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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
Donations to support Arthur’s service can be sent to
Condolences to the family and photos of Arthur can be sent to

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.

He will be greatly missed!!!


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.


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

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.

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

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


(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”.


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”.


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

Open Letter from the Parakanã people (Indigenous Peoples protest at Belo Monte dam construction site – Indigenous land invasion, BRAZIL)

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Earth Peoples received the scanned original letter from Brazilian NGO FAOR, which was forwarded to us by German based NGO ASW

(Non-official translation by Earth Peoples)
To read original in Portuguese click here

Since the 12th of September 2013, about 100 indigenous people, from indigenous nations Parakanã and Juruna are occupying the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam at the Pimental site. The occupiers demand implementation of the Norte Energia indigenous peoples provisions, (legal conditions that the dam’s consortium Norte Energia must abide to in regards to Indigenous Peoples and their territories affected by the dam): The removal from the invaders of IT (indigenous territory) Apiterewa and Paquiçamba, and the demarcation of (indigenous territory) Cachoeira Seca. Read the announcement of the occupation:

Open Letter from the Parakanã people

We got tired of waiting. The Parakanã people, from the indigenous territory Apyterewa located in the state of Pará, communicate to the federal government and to Norte Energia that we are tired of waiting that you solve the problem of our land. Since a long time, Apyterewa is being invaded by farmers, squatters, miners, loggers and settlers who are destroying our traditional territory, preventing us from hunting, farming, caring for our children and threatening our people.

For a long time we are told by the government that it would remove the white invaders and return our land to us, so that our people can live in peace. The government wanted to build Belo Monte and said it would solve the problem of our land before the construction of the dam, and (placed that promise as ) a condition of the (Belo Monte dam construction) license. We believed it, but the government lied. The Belo Monte dam is almost finalized, but our traditional territory continues to be invaded by whites (non-indigenous). We no longer believe in the government, because the government does not fulfill its own laws, does not comply with the conditions that it had put in place for Norte Energia to build Belo Monte.

The government is not concerned about our territory, is not concerned with indigenous peoples, is not concerned with our suffering, but is only concerned with Belo Monte. The Juruna of Paquiçamba , the Arara of Volta Grande (the Big Bend) and the Arara of Cachoeira Seca are also hurting without their territory, and we worry for our people/relatives, but the federal government does not care. Our rights are being infringed upon, but no one takes any measures to address them. So we, men, Elders, women and children, are tired of waiting for the good will of the federal government and occupy the construction site of the Belo Monte.

We occupy the site because the dam’s construction should only be happening if our land was already free of invaders and returned to our people, which is one of the conditional legal constraints to begin building Belo Monte. So, as long as our issues and problems regarding our territory have not been solved by the federal government, Belo Monte has to stop. And we’ll stop Belo Monte until the federal government will solve the problem of our land. We’re not here to ask for anything from Norte Energia. The Norte Energia “Belo Monte hydroelectric dam ”consortium also lied a lot, and owes a lot to our people as well, but today we’re not here to talk, nor to negotiate with Norte Energia.

We demand to meet and talk with representatives of the federal government, with the Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, the Minister of the Civil office, the minister of justice, the president of Incra, as well as the president of Funai (Buerau of Indian Affairs-Brazil), to demand that you meet your obligations to return our traditional territory free of invaders. We want you to send the federal police to remove the whites’ that are destroying our land. But, if you are instead sending the police to remove us (protesters) from the construction site, we’ll rather die right her at the construction site of Belo Monte.
Because – without our territory, we have no life.

Altamira , September 12, 2013

NSA planetarian surveillance scheme “Prism” is motivated in part by fears that environmentally-linked disasters could spur anti-government activism

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks

NSA Prism is motivated in part by fears that environmentally-linked disasters could spur anti-government activism

Read article The Guardian

Simone Lovera: Update from climate talks on non-market based approaches and ICCAs

Friday, June 7th, 2013

By Simone Lovera, Global Forest Coalition

Dear all,

While the negotiations are still in full flow I decided to send you a first report from the climate talks here in Bonn, Germany. I am copying colleagues from Climate Justice Now! as I know many of them are interested in -alternatives to- REDD as well, and admittedly I still cannot send things from my yahoo, which means I cannot use the latierra list of CJN! people working on land-related issues.

We are few GFC members and even less ICCA Consortium members here (Onel – FPCI, Dilraj – Fecofun, Eric – CED, Susanne – Econexus, our LA IPO focal point Marcial, and Coraine and me from the GFC secretariat) and some 15 – 20 CJN! members, so we are a bit lonely in our fights. But happily CJN! has started to meet every day at 2 pm at the fountain, and I personally felt those meetings were very useful. The Accra Caucus on Forest and Climate Change is active as always as well, and I have tried to join some of the women’s caucus and Indigenous Forum meetings.

The negotiations on REDD+ have mostly been closed and, as far as we understood, nonsensical. The first negotiation texts on safeguard information systems and drivers of forest loss just came out, and they are a scandal of vagaries – a clear symbol of the “Whatever Approach” that is promoted by many countries as the basis for the post-2020 climate regime. Quote of the week is from the chair of the contact group who stated that “the work on drivers of forest loss better take place outside of the work on REDD”, making it clear that, at least according to him, REDD is not about addressing drivers of forest loss (good to know…).
Happily these vague texts were not accepted yet.

More interesting were the discussions on non-market based approaches in general, and the new market mechanism. The new market mechanism was more or less pushed through by Northern countries during the chaos of climate negotiations in 2012. Bolivia took the lead in promoting non-market based approaches as an alternative, using its non-market based proposal for the sustainable management of forests as a joint mitigation and adaptation approach as the main example. While most countries seemed to merely tolerate this initiative in 2012, the (continued) collapse of the carbon markets has triggered a significantly increased interest in these non-market based approaches, as well as a strong skepticism amongst some key blocks of developing countries as far as the new market mechanism is concerned. 
Regarding the new market mechanism, they now ask for a profound evaluation of existing experiences with market mechanism before detailed negotiations on this mechanism take place. At the first negotiation session, the chairperson did an attempt to squarely ignore their position and start with negotiations anyhow, clearly guided by the wish of Northern countries to have a decision on the new market mechanism in place by the next COP in November, so that they can start with pilot projects by 2014. However, we hope the developing countries will stick to their opposition against this plan, as we feel a profound evaluation s clearly needed, to say the least….

The discussion on non-market based approaches started with a long and rather academic introduction by Bolivia, which mentioned community conservation as an example of a non-market based approach. Other countries mentioned key policies like redirecting fossil fuel and agricultural subsidies, tax reform and changing consumption patterns as non-market based approaches, and in a specific meeting on non-market based approaches to forest, the Indigenous Forum made a convincing case for the recognition of Indigenous territories as a non-market based approach. There also was a lot recognition that the non-carbon benefits of forests were important, and that non-market based approaches could play a more suitable role in conserving and enhancing them. It was highlighted by especially AOSIS that non-market based approaches can be particularly valuable in areas where permanence and uncertainty about emission reductions play a role, which is true for most land-based activities. So this discussion could become really interesting, especially as some of the UN agencies seem more and more interested in more integrated non-market based approaches to forests, agriculture and other forms of land-use based mitigation and adaptation as well. There are important opportunities to highlight the need for recognition of territories and areas conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities in this respect. However, we should be careful, as many agencies still support a complementary role for carbon finance, and the ‘integrated’ landscape approach also serves as a vehicle to introduce agriculture and soil carbons sequestration into carbon markets.

Lastly, I just wanted to report that our side event went very well. Ravi Prabhu of the World Agroforestry Centre gave a great presentation summarizing how they concluded, after 10 year’s of experimenting with payments for environmental services schemes, that they were seldom suitable as a tool to support community-driven forest management and often riddled with conflicts and other negative social impacts. Susanne Gura gave a comprehensive presentation on industrial livestock farming as a driver of forest loss and why it has to be addressed through a holistic approach that takes into account all social, cultural, environmental, nutritional, health and animal welfare aspects. Grace Balawag of Tebtebba gave a strong presentation on the recognition of Indigenous rights to self-determination and indigenous biocultural approaches as a non-market based approach. I ended with presenting our new report on non-market based approaches (, the briefing paper on industrial livestock farming ( and a new report by the Indigenous Peoples Biocultural Climate Change Assessment on non-carbon benefits of forests, which IPCCA asked me to present. The event was very well-attended. The different presentations can be found as of tomorrow on

We disseminated copies of these materials through our exhibition as well: Other GFC, ICCA Consortium and CJN! members are still welcome to use this space for distribution of their materials until Saturday.
I will try to send you another brief report next week, although most negotiations are going ‘under cover’ by now (taking place behind closed doors), so we can only follow them via hear-say.
Best wishes,


BRAZIL: Indigenous Peoples Munduruku occupied Belo Monte to raise awareness about their opposition to planned dams in the Tapajós River

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
Munduruku  (Foto @ Rebecca Sommer)

Munduruku (Foto @ Rebecca Sommer)

The Munduruku occupied Belo Monte this week, which is for the 2nd time this month. They oppose the planned dams in the Tapajós river and use these occupations of Belo Monte to press for FPIC -consultations.

They were ordered to leave the site but refused to leave. They now fear police violence, should authorities decide to remove them by force.

It is a very interesting development, as they are much more numerous and they re-organised the four-river alliance, among indigenous.

Lot of info, and letter’s published over the days, read

The site of brazilian NGO Xingu Vivo gives some more context, as well as high def pictures and videos.

Earth Peoples contre l’introduction de la compensation “forêts” dans le marché carbone californien

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Contre l’introduction de la compensation “forêts” dans le marché carbone californien

Monsieur le Gouverneur Brown,

Nous vous écrivons pour vous exhorter de ne pas inclure le mécanismes de compensations internationales REDD + (Réduction des émissions dues à la déforestation et à la dégradation des forêts) dans le marché carbone en Californie. Les systèmes de marché carbone n’ont pas réussi à réduire les émissions alors que les projets de compensation ont constamment ignoré les droits des communautés locales et sont intrinsèquement viciés. Les organisations soussignées envoient cette lettre pour alerter contre l’inclusion de crédits REDD + qui ne manqueront pas d’aggraver les conflits environnementaux et sociaux.

Les premières tentatives pour inclure les forêts dans les marchés carbone soutenus par l’ONU ont conduit à d’importants débats techniques. Les crédits forêts internationaux REDD + ont été jusqu’à présent rejetés dans les négociations climatiques de l’ONU et exclus du marché carbone européen de l’Union européenne (EU ETS) pour de bonnes raisons. Des problèmes techniques non résolus, y compris l’additionnalité (qui prouve que la zone forestière n’aurait pas été protégée sans), les ‘fuites’ (les destructeurs de la forêt passant à un autre domaine), la permanence (les arbres ne stockent pas le carbone en permanence), la mesure (très complexe et incertaine car elle repose sur la diversité des variables biologiques) et la temporalité (les émissions et les absorptions peuvent encore survenir plusieurs années après qu’un projet arrive à terme). Outre ces incertitudes techniquesles causes sous-jacentes de la déforestationrestent largement ignorées tandis que la responsabilité de réduire les émissions à la source est édulcorée.

En raison de ces problèmes, introduire les mécanismes internationaux de compensations forêt dans le cadre du marché carbone en Californie augmenterait probablement les émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) relatives aux objectifs AB32 plutôt que de les diminuer, puisque les industries polluantes achètent des droits pour accroître leurs émissions. Cela reviendrait àexposer les communautés à faible revenu qui vivent à proximité des installations industrielles en Californie à des problèmes environnementaux et de santé encore plus importants. Alors que de nombreux peuples autochtones et des communautés tributaires des forêts qui vivent dans le Sud ont très peu de titres officiels sécurisant pour leurs terres, REDD + va alimenter la spéculation, augmenter la pression sur les droits fonciers et déposséder les populations locales. Ces risques sont aggravés par l’inclusion de la monoculture dans la définition standard des Nations Unies de ce que constitue une forêt.

Les forêts riches en biodiversité ont une signification unique pour ceux qui y vivent et en dépendent pour leur subsistance et leur survie culturelle. Les projets REDD+ font peser de graves préoccupations en termes de violations des droits humains et environnementaux et ont conduit à ce que des peuples autochtones et des communautés locales dans le Chiapas (Mexique) et dans la région Acre (Brésil) s’y opposent (ce sont les deux régions où les pollueurs de la Californie achèteraient ces crédits internationaux). Réduire les forêts à de seuls puits de carbone fait courrir d’énormes dangers. Les luttes pour la terre s’intensifient à mesure que les droits sur les terres sont séparés des droits d’accès et d’usage d’autres éléments de la nature.

Le gouvernement du Chiapas au Mexique, promeut par exemple un projet REDD + pilote dans la forêt tropicale Lacandon sur plus de sept réserves naturelles. Afin d’être «prêt pour REDD +», le gouvernement doit prouver que les zones à partir desquelles des certificats de carbone seraient générés sont sous une protection environnementale. A cet effet, la Commission nationale adéjà déplacé plusieurs communautés locales en utilisant des expulsions forcées et des pressions économiques en dépit de fortes résistances.

En outre, l’expansion des monocultures d’agrocarburants est une autre raison de l’empressement du gouvernement du Chiapas. Un programme d’Etat, intitulé “Reconversion productive de l’agriculture», finance les communautés locales de la jungle Lacandon pour planter des palmiers africains et de plants de jatropha pour les agrocarburants qui sont envahissants, qui détruisent les forêts locales et créent des dépendances économiques qui écrasent l’autonomie locale. Le Chiapas est l’État au Mexique avec la plus grande zone de plantation de palmiers, situés sur les bords de zones naturelles protégées, et ces monocultures utilisent de grandes quantités de pesticides qui polluent les sols et l’eau et nuisent gravement à la santé des populations locales. Une fois de plus: les plantations ne sont pas des forêts!

La Californie devrait appliquer des politiques qui s’attaquent aux causes profondes de la déforestation et du changement climatique afin d’entamer une transition vers une ère post-fossile. Les politiques fondées sur la justice sociale et environnementale doivent garantir que les pollueurs soient tenus responsables de leurs émissions de GES et de la destruction de l’environnement, tout en faisant en sorte qu’elles bénéficient aux communautés vulnérables et à faible revenu. Nous vous demandons de maintenir le système international REDD + hors du marché carbone californien. En outre, nous vous recommandons respectueusement de regarder attentivement la façon dont le marché carbone européen a échoué, comme une préfiguration de ce qui pourrait advenir marché carbone en Californie. Commercer les émissions de carbone n’est PAS une solution au changement climatique.


Aliança RECOs – Redes de Cooperação Comunitária Sem Fronteiras (Brazil)

Movimento Mulheres pela P@Z! (Brazil)


Friends of the Earth International

Centro de referência do movimento da cidadania pelas águas florestas e montanhas Iguassu ITEREI

Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD)

Terræ Organização da Sociedade Civil (Brazil)

Carbon Trade Watch



Attac France

The Corner House

Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project (Durban, South Africa)

Earth Peoples