in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. These indigenous people were forcibly evicted from their territories after the state government sold their land to farmers. For years they’ve struggled to regain their territories and many still squat at roadsides, barred by fences from moving back onto their land. But because they were evicted before 1988, the AGU recommendation would negate all claims.

Crizantho Alves Fialho Neto, from FUNAI, Brazil’s federal indigenous agency, says that the ruling ignores the legal standing of indigenous territory: “Indigenous possession of land is different from a landowner’s ownership of land. It is not possession as defined in civil law. It is possession as defined in the constitution.” In theory at least, this means that indigenous rights are “inviolable, exclusive and perpetual.”

Lawyer José Afonso da Silva, a specialist in constitutional law, also questions the validity of the 1988 cut-off date: “the beginning of the legal recognition of indigenous rights was in June 1611 with the Royal Charter (Carta Régia) promulgated by the Portuguese king Philip lll … All other constitutions continued along these lines. The 1988 Constitution just carried on this tradition.” Based on these legal precedents, he says, there is no reason to give that date a special status — unless, critics say, the government’s plan is to deprive indigenous people of their demarcation rights in order to legitimize land thefts that occurred before that date.

Many other legal experts have protested. Érika Yamada, an independent United Nations indigenous expert, says that the recommendation “exceeds all limits of administrative law, because the president is signing a recommendation that is an attempt to legislate, to alter the 1988 Constitution.” She argues that the new measure is unconstitutional and may well lead to challenges in the ILO, the Organization of American States and the United Nations.

Indigenous organizations have already called for a legal counteroffensive. The Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR) will be challenging in the courts the legality of actions that replicate the “unconstitutional” conditions established in the Raposa/Serra do Sol case.

These legal challenges may well succeed, but that will take time. Meanwhile, serious damage could be done to indigenous groups. Temer has already said that he expects FUNAI and other government bodies to start implementing the AGU guidance.

The risk of escalating violence
There is another concern: Valente believes that the new criteria could catalyse unrest in the countryside, which is already at record levels: “The Indians want to regain their old lands and they are increasingly well organized.… The AGU recommendation may well provoke violence, as it is telling these groups that the doors are closing for them to get what they want through the justice system or from the executive.” The recommendation could also embolden land grabbers eager to exploit indigenous demarcation disputes, experts say.

Azevedo has no doubt why the president approved the AGU recommendations: “Temer endorsed the ruling for the worst possible motive: to buy political support in Congress so that he won’t be tried for corruption by the Federal Supreme Court.”


Indeed, the rural caucus has made no secret of the role it played in Temer’s rise, and that it could play in his fall. In the already mentioned video, Luiz Carlos Heinze revealed that the AGU recommendation was agreed to in an April meeting between then Justice Minister Osmar Serraglio (a leading member of the rural caucus), Presidential Head of Staff Eliseu Padilha, and Federal Attorney General Grace Maria Fernandes Mendonça. The three made a pact, he claims, that represents “a great advance for all Brazilian [agribusiness] producers who have been feeling frustrated and anxious because of the pressure they have been receiving from FUNAI” to vacate lands they’ve claimed for years.

Experts see the AGU recommendation as just one bargaining chip being used by Temer, an experienced Congressional operator, to make sure he gains sufficient votes in the Lower House to prevent a two-thirds majority from voting that he should be tried by the Supreme Court for the corruption accusation made against him by the Attorney General. That crucial vote is scheduled for this Wednesday. The latest opinion polls show that 81 percent of Brazilians want Temer tried for corruption.

Temer’s environmental concessions
Environmental protection also appears to be an expendable pawn in Temer’s congressional game.

In recent weeks, the president allowed his environmental minister, José Sarney Filho, to introduce a bill to reclassify a large portion of Jamanxim National Forest in the Amazon allowing economic activities within it — including logging, ranching, farming and mining — a dismemberment for which the rural elite has long lobbied, and that would legitimize land grabs underway there for years.

Munduruku (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

The Munduruku have battled for years with the Brazilian government to get their lands formally demarcated, as have many other indigenous groups. Temer’s actions are likely to make that fight more contentious, with an escalation of violence, as the ruralistas are emboldened to oppose indigenous territory claims. Photo by Rebecca Sommer

Previously, Temer planned to achieve this goal via a provisional measure (MP 756), which he himself proposed, but which in the end, he was forced to veto in the face of intense national and international pressure.

Groups at home and abroad are now campaigning hard to stop the newest Jamanxim dismemberment bill, which would reclassify an even larger part of the forest than the original provisional measure­­ –– 349,000 hectares (1,347 square miles). But this time the counterattack may not be as effective, because bills of this kind only require congressional approval and are not subject to a presidential veto.

The runaway power of the rural caucus in congress and within the Temer administration, and the ruralistas growing confidence that they will not be held accountable, is now having serious consequences for the environment, Indians, quilombolas (those living in communities set up by runaway slaves), peasant farmers and other rural inhabitants.

According to Global Witness, more rural and environmental activists have been killed in Brazil than in any other country in the world over the past five years. Moreover, nine out of ten murders occurred in Legal Amazonia, with most in Rondônia and eastern Pará state. There were 47 total homicides in the Amazon in 2016, with 33 in the first five months of this year, putting 2017 on track to be the bloodiest year in recent Amazon history.

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Banner image by Agência Brasil and used under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil License.

Germany largely bans fracking with new laws

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Particularly risky fracking is now banned until at least 2021, and “conventional” fracking will be governed by much tighter rules. For environmentalists, the laws do not go far enough: They want a complete ban.

A new legislative package on the use of fracking in Germany went into effect on Saturday, following much heated debate.
The legislation largely bans a particularly controversial form of fracking and imposes stricter rules on fracking overall. The German parliament and the 16 German states had approved the laws in June and July of 2016 after years of push-and-pull over environmental concerns and economic interests.
For environmentalists, the new laws don’t go far enough: They want a complete ban on all types of fracking. “If we want to meet the climate goals set in Paris, we need a clear ban on every type of oil and gas fracking,” said Kai Niebert, the chairman of Deutscher Naturschutzring, an umbrella organization for German environmentalist groups.

What is fracking?
Fracking – short for hydraulic fracturing – is a method used for extracting fossil fuels. A mix of water, sand and chemicals is pushed into the ground at high pressure to press out gas or oil. It allows the extraction of previously out-of-reach resources, but also poses environmental risks.
The new German laws distinguish between “conventional fracking” and “unconventional fracking.”
image©DW
Unconventional fracking is used when gas or oil is found not just embedded in rock strata but bound to the stone. In these cases, the fossil fuel often no longer has gaseous or liquid form. Extremely high pressure and high amounts of fracking liquid – often containing highly toxic chemicals – are needed to extract the fuel.
That practice is now banned in Germany until at least 2021, with the exception of up to four test drillings for scientific purposes. The German parliament is set to reassess the ban in four years’ time.
Conventional fracking is used when oil or gas can be reached comparatively easily. Less pressure, less liquid and fewer dangerous chemicals are usually needed to capture the fossil fuels. This method has been used in Germany since the 1960s, often in tandem with regular drilling: When a source is running low, conventional fracking is used to drive out the remaining oil or gas.
It will remain legal in Germany, but will be subject to tighter restrictions. It is, for example, no longer allowed in areas where drinking water is sourced.
Across Europe, laws on fracking vary from one country to the next. While France banned the procedure in 2011, the administration in the United Kingdom has plans to use fracking to explore its gas reserves to become more energy-independent in the post-Brexit era.
In the United States, unconventional fracking is particularly widespread. While some US states have banned the procedure, most states – especially those with large fossil fuel reserves – allow this type of drilling. President Donald Trump recently approved the Dakota Access pipeline, which is supposed to transport oil obtained through fracking in North Dakota across the US.
mb/tj (AFP, dpa)

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

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

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

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.”

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.

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

NAMIBIA: Semi-nomadic HIMBA march again in protest – against dam construction and government attempt to bribe Himba chief’s consent- 29 March 2014

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

By Rebecca Sommer

The indigenous Himba people from Namibia object for over a decade to the construction of a hydro dam: They filed with the help of EARTH PEOPLES reports and complaint procedures at the United Nations, marched numerous times in protest, wrote letters to the head of state and other relevant governmental authorities.

Himba+Zemba from Angola and Namibia protest against dam and bribery (by Namibia and Chinese company that would build the dam) of their chief, 29.3.2014 (Photo © Earth Peoples)

Himba+Zemba from Angola and Namibia protest against dam and bribery (by Namibia and Chinese company that would build the dam) of their chief, 29.3.2014 (Photo © Earth Peoples)

Two sinister Namibian men in cahoots with the Namibia government and the Chinese company that would build the dam have been exposed to severe bribery attempts that lead to the downfall of former Himba chief Kapika. His younger brother from father side will take over the reigns next week.

Namibia regards Himba Chief Kapika (for region Epupa) as the main obstacle to the dam construction project that they desperately want to get off the ground.

It started somewhere in Novembr of last year, when information reached Earth Peoples for the first time that two Namibian business men, Mervin Hengari and Justice Tjirimuje, were heavily targeting Ovahimba (Himba) Chief Hikuminae Kapika to win his support for the construction of the Baynes Hydro Power Plant along the Kunene River.

Hengari and Tjirimuje are both due to go on trial on charges of corruption in connection with another dam issue, the Neckartal Dam tender, therefore it was more than worrisome to learn that they have made it their personal mission to bring Chief Kapika on board.

It is worthwhile to read the Observer24 Journalist Diana Ndimbra article from February 2014 for more details: Read Diana Ndimbra’s article:
GRAFT SUSPECTS FLIRT WITH CHIEF

After the two sinister characters had visited Kapika several times, they returned to the homestead of Kapika, this time with a Namibian governmental delegation, joined by Chinese company representatives that would build the dam at Orokawe.

It is said that he agreed to the proposal that members of the HImba community and himself would travel overseas “to learn about and to see dams”.

Very much to the dismay of the larger Himba community that learned about this invitation and trip to China once they had left, only two Himba were from the actual area that would be directly affected by the dam.

Himba protest 29 March 2014 / Himba women looking at the location of proposed dam (behind the mountain )  Photo © Earth Peoples

Himba protest 29 March 2014 / Himba women looking at the location of proposed dam (behind the mountain ) Photo © Earth Peoples

The group returned to Namibia in October, and since than the Himba people waited at several regional meetings for chief Kapika and the others to explain what had happened. Chief Kapika never showed up at any of the meetings, and his community grew by the time angrier while rumors began to spread that Kapika had signed a document which was believed to be a agreement on behalf of the Himba people to build the dam in Namibia.

After former chief Kapika’s return from China (and Cuba), the two murky businessmen Hengari and Tjirimuje brought Kapika and the others on a farm west of Okahnadja that belongs to one of the two businessmen men in question. There they told him that the intention was to make him a gazetted chief and promised the rest of the group of Herero and Himba 700 hundred thousand N$ to each of them should they convince him to sign his consent for the dam’s construction. Members of that group also reported to the community that several governmental meetings took place during the time in Windhoeck where governmental authorities confirmed and repeated the same promises (or bribes,  as one could say) .  The group stayed for nearly three months at the ranch.

After Kapika finally returned to Himba territory, his homestead Omuramba was all by a sudden protected by a permanent police contingent, and his own people were not allowed to speak with him without a police officer standing right next to him. They vacated his place only very recently some days ago, after the communities’ anger was starting to explode.

NAMIBIA: Himba / Zemba (Ovahimba / Ovazemba) people protest against governmental bribery of their chief to force consent on hydro dam construction with signs"NO to the dam" (PHOTO © EARTH PEOPLES)

NAMIBIA: Himba / Zemba (Ovahimba / Ovazemba) people protest against dam and governmental bribery of their chief to force his consent for hydro dam construction

At today’s indigenous peoples human rights protest that started in Okapare and ended in Epupa, with over 500 participants and covered by NBC, the Himba people reaffirmed their objection to the construction of the dam, and repeated their demands for their human rights.

They were joined by Himba from the other side of the border, Angola. Both countries don’t want to listen to their indigenous peoples, the original inhabitants of that very territory where both states want to build the dam.

“Nothing has changed, we strongly oppose the dam and will continue to fight its construction, no bribes and no targeting of our leaders will change that,” they said.

READ Himba Protest Declaration/Letter:

Himba Protest Letter 26 March 2014, explaining that they continue to object to dam construction and their objection to bribery attempts by the government of Namibia with the goal to get Himba Chief Kapika to sign a consent document to the dam.

Himba Protest Letter 26 March 2014, explaining that they continue to object to dam construction and their objection to bribery attempts by the government of Namibia with the goal to get Himba Chief Kapika to sign a consent document to the dam.

The Himba had made valuable suggestions to both states to use solar energy instead of blocking the water of the Kunene River. (Read here)

Listen to Himba’s human rights problems:
WATCH VIDEOS

Himba from Angola and Namibia protest March 29th 2014 against hydro dam / government bribery to force their chief's consent (images©Earth Peoples)

Himba from Angola and Namibia protest March 29th 2014 against hydro dam / government bribery to force their chief

Added by Earth Peoples blog administrator on the 30th of March 2014:
READ ALSO THE HIMBA INFORMATION STATEMENT 30 March 2014: HERE
Himba Information Statement written and signed on the 30 March 2014 explains that the Himba want the Namibian government to adhere to Human Rights laws, that they want the outside world to be informed of what is happening to them and that former headman Hikuminue Kapika was replaced to the newly appointed chief Mutambanda Kapika (fo Epupa/Omavanda region).

Namibia/ Indigenous Peoples: Semi nomadic Himba protest against hydro dam and for human rights 29 March 2014 (Photo © Earth Peoples)

Namibia/ Indigenous Peoples: Semi nomadic Himba protest against hydro dam and for human rights 29 March 2014 (Photo © Earth Peoples)

Crítica ao mercado de carbono

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Crítica ao mercado de carbono assegura que mecanismo de compensação é antiético

Filósofo pela Universidade de Viena, Michael Schmidlehner questiona legislação criada pelo Governo do Acre para garantir pagamento por serviços ambientais e usa o argumento da ‘justiça climática’ para fulminar a dinâmica da compensação por emissão de gases de efeito estufa Amazônia

ITAAN ARRUDA

(fonte: jornal A Gazeta)

Os pagamentos por serviços ambientais estão longe da unanimidade. Há fortes argumentos que questionam a implantação de políticas públicas cuja retórica se fundamenta na lógica “fazer com que as comunidades ganhem dinheiro com a floresta em pé”.

Professores universitários de diversas partes do mundo, dirigentes de pequenas ONGs, líderes rurais, pesquisadores têm relativizado a eficácia do mercado de carbono como mecanismo de minimização do efeito estufa, responsável pelo aquecimento global, e criticam duramente o instrumento REDD (Redução de Emissões por Desmatamento e Degradação Florestal).

Sobre essas questões, o Acre tem sido apontado, sem exagero, como uma espécie de “modelo” da implantação desses mecanismos como política pública, inclusive com amparo legal, como é o caso do Sistema Estadual de Incentivo a Serviços Ambientais (Sisa), gestado no governo de Binho Marques, finalizado na atual administração de Tião Viana e aprovado na Assembleia Legislativa ano passado.

Aliás, esse é o primeiro argumento utilizado pelos críticos para aniquilar a proposta dos pagamentos por serviços ambientais. Essas legislações semelhantes ao Sisa são classificadas como “subnacionais”. Elas, de acordo com os críticos, não são formuladas por um mecanismo centralizado no Governo Federal e por ele fiscalizado e monitorado.

“O artigo 225 da Constituição brasileira diz que o meio ambiente é um bem público”, adverte o filósofo e professor universitário Michael Schmidlehner. “Isso é um valor e não está certo transformar isso em mercadoria”. O professor lembra que o ex-governador do Estado da Califórnia, Arnold Schwarzenegger liderou a formação de uma rede de gestores públicos chamada de Goverment Task Force que usou a retórica da defesa e preservação ambiental para, de fato, blindar interesses comerciais de grandes indústrias por meio de iniciativas subnacionais semelhantes ao Sisa.

“A própria ONU condenou por unanimidade essas iniciativas subnacionais”, lembra o pesquisador. A Organização das Nações Unidas entendeu que esse tipo de ação pública deve ser necessariamente protagonizada pelos governos centrais e não pelas federações.

Compensações como mascaramento

O filósofo Michael Schmidlehner defendeu ano passado uma tese de mestrado sobre biodiversidade na Universidade de Viena, na Áustria. O estudo parte da análise do discurso oficial do Governo do Acre até a implantação das políticas públicas.

Para o pesquisador, a essência da defesa do Governo do Acre se baseia na seguinte lógica econômica: atribui-se um valor monetário aos recursos e o ser humano vai preservá-los porque vai valorizá-los. A “repartição de benefícios” seria, nesse cenário, um “estímulo para a preservação”. Um argumento que Schmidlehner rebate com a seguinte pergunta: “Será que é da natureza humana sempre optar pelo crescimento econômico?”, indaga. “Eu imagino que não. Seria muito triste se fosse só isso”.

No entanto, o pesquisador é honesto em reconhecer que não encontrou um caminho para a solução do problema. “Eu tenho que dizer que também não tenho as soluções para combater a miséria, distribuir renda. Não tenho. Mas, no meu ver, o que está acontecendo é muito preocupante porque está se dizendo que teria soluções. E eu acho que eles estão fundamentalmente equivocados”.

Schmidlehner utiliza uma metáfora simples para dizer que todos, inclusive, estão em busca de um novo caminho. “Eu acho que é muito pior você dizer para alguém perdido que você tem um mapa, que você sabe que é falso, do que dizer que não sabe o caminho”, compara. “É isso que eu acho que está acontecendo: acho que está sendo replicado um mapa errado, falso, que aponta para soluções que, ao contrário, são um beco sem saída ou programas que tendem a piorar”.

Antiético

Schmidlehner pontua um problema sistêmico na dinâmica da compensação por emissões de gases de efeito estufa. Ele cita vários casos, mas destaca um que ocorre no estado da Califórnia, oeste dos Estados Unidos.

“Há comunidades de baixa renda que vivem em Los Angeles próximos de fábricas [que emitem grandes quantidades de gases poluentes] e as pessoas têm taxas de câncer elevadas, taxas de aborto espontâneos elevados e as crianças brincam no meio da fumaça”, pontua.

Ele informa que essas comunidades já exigiram que essas empresas diminuam as emissões. “Já mandamos cartas para lá exigindo: ‘Não façam isso. A compensação não resolve o problema climático e é eticamente questionável’, disse em carta. “Ora, como vender crédito de carbono daqui para lá vai resolver o problema da vida dessas pessoas? Tem que reduzir ao invés de compensar. Essa ideia da compensação é anti-ética e ela não resolve o problema”.

Virtualidade

O filósofo questiona o instrumento de REDD ou de REDD+. “Há um grande equívoco, por exemplo, quando se fala dos projetos REDD”, sentencia. “A partir do momento que eles são financiados através do mercado, o seu efeito de redução de emissões é aniquilado porque ele permite as mesmas emissões em outro lugar. E pior: essas emissões reduzidas são emissões altamente virtuais”.

A defesa oficial dos governos baseada na lógica do “ou usa com método ou se devasta” efetiva uma troca ruim para as comunidades. “O argumento comum é o seguinte: ‘se não fazemos nada, as áreas florestais vão ser desmatadas’, mas omite-se o fato de que aquele que compra, o carbono que ele emite já vai para os ares realmente”, afirma. “Troca-se algo virtual por algo muito real. Além disso, não há garantia de que as florestas onde há aplicação de conceito REDD estejam imunes às catástrofes, incêndios… são previsões”.

Territorialidade ameaçada

O mecanismo REDD dificulta o uso emancipador da territorialidade por parte das populações tradicionais da floresta. Dito de outra forma: o uso da terra não é mais autodeterminado pelos povos que nela vivem. Ou, no mínimo, isso sofre bastante com a entrada em cena do mecanismo REDD, defende o pesquisador.

“As pessoas vão ter que seguir regras implementadas de fora”, analisa. “São outras regras que vão se estabelecer sobre esse território. O exercício de territorialidade, de ter a autonomia da tua terra, de fazer as coisas como a tua comunidade entende passa a ser ameaçado”.

Para Schmidlehner, a pergunta é relativamente simples. “Como se mantém o conhecimento tradicional? O conhecimento tradicional não é museu. Se você regulamenta o conhecimento tradicional você já perde a essência dele. Porque ele é criado e se cria na prática, na oralidade e na ação. É na interação com as formas de vida da floresta que se gera o conhecimento. É algo vivo”.

Para o filósofo, a retórica oficial acaba expondo uma contradição. “Então, chega até ser uma ironia dizer que com os serviços ambientais se valoriza a cultura e os conhecimentos tradicionais ecossistêmicos, como está no Sisa”.

REDD promove fuga de desmatamento

Quando uma empresa madeireira atua em determinada região, há impacto ambiental evidente, com ou sem manejo. Se essa região passa a ser utilizada pela ação de governo com implantação do instrumento de REDD, a madeireira não deixará de existir. Ela apenas migrará para outra área, ampliando o rastro de desmate, argumenta o pesquisador.

“Existem interesses de grandes empresas, grandes bancos, de usar o Acre como vitrine para isso. Então, por isso, é tão importante a verdade sobre os projetos REDD”, diz. “Nos relatórios feitos por muitas ONGs, há omissão de muitos problemas. Um deles trata da permanência do carbono, que não é garantido. Outro problema é do ‘vazamento’ ou ‘fuga’. Você praticamente exporta a destruição.

Motivos para impedir implantação do mecanismo REDD, segundo pesquisador

1.    Restrições e proibições às comunidades (falta de soberania sobre próprio território);

2.    Ameaça à soberania e segurança alimentar;

3.    REDD não evita destruição da mata (não preserva floresta);

4.    Comunidades são acusadas de desmatar, mas empresas poluidoras, não;

5.    Proposta REDD é imposta às comunidades. Não nasceu nas comunidades

6.    Fragmentação de lideranças nas comunidades;

7.    REDD não socializa resolução de problemas comuns às comunidades