Archive for the ‘The United Nations Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other busines’ Category

Statement from the family of Arthur Manuel on his passing

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 13th, 2017

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

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

He will be greatly missed!!!

Elaine+Arthur

A lógica perversa do capitalismo verde

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

By Pravda.ru

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

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

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

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

Terra à venda

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

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

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

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

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

Confundir para se apropriar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

By Indigenous Environmental Network.

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

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

Acosta led the 13 judges through 12 cases

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Greenpeace Stunt May Have Irreparably Damaged Peru’s Nazca Site

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

By George Dvorsky

The Peruvian government is planning to file criminal charges against Greenpeace activists who may have permanently scarred the Nazca Lines World Heritage Site during a publicity stunt.

As The Guardian reports, the Nazca lines “are huge figures depicting living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary figures scratched on the surface of the ground between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago.” The figures, which can only be seen from the air, are believed to have had ritual functions related to astronomy.

The ground around the site is so sensitive and so sacred that Peru has even forbidden presidents and top officials to walk where the Greenpeace activists went. Peru’s Deputy Culture Minister told the BBC: “You walk there, and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years.” Tourists generally get to see the site from the air, or, on rare occasions, are equipped with special foot gear.

“They are absolutely fragile. They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years,” said the minister. “And the line that they have destroyed is the most visible and most recognized of all.”

Several Greenpeace activists entered into the prohibited area beside the figure of a hummingbird where they laid big yellow cloth letters reading: “Time for Change! The Future is Renewable.” They were also sure to leave a signature. The message was intended for delegates from 190 countries at the UN climate talks being held in Lima.

Peru is planning to file criminal charges against the activists before they leave the country.

Yesterday, Greenpeace apologized for the stunt, saying it was sorry if the protest at the historical site on Monday caused an “moral offense” to the Peruvian people. The environmental activist group said it would collaborate with the government to determine if any damage was done to the site, and that it would stop using photos of the protest in its campaigns. Greenpeace is also sending its Executive Director Kumi Naidoo to Lima to apologize in person to the Peruvian government.

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

Cameroon: Catholic Church (Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua) in cahoots with heavily armed government forces that violently evict Mbororo pastoralists from Banjah, Bamenda, North-West Cameroon.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Demolition of homes and evictions of Banjah: How the Land Grab happened
Displaced Mbororo Indigenous peoples (Photo © Earth Peoples)

Displaced Mbororo Indigenous peoples (Photo © Earth Peoples)

By Sarli Sardou,  for Earth Peoples

Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada is the traditional ruler of the Mbororo indigenous minority cattle herders of Ndzah (also known as Banjah) village in Bamenda III Sub Division in the North West Region of Cameroon. The Ardo’s residence was situated on what is popularly called the “Mamada Hills” in Ndzah village just outside Bamenda.
Ardo Adamu’s late father in the person of Ardo Mamada Bi Sodhari settled on the Mamada Hills around 1904 during the German colonial rule. He was appointed Ardo at the same time with Ardo Sabga Bi Hoba who founded Sabga. He was one of the first Mbororo herders to arrive the North West Region and he was a very popular traditional ruler especially as he had many cattle. It was because of his popularity that where he settled was named “Mamada Hills” named after Ardo Mamada Bi Sodari. They were issued a Certificate of Occupancy of the land by the British colonial administration in 1933.
The present farming community of Ndzah (Banjah) arrived as hunters and settled in the area in 1933 from Baforchu. That was 29 years after the Mbororo settled there.
Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada succeeded his late father Ardo Mamada Bi Sodhari in 1964 at the age of 15 as the traditional ruler of the Mbororo indigenous herders of Banjah. He was subsequently recognized as such by the independent Cameroon sate. At the time of their violent eviction a total of about 300 people comprising 108 Mbororo herders live on the Mamada Hills with their families as well as over 1200 cattle, 300 sheep and 150 horses.
The Catholic Church started a process of illegally grabbing the land without the knowledge of the community around 2009. In 2011 they got a Temporary Grant from the Minister of Lands awarding them the land. Sometimes in 2012, the Archbishop of Bamenda, Cornelius Fontem Esua took unknown people to Mamada Hills and laid claim over all of the Mamada Hills said to belong to the Catholic University of Bamenda. When Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada tried to challenge the Archbishop’s claim over their ancestral land, he was arrested by elements of the Gendarmerie Brigade Research Unit in Mile 4 Nkwen, Bamenda, severely tortured and arbitrarily detained. He lost sight on one of his eyes, lost one tooth and developed permanent sight problems as a result of the torture inflicted on him during and after his arrest. He was eventually charged to court in the Court of First Instance of Bamenda in suit No CFIBA/798C/12. Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada was accused of having on or about the 3rd day of September 2012, at Ndzah village in the Mezam Judicial Division, without being so empowered, used land belonging to the Catholic University of Bamenda and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 8(4) (5) of Ordinance No 74/1 of 6th July 1974 to establish rules governing land tenure in Cameroon.
On 31 December 2012, one other close adviser to the Ardo, Mallam GEBO was arrested, tortured and detained and was only released after payment of FCFA 30,000. He suffered 21 days Temporal Incapacity as a result of torture.
Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada having been ridiculed, feeling terribly embarrassed, confounded and frustrated with the treatment he received from the Archbishop, and could not understand how he could be charged to court for using land his family has occupied since 1904 and all of a sudden said to belong to the Catholic University, instituted suit No. CFIBA/15CM/2013 in the Court of First Instance of Bamenda against the Catholic Arch Diocese of Bamenda and the Catholic University of Bamenda. In the said suit, Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada prayed the court for an eviction order, evicting the Catholic Arch Dioceses of Bamenda from their ancestral land.
In reply to the suit referred to in the preceding paragraph, the Archbishop of Bamenda through his Counsel filed a Counter Affidavit on the 27/02/2013 wherein they attached Arrêté No. 000947/K.6.1/MINDAF/D1/D13 dated the 2nd day of September 2011 as Annex “A”, where the Honourable Minister of State Property and Land Tenure made a Grant of 46 hectares, 38 acres and 98m of land in Ndzah to the Catholic University of Bamenda, represented by Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua.
Despite the fact that the above Arrêté allocated 46 hectares of land in the Mamada Hills as a Grant to the Catholic University of Bamenda, the actual piece of land presently claimed by the Archbishop is about 300 hectares. The Land Tenure laws in Cameroon provides that the Minister in charge of lands can allocate a Grant only where the piece of land is below 50 hectares. A Grant above 50 hectares of land can only be made by the President of the Republic. It was for this reason that the Archbishop of Bamenda applied for 46 hectares of land which the Minister approved despite the fact that about 300 hectares of land is being claimed.
Ordinance No 74-1 of 6th July 1974 to establish rules governing land tenure in Cameroon defines national lands in its article 14. Article 14(1) provides that national lands shall as of right comprise lands which at the date on which the present ordinance enters into force, are not classed as public or private property of the state and other public bodies. Article 15 goes further to state that national lands shall be divided into two categories.
1. Lands occupied with houses, farms and plantations and grazing lands manifesting human presence and development;
2. Lands free of any effective occupation.
Decree No 76 – 166 of 27 April 1976 to establish the terms and conditions of management of National Lands in Cameroon makes provision on how a piece of land can be allocated to an individual or corporate body as a Grant. Article 1 of the above Decree provides that national lands which are unoccupied or unexploited shall be allocated by Temporary Grant of Right. Article 2 of the same Decree provides that temporary rights shall be granted for development projects in line with the economic, social or cultural policies of the state. Article 3 stipulates that the duration of the temporary grant may not exceed 5 years, and in exceptional cases, it may be extended on reasoned application by the grantee. From the above provision of the laws, a Temporary Grant in Cameroon can only be made over unoccupied or unexploited national land.
In paragraphs 7 and 8 of the counter affidavit filed by the lawyer of the Archbishop and Catholic University of Bamenda, it is stated that the crops and houses on the land given by the state to the Catholic University as a grant were properly evaluated by the competent administrative services and all those affected had been paid financial compensation except Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada who refused to take ‘compensation’. Annexes “C” and D to D1 were attached to the Counter Affidavit to justify that fact. That only buttresses the fact that the land allocated to the Catholic University as grant by the state is occupied and exploited national land. How then could the Archbishop and the competent administrative services of Mezam in violation of the law prepare the file of the Catholic University and misled the Minister in charge of lands to sign Arrêté No. 000947/K.6.1/MINDAF/D1/D13 on the 2nd day of September 2011 allocating 46 hectares of the Mamada Hills as a grant to the Catholic University?
While the court cases were going on, the Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam, Nguelle Nguelle Felix in May 2013 led a bulldozer to Bambili and demolished 13 house belonging to Bambili villagers who have land titles on their lands to create a resettlement site for the 300 Mbororo and their animals. The Bambili people have made it clear that anyone who comes to their land will be killed. Even if they went to the land there is no building, no facilities. So this is not secure, safe, appropriate or enough land to resettle the community.
Meanwhile the prosecution witnesses in suit No. CFIBA/798C/12 wherein Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada was charged for using land belonging to the Catholic University never attended any court session and after more than 10 adjournments, the matter was dismissed for want of diligent prosecution. On the other hand, on the 31st day of July 2013, the Court of First Instance of Bamenda delivered its ruling in suit No CFIBA/15CM/2013 instituted by Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada to evict the Archbishop and Catholic University from their land. While dismissing Ardo Adamu’s application, the presiding Magistrate, after a locus (court session on Mamada Hills), advised as follows.
“This court’s advice to the applicant is simple; having found that the land in question falls within the definition of occupied and exploited national land, he should seize the competent Minister of State Property and Land Tenure that made the grant or the competent Administrative Court”.
When Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada was served with a copy of the counter affidavit in suit No. CFIBA/15CM/2013 and he saw Arrêté No. 00947/K.6.1/MINDAF/D1/D13, his lawyer immediately challenged same with a petition to the Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure in Yaounde. After three months, the Minister did not reply to the Petition and as required by law, the Minister’s non reaction was considered as rejection and Ardo Adamu instituted the matter in the Administrative Court of the North West Region in Bamenda in suit No NWAC/R/CF/004/2013. Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada also filed an application for stay of execution of the Minister’s Arrêté pending the determination of his suit challenging the legality of the said Arrêté. By filing the application for stay of execution in the Administrative Court, the Archbishop is legally estopped from enforcing the Minister’s Arrêté.
Contrary to the above legal provision, the Archbishop of Bamenda Cornelius Fontem Esua on the 7th of March 2014 served Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada and other Mbororo family heads of Ndzah village with a 2nd “Quit Notice”, requesting them to quit their lands on or before the 14th of March 2014 as any date thereafter, a caterpillar will destroy their houses and farms without further compensation. In the same vain, the Divisional Officer of Bamenda III Sub Division Ayuk Walters Tarkang served a letter on the Ardo and his subjects captioned “Occupation of your respective parcels on the resettlement site at Ndzah”. In his letter, the Divisional officer requested the Mbororo family heads of Ndzah village to immediately move to new resettlement site as their ancestral lands which they presently occupy have been allocated to the Arch diocese of Bamenda as a temporary grant.
Ardo Adamu’s lawyer replied to the Quit Notice of the Archbishop and the letter of the Divisional Officer of Bamenda III by reminding them that the legality of the Minister’s Arrêté is pending determination in the Administrative Court of the North West Region in Bamenda in suit No NWAC/R/CF/004/2013. He even attached a Certificate of filing the suit in the Administrative court signed by the Registrar-in-Chief of the court attesting to the fact that Ardo Adamu Bi Mamada has instituted suit No. NWAC/R/CF/004/2013 challenging Arrêté No. 00947/K.6.1/MINDAF/D1/D13.
On the 19th March 2014, the Archbishop of Bamenda sent a caterpillar to Ndzah village to destroy the houses of the Mbororo herders. Ardo Adamu’s lawyer called the Senior Divisional Officer of Mezam Nguelle Nguelle Felix by phone to find out whether his administration had sent a caterpillar to Ndzah to destroy the houses of the Mbororo and he insisted that he had given firm instructions to his subordinates not to interfere with the lands of the Mbororo in Ndzah till the matter is resolved by the Administrative Court of the North West Region and the administration was not aware of any caterpillar going to the Mamada Hills in Ndzah.
The Mbororo herders of Ndzah came out like one person and prevented the caterpillar from destroying their houses. It resulted in a squabble wherein the Archbishop’s representative Jobain Cosmas was seriously injured and the windscreen of a Toyota Hilux vehicle of the Arch Diocese of Bamenda was shattered. Fon Christopher Achobang who is a sympathizer of the plight of the Mbororo of Ndzah had an injury on the head. Abdulkarimu Shehu who is the organizer of the Mbororo of Ndzah took elements of the 4th Police District to the site after the incident was all over.
After this incident community reps met with Prime Minister Philemon Yang on March 22, 2014. They submitted a petition (which was not the first time). He assured them to stop any further activity on the land until the Administrative Court makes a decision. He obviously did not or his subordinates decided to ignore his instructions.
Representatives met the Minister Lands and all relevant government officials including North-West Regional Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique. All of them agreed that no action can be taken until the Administrative Court takes a decision. Yet it is these very officials who authorised and enforced the demolitions and eviction.
The indigenous Mbororo herders of Ndzah have seriously defended their ancestral land from Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua. If Cameroon is a state of law and if one were to consider who is mostly to be law abiding, it will obviously be the Archbishop and the clergy. We are witnessing the contrary where the Archbishop is violating the laws of the state with impurity in an attempt to illegally deprive the Mbororo minority indigenous herders of Ndzah village of their ancestral land. The Archbishop is obviously receiving the support of the local and wider government of Cameroon especially as the former Divisional Delegate of Lands in Mezam reminded the Ardo that the President of the Republic of Cameroon is himself a Catholic and will always protect the interest of the Catholic Church.
On the 20th day of March 2013, Abdulkarim Shehu was arrested by elements of the Judicial Police in Bamenda on the strength of a warrant signed by the State Counsel of Mezam Division. He signed four warrants with two in the names of Abdulkarim Shehu and Fon Christopher Achobang respectively with two having no names and the policemen are at liberty to fill the names of any Mbororo from Ndzah they deem necessary to arrest. Mallam Yunusa another community organiser was arrested on to join Abdulkarim. Both were released after 8 days in detention. Fon Christopher Achobang went into hiding and is yet to be arrested.
IDP Displaced Mbororo (Photo © Earth Peoples)

IDP Displaced Mbororo (Photo © Earth Peoples)

On 3rd April 2014, the Catholic Church backed by 50 gendarmes and North-West Administration hired 3 bulldozers that demolished all homes belonging the Mbororo of Mamada Hills. A Court Injunction served to the gendarmes by Court Bailiffs was ignored. They were supported by the Fon (Chief), Nkwenti Ndaka, Chairman of Ndzah Traditional Council. The community has now been rendered homeless and destitute in violation of the law.
No consideration was given to children, elderly and the sick in this process. Children’s school needs were ignored. Their emotional or welfare needs did not matter to the government or the Catholic Church.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church in Bamenda ignored the plight of the Mbororo of Banjah despite several meetings with its head Laura Anyola Tufoin who is also a member of Cameroon’s National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms. She has received an Award from the US Government for her work on Child Trafficking. She works on conflict resolution in the North-West Region but for for 5 years since this conflict started inside Bamenda she has not raised a finger.
The Archbishop was offered alternative land and also financial compensation in Mankon (Bamenda) by a benefactor and Mbororo rights supporter. Fon Angwafor of Mankon confirmed he has land that he can offer was ignored by the Church. In fact it is better proposition from an business point of view given the proximity of Sacred Heart College, Mankon with possible multi-use facilities for the University.
On Saturday 5th April 2014, the destitute Mbororo of Banjah, marched peacefully to the Bamenda Cathedral, the residence of Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua where they are organising an indefinite sit-in. The Catholic authorities called in gendarmes to remove the protesters. Gendarmes removed them from the premises of the Catholic Church but they continued their protest on the road side entrance to the Big Mankon Catholic Cathedral.
This case demonstrates that Mbororo people in Cameroon do not have or enjoy any land rights. This is a case where the present land laws were violated with impunity. Court orders and ongoing due process were ignored. All the key government officials were on the side of the Catholic Church. A part of the Catholic Church which is a state (The Vatican) operating within and in connivance with another State have dispossessed people of their rights and made them destitute. It shows human rights campaigners are selective about whose rights they defend. The future looks very bleak indeed for all vulnerable and marginal groups in Cameroon.

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