Archive for the ‘CDM’ Category

Brazil: Campaign to Stop Genetically Engineered Trees

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Campaign to Stop Genetically Engineered Trees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Growing Movement Against Genetically Engineered Trees Protests Globally at Brazilian Embassies and Consulates

New York (2 April 2015) – Concerned citizens demonstrated at Brazilian consulates and embassies located around the world this week, as part of a second week of global protests demanding that the Brazilian government reject an industry request to commercialize genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus trees.

In Brussels, Belgium, dozens of people representing organizations from around the world traveled from the European Parliament to the Brazilian Embassy where they rallied against GE trees and delivered letters of protest. In Melbourne, Australia, protesters dressed as koalas, owls and other forest creatures rallied against GE eucalyptus trees at the Brazilian consulate. Other demonstrations took place in Europe and North America.

This week’s actions follow a wave of protests against GE trees at Brazilian embassies and consulates on 3 March 2015. These protests were directed at a 5 March 2015 meeting of the Brazilian Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio), which was to decide whether or not to approve a request by FuturaGene to commercially release GE eucalyptus trees in Brazil. The meeting was interrupted by 300 peasants organized by La Via Campesina and eventually cancelled [1].

Earlier on the morning of 5 March, 1,000 women of the Brazil Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) from the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais occupied the operations of FuturaGene, destroying seedlings of GE eucalyptus trees [2].

A woman from The MST who took part in the action stated, “The landless women came here to denounce, to reject, to say that this model of agribusiness is the model of death, not of life. We the landless women are here to defend a model of life, defend food sovereignty, and defend agrarian land reform.”

CTNBio and FuturaGene rescheduled their meeting regarding GE eucalyptus trees for 9 April, sparking the latest series of protests against GE eucalyptus this week.

“These weeks of protest against GE trees in Brazil demonstrate the renewed commitment of organizations, activists and social movements around the world to ensure that GE trees are never legalized,” stated Ruddy Turnstone, a campaigner with Global Justice Ecology Project and the Campaign to STOP GE Trees who rallied at the Miami, Florida Consulate on 31 March.

In November 2014 scientists, foresters, agronomists, Indigenous Peoples and other experts from six continents met in Asunción, Paraguay to discuss the problem of genetically engineered trees. They recently finalized the Asunción Declaration, which calls for the outright rejection of all GE trees, including those in field trials [3].

In the US, a similar request to the USDA from GE tree company ArborGen to legalize their GE eucalyptus trees is currently pending [4].

The Campaign to STOP GE Trees is an international alliance of organizations mobilized to protect forests and biodiversity and to support communities threatened by the dangerous release of genetically engineered trees into the environment.

CONTACT
Kip Doyle, Media Coordinator, Campaign to STOP GE Trees: +1.716.931.5833(office), +1.716.867.4080 (mobile), kip@stopgetrees.org [English]

NOTES
[1]
http://stopgetrees.org/global-week-actions-gmo-trees-brazil-ends-success/
[2] http://panampost.com/belen-marty/2015/03/09/landless-women-workers-destroy-gmo-lab-in-brazil/
[3]
http://stopgetrees.org/asuncion-declaration-rejects-ge-trees/
[4] https://stopgetrees.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Eucalyptus-Petition-to-Deregule-11_01901p1.pdf

A lógica perversa do capitalismo verde

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

By Pravda.ru

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

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

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

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

Terra à venda

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

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

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

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

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

Confundir para se apropriar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

By Indigenous Environmental Network.

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

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

Acosta led the 13 judges through 12 cases

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carbon Trade Watch Newsletter 2014/1

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

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

Publications:

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

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

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

Friday, September 19th, 2014

By Quincy Saul, Truthout

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

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

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

Deadline

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

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

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

“An Invitation to Change Everything”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So What Are We Going to Do About It?

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

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

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

Friday, September 19th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Por Elder Andrade de Paula

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ESSA TRAGÉDIA PODERIA TER SIDO EVITADA.

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

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

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)

Carta aberta à FAO, por ocasião do Dia Internacional das Florestas, 21 de março de 2014: Definir as florestas pelo que elas realmente significam!

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014


Carta aberta à FAO, por ocasião do Dia Internacional das Florestas, 21 de março de 2014:

Definir as florestas pelo que elas realmente significam!

À FAO

Diretor-Geral: Sr. José Graziano da Silva

Somos um amplo grupo de movimentos sociais, ONGs e ativistas que dirigem este chamado urgente à FAO, para que revise sua atual definição de floresta. Atualmente, a definição reduz a floresta a uma área qualquer coberta por árvores, deixando de lado a diversidade estrutural, funcional e biológica dos demais elementos que a compõem, bem como a importância cultural da interação entre florestas e comunidades. Esta definição da FAO favorece principalmente os interesses do lobby madeireiro e as empresas que fazem plantações industriais de árvores para produzir celulose, papel e látex, enquanto não leva em conta os 300 milhões, ou mais, de mulheres e homens do mundo inteiro que, segundo a FAO, dependem diretamente das florestas para sua subsistência. Isso inclui os povos e populações indígenas e tradicionais, muitos dos quais são camponeses cuja soberania alimentar depende da agricultura na floresta e do uso da rica diversidade de produtos não madeireiros que ela oferece. Todos eles não apenas garantem sua própria soberania alimentar, mas também contribuem de maneira fundamental para alimentar o mundo. As florestas cumprem um papel fundamental nas vidas desses homens e mulheres, que são camponeses, artesãos, pescadores e coletores, e que devem figurar entre os principais atores de um processo de revisão que a FAO deveria iniciar para conseguir que a sua definição de floresta refletisse o que florestas representam no século XXI.

As florestas são tão importantes para a vida de milhões de mulheres e homens que dependem delas de várias maneiras, que acaba sendo difícil expressar com palavras, mesmo em seu próprio idioma, até que ponto as florestas lhes são cruciais. Às vezes, os povos da floresta resumem essa importância dizendo simplesmente que a floresta é seu “lar”, não apenas um pedaço de terra coberto por árvores, e sim um território no qual se sentem protegidos e onde podem encontrar tudo de que necessitam para viver bem. Esses povos costumam ser indígenas e, entre eles, está a centena de povos voluntariamente isolados que ainda restam. Também incluem muitos outros grupos que, embora possuam uma grande diversidade de estilos de vida, dependem todos da floresta. Sem exceção, todos dão provas de grande respeito em relação à floresta da qual dependem e sentem que fazem parte.

Embora a coleta de produtos não madeireiros seja uma atividade essencial para grande parte desses homens e mulheres que dependem da floresta, outra parte é de camponeses que praticam a agricultura com métodos transmitidos há várias gerações e que foram sendo aperfeiçoados com o objetivo de manter intactas as funções da floresta. Esse tipo de agricultura, bem como a caça, a pesca e a coleta de uma série de produtos não madeireiros como mel, frutos, sementes, castanhas, tubérculos, plantas medicinais e ervas, garante a soberania alimentar e a saúde dessas populações. Os camponeses também contribuem para a subsistência de um número ainda maior de pessoas: 1,6 bilhão, segundo as estimativas da própria FAO. Além do mais, os povos da floresta usam a madeira principalmente para suas necessidades domésticas, e raras vezes, como principal atividade comercial. Contudo, mesmo quando ela é usada comercialmente, esse comércio se realiza nos mercados locais. As comunidades que dependem da floresta costumam conhecer bem o potencial de destruição da extração comercial de madeira. Ela rende lucros enormes a um punhado de madeireiras, mas deixa um rastro de destruição irreparável e altera gravemente os meios de vida da população.

No entanto, Estados e instituições multilaterais como a FAO e o Banco Mundial seguem considerando as florestas como terras onde a extração comercial de madeiras valiosas por parte de empresas privadas, muitas delas estrangeiras, é a melhor maneira que um país tem de se encaminhar ao chamado “desenvolvimento” e tirar as pessoas da “pobreza”. Esta perspectiva centrada na madeira está na origem da atual definição de floresta da FAO: “Área medindo mais de 0,5 hectares, com árvores maiores que 5 m de altura e cobertura de copa superior a 10%, ou árvores capazes de alcançar estes parâmetros in situ. Isso não inclui terra que está predominantemente sob uso agrícola ou urbano” . (1)

Esta definição reducionista também justifica a expansão das plantações industriais de árvores como supostas “florestas plantadas”. Segundo a definição da FAO, esse tipo de monocultivo em grande escala é considerado “reflorestamento” e serviria para compensar a perda de florestas. Na prática, as plantações industriais, sejam de árvores, de dendezeiros ou de soja, têm contribuído enormemente para a destruição das florestas e de outros biomas, tais como pastagens e savanas, em todas as partes do mundo. Graças a elas, um punhado de empresas transnacionais obteve lucros abundantes, mas as comunidades dependentes da floresta ficaram na miséria e, com frequência, precisaram abandonar seus territórios. As mulheres, que, em geral, desenvolveram uma relação particular com a floresta, tendem a sofrer mais com sua destruição. As comunidades afetadas pelos grandes monocultivos de árvores nunca os chamam de florestas.

O relatório “Estado das florestas do mundo”, da FAO, continua difundindo o mito de que o desmatamento já não é um problema tão grande quanto no passado. Esta suposta boa notícia se deve ao fato de que a FAO confunde florestas e plantações, permitindo que dezenas de milhões de plantações industriais de eucaliptos, acácias e seringueiras de crescimento rápido sejam contabilizadas como “florestas plantadas” nas estatísticas florestais de cada país. Aplicando a atual definição de floresta da FAO, até uma plantação de 100.000 hectares de eucaliptos geneticamente modificados, de rápido crescimento, é uma “floresta”, apesar de todos os impactos negativos inerentes ao monocultivo em grande escala, sem falar no risco de que se contamine a composição genética das árvores e das florestas próximas.

Em seus princípios fundantes, a FAO se descreve como una organização que dirige as “atividades internacionais voltadas a erradicar a fome” e “um foro neutro onde todas as nações se reúnem como iguais”. Para que esta declaração seja correta, a FAO deve modificar urgentemente sua definição de floresta de modo que, em lugar de refletir as preferências e as perspectivas das empresas de madeira, pasta, papel e borracha, reflita o que os povos que dependem das florestas vêm nelas, e o uso que delas fazem.

Esta carta aberta é um convite dirigido à FAO para que tome a iniciativa de corrigir essa definição enganosa. Para elaborar uma definição de floresta mais apropriada, a FAO deve discutir realmente com aqueles homens e mulheres que dependem diretamente das florestas. Uma definição apropriada deve respaldar seus estilos de vida, suas redes e suas organizações. Essa é a nossa esperança neste Dia Internacional das Florestas, e nos comprometemos a dar continuidade a esta campanha até que a FAO tenha tomado efetivamente essas iniciativas.

Assinado por:

La Via Campesina

Amigos da Terra Internacional

Focus on the Global South

Movimento Mundial pelas Florestas Tropicais

A critical analysis of the green economy and of the legal nature of environmental credit

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014
NO REDD pencil (by Rebecca Sommer)

by Amyra El Khalili, Pravda.ru

Everything financial, lamentably, is part of the economy. But not every economy is part of finance!

Since the CDM – Clean Development Mechanism – was introduced with the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, we have expressed our concern regarding the way in which carbon deals and agreements have been conducted. Unfortunately, the trend we have witnessed is that the market in carbon and related products is repeating the centralizing, risky, limited and worn out models using contracts drawn up in the major financial centres. International analysts estimate the value of outstanding derivatives at approximately U$222 trillion, equivalent to three times the world’s GDP. The international financial crisis is not taking place on another planet, and thus, the euphoria surrounding environmental credits cannot be exempted from criticism and rejection, as occurred during the Summit of the Peoples, the parallel event to the Rio+20 conference.

It is right here, on this global deregulated market, that agreements are being negotiated between governments and financial institutions with the backing of some conservation NGOs. These agreements go against rational mathematical logic, with the traded credits being treated as commodities, i.e., as standardized merchandise for purchase and sale. Pollution is the newest fashion of commodity. Just as with waste disposal and landfills, toxic and nuclear waste, what should be eliminated is turned into an “environmental asset”.

The arguments that justify the carbon market are laudable. The appeal to contain global warming is legitimate. Climate change caused by human action has been conclusively proven scientifically, even if a few sceptics make efforts to undo consolidated theses and studies. However, the modus operandi through which these objectives are intended to be reached is questionable even to the most neoclassical of economists.

It is estimated that U$ 142 billion’s worth of carbon derivatives have been traded, against U$ 5 billion that have been directly invested in CDM projects. What one finds is that there is in fact a market with no controls, forming an environmental bubble that is about to burst, since the world financial system is totally intertwined by guarantees that banks exchange among themselves, via so-called “lead exchanges”. There is a watchful international movement monitoring and denouncing fraud and corruption in these mechanisms.

In the financial system there is no such thing as an operation lacking a real guarantee. One cannot create a climate fund without it having guarantees of liquidity. Securities will have to be found along the way to back these ultra-high risk business dealings in the very short term.

It was no coincidence that the final document of Rio+20 disregarded the principles agreed at Rio-92: the “polluter pays” principle, the principle of precaution and the principle of common but differential responsibilities.

Hence, we are witnessing the promotion of fast-track financialization of environmental goods, such as water, biodiversity, forests (fauna, flora and genetic assets) with the collusion and assent of governments. The latter transfer their responsibilities as States to corporations through the financial system, along the most aggressively neoliberal lines seen in recent times. However, for this to happen, it is necessary to undo the environmental legislation, loosen up enforcement, make rules more flexible and hem in social and environmental movements.

If a country has no water or land to cultivate, it buys (or steals) land on another continent. This speculative movement attracts all kinds of shady business dealings. The most coveted lands are territories belonging to indigenous peoples and traditional populations (caiçaras and quilombolas, for instance). Small farmers with surface or underground water sources, rivers and springs on their properties are also targeted by speculators, who promise financial advantages in exchange for agreements that provide access to areas linked to carbon credits, in other words, using such areas as real guarantees to deal in such securities.

These trades have operated informally for 15 years, outside the reach of regulatory and enforcement agencies, putting national sovereignty at risk by virtue of land conflicts, among other territorial factors. What is most alarming is the age-old exchange of votes for water. The vulnerability of populations that lack access to sanitation and to water in sufficient quantity and quality is a fragile and worrying situation. For centuries, they have been hostages of local political elites who control their votes (voto de cabresto).

Now we have a sophisticated electoral novelty: the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) voto de cabresto, and its creative variables, where governors and mayors race to sign agreements with foreign companies. The legal basis for such agreements remains uncertain, not least because the agreements mean international financial institutions de facto administering this nation’s environmental assets. Another interesting case involves NGOs, doing marketing as if they were financial institutions authorized to “operate” by Brazil’s Central Bank. These NGOs announce products, sales systems, customer records and business deals under the auspices of the law governing OSCs (Civil Society Organizations) and OSCIPs (Civil Society Organizations in the Public Interest). Can they do that?

Could it be that the market in environmental assets, whose legal nature is uncertain and extremely confused, is exempt from rules, norms, not subject to the Consumer Protection Code, and where actors won’t risk being sued for deceitful advertising though the promoting takes advantage of people’s lack of technical knowledge? It seems to be a market where, “chameleon-style”, the players treat what is traded as commodities, then shift to calling the traded item securities (environmental securities) or environmental assets, seemingly calling it whatever takes their fancy.

Can they do that?

1.Talk given at the Book Biennial, hosted by Editora Fórum, and at the 94th meeting of the Permanent Forum on Environmental Law of the School for Judges of the Rio de Janeiro State High Court (EMERJ). Translation of the talk into English by Leandro Moura.

2. Amyra El Khalili is an economist and author of the e-book Commodities Ambientais em Missão de Paz: Novo Modelo Econômico para a América Latina e o Caribe [Environmental Commodities on a Peace Mission: A New Economic Model for Latin America and the Caribbean]. São Paulo: Nova Consciência, 2009. 271 pages. Access freely at: www.amyra.lachatre.org.br.


3. While the trade on the global carbon market involves more than just CDM credits, they do form a substantial portion of the total volume of carbon derivatives traded. Only a small portion of this value is received at the actual location of the CDM activity.

Leia também no Pravda.RU em português