Archive for the ‘Rio+20’ Category

Azelene Kaingáng: O que penso da Rio+20?

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Como podes comprar ou vender o céu, o calor da terra?
Tal idéia nos é estranha. Se não somos donos da pureza do ar
ou do resplendor da água, como então podes comprá-los?
Cacique Seattle

Quando vejo a situação do meu Povo, a miséria, o abandono, o desrespeito, o descaso, a violência e a violação de direitos humanos básicos…não só do povo kaingáng, mas dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil, fico em dúvida em participar ou não da Rio+20, penso que participar é fazer palco para os grandes poluidores, mas por outro lado pode ser um espaço para se fazer ouvir, se os chefes de Estado não conhecessem nossas lutas e reivindicações nessa arena. Uma Conferência desse porte inicialmente presidida pela China já é um sinal de que não podemos esperar muito dos chefes de nações, em especial os mais ricos. Eles seguramente não abrirão mão do desenvolvimento doente e contaminado que lideram em nível mundial, tampouco se comprometerão em reduzir suas emissões de gases poluentes na atmosfera causadores do efeito estufa, eles dificilmente se comprometerão em preservar o ambiente mantendo a vida saudável no planeta.
A pobreza, a fome e a miséria aumentam na mesma proporção em que avança o “desenvolvimento”, pergunto se eles entenderam o que é e o que significa “desenvolvimento sustentável”, propalado aos quatro cantos e que é o carro chefe da Conferência das Nações Unidas. O que é economia verde? Que na verdade tudo o que é “verde” sai do alcance das camadas mais pobres da população e vira artigo de luxo! Porque é moda ser “verde”, ainda que não contribua para a redução da pobreza extrema e da miséria no mundo! Todo o ser humano deveria ter assegurado o direito humano de se alimentar e não morrer de fome, este deveria ser um compromisso basilar dos chefes de Estado para então falar e sustentabilidade…porque nada vale a pena quando nossos pequenos ainda morrem de fome e são as maiores vítimas da pobreza extrema! Falar em preservação ambiental para muitos é apenas falar, literalmente, em preservar florestas, negociar a emissão de gases poluentes, ver quem paga mais, quem dá mais dinheiro para os chamados “serviços ambientais”, mas não pensam que ambiente equilibrado é um lugar sem fome, sem miséria, sem violência, sem racismo, sem preconceito…o resto é consequência!
O que esperar do próprio Brasil? Basta olhar para o Brasil do PAC (Plano de Aceleração do Crescimento), as barragens, as rodovias, as obras que invadem os territórios indígenas e que nos deixam sem alternativa, a transposição do Rio São Francisco, as hidrovias e tantas obras em nome do desenvolvimento que deixam milhares vivendo na mais extrema miséria!
Vejamos o retrocesso na demarcação dos territórios indígenas, os argumentos que tem pautado as decisões do judiciário brasileiro estão sempre ancorados numa visão preconceituosa e de total desinformação sobre os direitos indígenas, em especial aqueles assegurados e protegidos pelo direito internacional. A pobreza de argumentos contra os direitos territoriais indígenas, pelo judiciário e legislativo chega a ser cômica na medida em que são unânimes em considerar que a consolidação desse direito é uma ameaça a soberania do país.
Já a posição do executivo nas instâncias internacionais é um tanto contraditória tendo em vista o que aconteceu quando recorremos às Cortes Internacionais para defender nossos direitos. Numa demonstração de arrogância, o Estado brasileiro ameaçou sair do sistema interamericano quando a CIDH (Comissão interamericana de Direitos Humanos), pediu explicações ao Brasil sobre o porquê da não consulta prévia, livre e informada aos povos Indígenas sobre a construção da Usina Hidrelétrica Belo Monte, uma reação contra o sistema que o próprio País faz parte e que ajudou a consolidar.
Quando olhamos para trás e nos perguntamos o que mudou desde a ECO 92 até agora, não precisa ser nenhum expert para perceber o que aconteceu com a vida no planeta…basta apenas ser sábio para ter a clareza de que ninguém cumpriu com os compromissos assumidos naquela Conferência, ou seja, ninguém fez o dever de casa, se perguntados muito poucos deverão se lembrar dos compromissos da agenda 21.
Inclusive, e não sejamos hipócritas, muitas ONG´s e movimentos sociais e ambientalistas, com raríssimas exceções, também estão lá na Rio+20 de olho no dinheiro sujo dos poluidores…de olho no dinheiro do REDD, dos mercados de carbono e de tantos outros prometidos milhões em nome da preservação ambiental e da vida no planeta! Em nome da reversão das mudanças do clima, da economia verde e do desenvolvimento sustentável, não percebendo que os mais ricos querem pagar para continuarem sujando o que nós os Povos Indígenas e outros preservamos há milênios!

Por Azelene Kaingáng: Socióloga do Povo Indígena Kaingáng- Mestranda em Políticas Sociais e Prêmio Nacional de Direitos Humanos, Earth Peoples.

Rio+20: Indigenous Peoples protest BNDES – BELO MONTE

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
Chief Raoni informs media why Indigenous Peoples have a Belo Monte Protest at BNDS during RIO+20 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Chief Raoni informs media why Indigenous Peoples have a Belo Monte Protest at BNDS during RIO+20 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Indigenous Peoples Protest at BNDS during RIO+20 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Indigenous Peoples Protest at BNDS during RIO+20 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Indigenous Peoples Protest at BNDS during RIO+20 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Indigenous Peoples Protest at BNDS during RIO+20 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Indigenous Peoples Protest at BNDS during RIO+20 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Indigenous Peoples Protest at BNDS during RIO+20 (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

MITS TO POLLUTE: REDD AND THE GREEN ECONOMY

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

by Shalmali Guttal
Focus on the Global South
June 14, 2012

REDD (Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is one of the most deceptive and risky initiatives proposed to mitigate climate change. REDD creates the illusion that by halting forest destruction and degradation, global emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) will be reduced. In actuality, however, the offset mechanism in REDD allows high GHG emitters to purchase forest carbon credits and avoid their own ethical responsibilities to cut emissions. REDD is a mechanism not to cut GHGs, but to deliver new permits to pollute. And by tying financing for forest protection with international carbon markets, REDD exposes precious natural resources to the risks of market volatility and instability.

The guiding logic of REDD is that if governments and forest owners in developing countries are paid enough money, they will be inclined to keep their forests high in carbon and prevent deforestation and forest degradation, which are both important sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, the payments are not for actually protecting natural forests, but for reducing emissions from deforestation/forest degradation. This is an important difference. A government or forest owner must first show that a forest is indeed being destroyed or degraded, and that this can be stopped in exchange for money that compensates for the earnings from clearing or degrading the forest. As long as an acceptable monetary value and viable exchange mechanism can be properly established, the needs of the North can be matched with the needs of the South. In this way, the forest services of carbon sequestration can be secured by high-level emitters who can pay for these services and avoid cutting emissions themselves.

REDD is a central and currently most visible peg in what the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) calls the Green Economy. UNEP’s conceptualisation treats nature and the functions and capacities of nature as “natural capital,” and claims that appropriate economic values can be estimated for the vital eco-system services that forests, trees, lakes, wetlands and river basins provide by capturing and storing carbon, creating water catchments, ensuring the stability of water cycles, soil fertility, local micro-climates for safe habitats, nurturing and regenerating biodiversity (including fisheries), etc. These values are a fundamental part of a country’s “natural capital,” and can be packaged and traded in international markets to attract investment and development finance.

Tried and tested economic mechanisms and markets exist, which can be replicated and scaled up, including from certified timber schemes, certification for rainforest products, payments for ecosystem services, benefit- sharing schemes and community-based partnerships. In particular, international and national negotiations of a REDD+ regime may be the best current opportunity to facilitate the transition to a green economy for forestry. [1]

REDD will develop markets to sell the capacity of forests to store CO2 and other GHGs. This may sound better than selling the timber from forests, but such forest carbon markets will create perverse incentives for both wealthy and developing countries. Governments or forest owners in developing countries will be encouraged to deforest (or to threaten to do so) so that they can receive payments to prevent deforestation. And wealthy countries will be able to continue polluting by purchasing forest carbon credits through REDD.

Dangerous Ambiguities

REDD+ was adopted at the UNFCCC[2] 16th Conference of Parties (COP) in Cancun in December 2010.[3] It encourages developing countries to contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector through any of the following: a) Reducing emissions from deforestation; 
b) Reducing emissions from forest degradation;
 c) Conservation of forest carbon stocks;
 d) Sustainable management of forests, and;
 e) Enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

In the REDD+ framework, forests are viewed as stores of carbon rather than as complex eco-systems that support wide varieties of life, biological processes and people. Many forest conservation programmes have unfortunate histories of evicting local communities from forest areas once they are zoned as national parks and protected areas. At the same time, logging is permitted in particular forest sections which may be old growth forests, community forests and the ancestral domains of indigenous peoples. The UN definition of forests does not distinguish between natural forests and plantations, leaving the door open for investors and governments to convert natural forests (even if sparse) to tree plantations and still get money under REDD+. But so-called “degraded” forests are often scrublands, woodlots and fallows that are valuable to local communities as sources of food, fibre, fodder, fuel, medicinal plants and non-timber-forest-products important for local diets and incomes.

A particularly contentious issue in REDD is ownership: who owns the forests, and who should be rewarded for protecting and not cutting forests? Governments generally claim ownership and sovereignty over all resources within their territories and strike deals that give them maximum gains, be they through logging, mining, industrial agriculture or REDD agreements. The rights of rural and indigenous peoples communities to make decisions about the management of forests that they have long used and stewarded are rarely recognized by governments or the conservation industry. REDD+ will likely enable new property rights: those who buy REDD credits can own a portion of the capacity of the forest to sequester carbon for a certain period of time. The goal of carbon sequestration is already conflicting with the rights of local people to use forests in Indonesia, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and Thailand. Rural and forest based communities are frequently portrayed as the primary threats to forests and rarely awarded fair compensation for lost lands and livelihoods.

Many rural, forest-based and indigenous peoples’ communities fear that REDD will further advance land grabbing and the destruction of native eco-systems by providing incentives to governments and large landholders to apply a “you-pay-or-I-cut” approach to every hectare of forest land that they succeed in wresting from local farmers and communities.

Enabling the Commodification of Nature

“Essentially REDD+, is an investment focusing on retaining or enhancing natural capital, and provides an opportunity to enable countries to move towards realizing green development. Where conditions are favourable, REDD+ potentially represents an important, possibly even the pre-eminent, strand in a natural capital centric investment strategy.” [4]

UNEP, UN-REDD[5] and the UNFCCC consider REDD+ as a front-runner in creating a market to generate revenues from the capacities and processes of nature.[6] On 4 December 2011, during Forest Day 5 of the COP 17 of the UNFCCC in Durban, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary to the UNFCCC announced that, “… almost 200 governments of the world are doing nothing less than writing a global business plan for the planet” and indicated that REDD was “the spiritual core of this business plan.”[7] A large chunk of this business plan entails identifying elements and processes of nature and biodiversity, and giving them “economic visibility” as commodities to be traded on international markets.

In UN-REDD parlance, a Green Development transition implies expanding the range of nature-biodiversity based commodities that can be used to attract private investment:

“REDD+ investments can be leveraged to induce other investments that can deliver or realize economic value from these other ecosystem services…. Thus REDD+ would deliver not only direct investments in forests but it would also help to lower thresholds for other investments into ecosystem services and the conservation of biodiversity… REDD+ can deliver biodiversity conservation as an additional benefit for mitigation and development. Investments can be directed at a broad portfolio of forest land-use types, not just protected areas.”[8]

REDD+ is a trail-blazer in UNEP’s Green Economy, which promotes new ways to extract revenues from nature. Central to the framework are increased roles for private investors and finance capital, international open markets for climate mitigation, tradable pollution permits, international PES (Payments for Ecosystem Services) schemes, removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in environmental goods and services, and further liberalization of agriculture trade under the World Trade Organisation. It creates a new system of natural resource appropriation and commodification whereby eco-systems and biodiversity are valued more in monetary terms than for the varieties of life that that they sustain.

Why Not Protect Forests and Forest Peoples?

Over 35 % of the Asia-Pacific region is covered by forests, accounting for approximately a fifth of the world’s forests. At current estimation, about 450 million people in the region rely on forests for their livelihoods which are becoming increasingly insecure. Despite their tremendous social, cultural, economic and environmental value, the region’s forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate—almost 4 million hectares per year—because of land conversions (mainly for industrial agriculture and plantations), timber extraction, mining and infrastructure projects. Although rural, forest-dependent and indigenous peoples’ communities have stewarded forests for generations, they face increasing restrictions on using forestlands and are rarely consulted about official forest management plans. On the contrary, dominant models of forestry that include logging quotas, industrial forestry and national parks to conserve protected areas have tended to weaken local people’s rights and access to forests.

Forest loss and degradation are said to contribute approximately 15-18 percent of global GHG emissions annually[9] and by many estimates, half of this amount comes from deforestation and forest degradation in Asia.[10] A great deal of attention is being paid to bringing forests in Asia-Pacific into mitigation plans, especially to offset emissions in industrialised countries.

REDD+ is being promoted across much of Asia as a “potentially large new source of financing for sustainable rural development in developing countries tied to securing forest ecosystem services that generate local, regional and global benefits.”[11] Bilateral donors, UN agencies and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are pouring millions of dollars on national “REDD Readiness” (capacity building) programmes. Investment firms, environmental organisations and governments are teaming up to develop pilot projects to generate revenues through international forest carbon markets (for example in Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and the Lao PDR).

However, none of these massive outlays of money will cut GHGs emissions, address the drivers of deforestation, protect native eco-systems and ensure security of tenure of local communities to their forests. Instead, land, soils and forests will be economically manipulated to allow investors to profit from the climate and environmental crisis. It is crucial that we protect our forests and the livelihoods of forest dependent communities, but selling forest carbon credits will neither protect forests and community rights, nor cool the planet. In its current structure, REDD is little more than a framework to extract value from forests and create a new financial bubble out of living, breathing, eco-systems.

If forests are to be protected and regenerated, the main drivers of deforestation and degradation must be urgently named and tackled. This is a crucial political step since these drivers include powerful corporations, military and government actors, and wealthy consumers. Forest-based and rural communities eking out subsistence livelihoods are not the primary threats to forests. Destructive commercial interests must be effectively shut out of “solutions” and the demands for the products they source from these lands (minerals, biofuels, animal feeds, rubber, high value timber, etc.) should be drastically reduced. Conversions of forest and agricultural lands to agro-industrial estates and industrial plantations must be stopped. At the same time, the tenurial rights of local communities to lands, forests and eco-systems should be secured and protected, and their abilities to protect and manage these eco-systems should be strengthened and supported. Local communities and all citizens need to become aware of the implications of allowing market mechanisms to determine how natural resources are used and managed.

Forests are not suffering because of lack of money. On the contrary, it is indeed money that leads to deforestation and degradation, and that will—in a cynical twist—provide perverse incentives to threaten forests through REDD (unless it is drastically reformed). The huge amounts of funds available for REDD Readiness could instead be used to support national programmes and infrastructure that directly support and strengthen rights-based forms of forest and ecosystem conservation and restoration, and natural regeneration with local-national support, community forestry and fisheries, local livelihoods and economic foundations, and production, consumption and lifestyles that are genuinely green, in harmony with nature.

CARTA de MATO GROSSO: Cupula dos povos e a Rio+20: Desafios e Perspectivas “Qual economia queremos”

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Para ler a carta, cliqueCARTA de MATO GROSSO

CARTA de MATO GROSSO (Photo @ Rebecca Sommer)

CARTA de MATO GROSSO (Photo @ Rebecca Sommer)

The Nairobi Declaration – Reclaiming Rights at Rio: CSO Consultation to the African Agenda in the Rio+20 Summit

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

May 31, 2012 
We, representatives of organizations from more than 15 countries in Africa comprised of small farmers, youth groups, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, women, labour, environmentalists, faith-based organizations, local authorities and NGOs from African Civil Society met from May 30 to 31, 2012 for a CSO Consultation to the African Agenda in the Rio+20 Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.
This year marks two decades since the Earth Summit declaration which recognized the need to change the unequal and unsustainable character of dominant development patterns and set down commonly accepted principles of sustainable development grounded on human rights, and a long-term action plan (Agenda 21) that was to be implemented by multilateral bodies, states and non-state entities at the global, national, and local levels.
We are aware that 20 years hence, the world is nowhere near its acclaimed goals of achieving sustainable development. The multiple crises on finance, food, climate and energy and failure in governance have resulted in further misery and poverty to the world’s peoples as a dominant few countries and people continue to control and own global resources to suit profit and corporate-driven interests.
Over half of total global income are owned by the 10% of the world’s richest people, even as  2.5 billion people in the South live on less than $2 a day. People in wealthy countries with unsustainable development consumption patterns consume as much as ten times more natural resources as those in poorer countries, while in the South, 1 billion are hungry, 1.6 billion have no access to electricity, and almost 800 millions have no access to clean water and 2.5 billion people remain without improved sanitation. Resource depletion and biodiversity loss continue at very rapid rates. Air and water pollution from agro-chemical and industrial processes, including mining and other extractive industries continue to cause serious economic, social, and health problems. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, threatening dangerous climate change. Worst affected are the poor in the South, especially here in Africa, who did little in causing them. 
Even as African economies struggled to recover from the 2008 financial crisis as commodity prices rose and export revenues returned to pre-crisis levels, the continent’s growth in 2011 fell from 4.6 per cent in 2010 to 2.7 per cent.  Africa lags behind on most of Millennium Development Goal Indicators. Unemployment, particularly among youth, remain high, while income inequalities have widened.
 
This is not the world Rio envisioned and this is certainly not the future we Africans want. While we are aware that an African Ministerial declaration on African consensus on Rio+20 has been submitted to supposedly represent our position as a people, we forward these concerns and recommendations from a grassroots and human rights-centered development perspective:
1. We assert that the Rio principles be upheld, most importantly, the principle of state sovereignty over natural resources in respect of human rights, the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, the polluters pay principle, the precautionary principle, and the principle on access to information, public participation and justice. In its 224 Resolution the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights reaffirmed that the ‘State has the main responsibility for ensuring natural resources stewardship with, and for the interest of, the population and must fulfill its mission in conformity with international human rights law and standard’. The Commission confirms ‘that all necessary measures must be taken by the State to ensure participation, including the free, prior and informed consent of communities, in decision/making related to natural resources governance’. We decry attempts by powerful States, especially the North, to whittle down human rights obligations and equity principles in the Rio+20 outcome document in order to avoid concrete commitments to meaningful reforms in social, economic and environmental policies. Thus, the structure of the institutional framework that will be developed at Rio+20 should integrate the three pillars of sustainable development, with premium on social equity and include a fourth pillar on governance.
2. We believe that the Green Economy agenda is likely to be hijacked by multinational corporate greed economy agenda. We believe that if human rights, social justice, equity, good governance issues are not taken into account, the Green Economy agenda will serve the interests of the rich and powerful instead of alleviating poverty and addressing sustainable challenges as is claimed. The true beneficiaries will be the corporate world and the rich countries of the north. In its current form and content, GE follows the profit-oriented logic of corporate which lies at the root of our current poverty and environmental problems.  So-called solutions to unsustainable development are in the hands of corporations – the main agents of unsustainable development – through their “green” investments, innovations and technologies. These corporate solutions do not solve environmental problems but worsen them. They also threaten people’s rights through further privatization, commodification and financialization of nature and ecosystem functions.  These in turn lead to the further concentration of control over nature, land-grabs, bio-piracy, and the displacement and marginalization of communities most dependent on access to these resources, as well as greater financial speculation.
3. We believe that the financial crises has not triggered the political momentum for the much needed reform of the international financial architecture largely due to the reluctance of the major developed countries to make this a priority at the UN and the international financial institutions (IFIs) or to put in place a rigorous regulatory framework on the private financial sector. Africans are highly impacted by the ill regulation of the failed economic model. We therefore opt Rio+20 to provide political commitment for the needed reforms as the road to Rio continues to be paved with increasing quandary. 
4. The Rio+20 draft outcome document and the push for a green economy have put undue importance on science to identify problems and technology to solve them the role of technologies in addressing the challenges to sustainable development. This top-down “techno-fix” approach needs to be corrected and priority must be given to more holistic, participatory and bottom-up solutions. Rio+20 must reaffirm the precautionary principle, ban extremely dangerous technologies such as geo-engineering, and establish participatory mechanisms at the national, regional and global levels to evaluate new technologies such as nanotechnology and synthetic biology for their environmental, health and socio-economic impacts.
5. Poverty is the result of the unequal distribution of power, assets and opportunities within and between countries. Thus poverty eradication should be about the empowerment of the poor to claim their rights.  They must take ownership and control of their natural resources and productive assets and use them to gear their economies to fulfill their needs and development aspirations. They must also take control of institutions of governance in order for their voices to be represented in policy-making.  We recognize the inherent responsibility of governments to establish social protection floor with minimum set of social guarantee to realize human rights and support decent living standards worldwide, including allocating resources to establish an adequate level of social protection in the least developed countries.
6. Sustainable agriculture development cannot be achieved if global and national policies continue to focus on industrial agriculture instead of prioritizing small – scale local production agriculture. The failures of industrial agriculture in the past decade are too many and too severe and should serve as a lesson to all of us. Industrial agriculture is the cause of most of our problems including pollution, land grabbing, poor working conditions, food insecurity and poverty. There must be a major shift under a food sovereignty framework towards adequate, safe, nutritious food for all, including policies and investments to support small-scale farmers, women producers, workers and secure access to (and protection of) the water, land, soils, biodiversity, and other resources upon which our food security depends. Agrarian reform must be carried out in order to secure worker’s, farmer’s and rural people’s democratic access to land, water resources and seeds, as well as to finance infrastructure. Food production and trade policies must prioritize domestic food self-sufficiency and the livelihoods of small farmers, fishers, workers, women and indigenous people.
7. There must be reforms in the system of global governance to ensure strong institutions with real power and means to enforce international rules and commitments on environment and development, and launch talks on a global treaty to realize rights of public access to information, greater participation, and access to justice, in order to strengthen accountability and citizen monitoring of environmental and development performance at the national, regional, and global levels.  Upgrading of the UNEP, for instance, is a step in this direction.
 
8. Climate change threatens life, human rights, pushes people into poverty and locks millions deeper into it. The world has to transit away from the fossil-fuel based profit driven economy and abandon unsustainable patterns of manufacture, energy, agriculture and transportation that are behind ever-rising greenhouse gas emissions. The Global North has historical and moral obligation and has to take the lead by making rapid and drastic emissions cuts and assist poorer countries pay for the costs of their own transition through new and additional finance and technology transfer.
9. Hazardous substances and chemical waste have continued to affect the lives of workers, small scale farmers, women, children and the general public in Africa. The problem is further compounded by the deliberate dumping and illegal trading of toxic waste from developed countries into Africa. As a result, critical resources such as water and land that are needed for sustainable development have been polluted or degraded thus denying African people the right to access such resources. Rio+20 should emphasize the need for states to put into place policies and programs that will promote the sound management of chemicals and wastes in line with the UNEP Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) program and the provisions stipulated in the Basel Convention.
Rio+20 is a critical moment for us to plot the way forward and clearly state the Future We Do not Want. Rio+20 should learn from the failure of capitalist system. This system encourages the abuse of economic and natural resources by the few privileges people to accumulate wealth rather than serve the common good of society. It is a system based on the unrestricted exploitation of the environment, the poor, youth, small scale farmers, women and workers for multinational corporation’s profits.
We CSOs and local authorities representatives urge governments to ensure that the outcomes of Rio+20 serve the interests of all global citizens and that these outcomes uphold basic principles of Agenda 21 and  human rights principle as stipulated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other International Human Rights Instruments.
We remind our African governments that, the people of Africa look up to them as defenders of their rights and expect them to ensure Rio+20 outcome promotes Sustainable Development rather than marginalize and drive them further into poverty.  We hereby would like to strongly remind them of the weight of their responsibility and obligations to defend the needs and interests of the people of Africa
 
 

Río+20: entre el capitalismo verde y la defensa de los bienes comunes

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Eduardo Giesen A. artículo en El Ciudadano:

Como antesala de la próxima Copa del Mundo de 2014 y los Juegos Olímpicos de 2016, Río de Janeiro se prepara para ser sede, entre el 20 y el 22 de junio, de una nueva Conferencia de Naciones Unidas sobre Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo. Pero, ¿qué está en juego en Río+20? ¿cuáles son las propuestas oficiales, las presiones corporativas y las demandas desde la sociedad civil? ¿quiénes son los actores principales, los secundarios y los ocultos? ¿quiénes tienen realmente el poder? Es necesario algo de historia para entender cómo se llega a esta nueva Cumbre de la Tierra.

sigue leyendo en …
Río+20: entre el capitalismo verde y la defensa de los bienes comunes

Disempowering Women through the Green Economy

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

By Clarissa Militante, Focus on the Global South team

“The Future We Want,” the text being discussed by governments for Rio+20, promotes rhetoric of empowering women but in reality, it not only disempowers them further, it also gives more rights and access to corporations.

The basic step towards achieving women empowerment is for women to have access rights to resources such as land and water, two resources that are rapidly being privatized and corporatized. How can green economy alleviate women and children from poverty situations, if their access to such resources has been curtailed and is currently controlled by transnational corporations and landlords? Green economy can cause prosperity, but definitely not for women who face these realities: less than two percent of lands in the world are owned by women; in Asia, only five percent of agricultural activities performed by women are under their control and ownership; while the number of women employed in the rural sector in Asia decreased significantly—41 percent in 2007 from 51 percent (1998) in East and Southeast Asia; 65 percent in 2007 from a high of 74 percent (1998) in South Asia. (Action Aid, 2010)

The 1992 Rio Declaration recognized the role of women and the need to seriously tackle gender dimensions if sustainable development was to become a reality for the majority of the world’s poor—the women. Principle 20 of the Declaration states: “Women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their full participation is therefore essential to sustainable development.” But 20 years after this declaration, women have instead become the most vulnerable, together with children and indigenous peoples, during natural disasters and other results of environmental destruction, owing to social-economic inequalities that they have had to deal with and struggle against.

“The Future We Want” uses again the same language that only pays lip service and does not address the current realities. But these realities shouldn’t be missed.  The World’s Women of 2010 of the United Nation reports that more women have remained poor, continue to receive minimal pay for their labor, if not totally remain unpaid, and rely mostly on natural resources in their immediate environment for food, sustenance and livelihood, while taking on time-consuming and hazardous household labor for their families, such as water and firewood collection. To illustrate, the report has found that in Asia, 75 percent of households, with Cambodia, Laos and Nepal at the top of the list, rely on firewood.

In addition, the UN Women Watch “Women and Climate Change Fact Sheet” also cites women in rural areas of Asia and Africa as the population most dependent on “biomass such as wood, agricultural crops, wastes and forest resources for their energy and livelihood.” And as these continue to dwindle as a consequence of over-exploitation, destruction and degradation, the ability of women to cope with poverty by relying on these resources is further diminished. The impact of climate change on the earth’s biodiversity shall be felt more and more in rural communities of poor and developing countries, including several countries in Asia, where poor people largely depend for food and livelihood on natural resources.

The World’s Women of 2010 also reports that 84 percent of the continent’s population lack access to drinking water in their homes and even “within a short distance” from their premises; a large portion of this population group reside in the rural areas. Women are assigned the chore of fetching and collecting water, as data in 38 out of 48 countries included in the study show that there are more adult women in households responsible for acquiring the family’s drinking water supply than adult men. “Girls under the age of 15 are also more likely than boys of the same age to be in charge of water collection,” highlighted the report. This information, the UN report insists, has become more crucial in the context of declining water supplies which is being linked to climate change. These activities, firewood gathering and water collection, on top of chores inside the house remain unpaid while taking most of the time and energies of women, robbing them of opportunity for income-earning work, thereby perpetuating the cycle of women disempowerment.

These cited situations have had impacts on women’s health and state of vulnerability even as their lack of access to these basic facilities and resources has been happening in the context of desertification, and of depletion and degradation of forest and water resources.

Furthermore, the weak coping capacities of women as a result of illiteracy and lack of opportunity for sustained education is also a critical issue. Education should enable women to participate in processes that can help alleviate them from conditions of poverty, arrest environmental problems and protect natural resources. But for the past two decades, the UN itself reports, women have accounted for two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults; in the 2010 report, the figure is 774 million. There are also 72 million children belonging to the primary school age group who are out of school, of which 54 percent are girls. In the higher levels of education, there has been an increase in the number of women in scientific researches, but this has not narrowed the disparity between women and men in this field.

These statistics are barely discussed in the climate negotiations where market-oriented mechanisms such as the green economy are taking precedence over mechanisms and policies that address gender-based disparities and vulnerabilities, which are expected to worsen in the context of climate change. 

Since Rio in 1992, women’s organizations have pushed to the forefront of social movements’ struggles its advocacies, primary of which is that development cannot be achieved and sustained if the dominant global economic system continues to fail in addressing gender-based, class-rooted inequities; if economic development will not recognize that the earth’s resources are finite and that women, especially those belonging to communities with indigenous knowledge and traditions of caring for and protecting the environment, can contribute greatly to this envisioned change in global economic-social-ecological relations. Only by acknowledging and addressing conditions of vulnerability on an encompassing and wide-ranging level can the participation of women in decision-making processes relating to the use of the earth’s resources truly happen. Women are not mere victims of natural hazards and climate change; they can and have been, in fact, contributing to the resolution of these problems.

RIO+20: STATEMENT BY THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES MAJOR GROUP

Friday, June 1st, 2012

May 30, 2012 Working Group 1

Thank you Mr. Chairman for this opportunity to speak on behalf of the indigenous peoples major group.

Distinguished delegates – this is an appeal from Indigenous Peoples on the issues of mining and on the need to uphold prior, informed consent on the use of traditional knowledge.

This morning two paragraphs on mining were hastily negotiated, in our view, without the due care and diligence required for its far-reaching negative impacts on many aspects of sustainable development being agreed in this room: on water, food, biodiversity, oceans, sustainable consumption and production, poverty eradication, safeguards for vulnerable groups and indigenous peoples’ rights.

The mining paragraphs as they stand do not reflect a balanced view and approach to the real situation in mining communities, nor are they a credible response to current demands, which call for strong government leadership to address the problems of heightened conflicts between governments and society, gross human rights violations, deepening impoverishment of affected communities, despoiled rivers, landscapes and seascapes.

Mining is admittedly one of the most difficult sectors to manage in relation to sustainable development, it was hard to reach agreement on this theme during CSD19. It is one issue that would clearly benefit from multi-stakeholder engagement and enhanced oversight at global, national and local levels. Rio +20 must provide stronger leadership, and mining countries will need increased support to carry out their responsibilities post-Rio, and not left to carry on business as usual.

The original paragraphs presented by the Co-Chairs, which we already considered too positive, tried to present the contributions by mining, but also the need for regulation and safeguards. We believe that the current mining text needs to be strengthened and we invite governments to engage the concerns of indigenous peoples and civil society as further consultations are carried out to improve the present unacceptable text.

Current paragraph 43 on the contributions of indigenous peoples to sustainable development was one of the first paragraphs to be agreed ad ref. and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is clearly highly relevant in this regard. We also call on the European Union to support the requirement on the prior informed consent of indigenous peoples for the use of traditional knowledge, consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Nagoya Protocol, as contained in Biodiversity 1.

Urgente, Río+20: Estados pretenden reducir al mínimo regulaciones y salvaguardas respecto a la minería

Friday, June 1st, 2012

En las negociaciones que se desarrollan en Nueva York se modifican los párrafos referentes a la minería en el Borrador Cero, ignorando el consentimiento previo, libre e informado.

En Nueva York se está realizando en estos momentos una nueva ronda de negociaciones del Borrador Cero del documento que será aprobado por los Estados en la Conferencia de Naciones Unidas sobre Desarrollo Sostenible Río+20. El Grupo Principal de Pueblos Indígenas denunció que ayer dos párrafos sobre la minería se han negociado a toda prisa, sin el debido cuidado y diligencia necesaria para sus vastas repercusiones negativas en muchos aspectos para el desarrollo sostenible.

La carta remitida a los delegados y delegadas de los Estados que participan en la ronda enfatiza la necesidad de respetar el consentimiento previo e informado antes de aprobar cualquier emprendimiento minero.

Producto de las negociaciones, agrega el documento, los párrafos referidos a la minería no reflejan una visión equilibrada y el enfoque de la situación real en las comunidades afectadas por la minería, ni tampoco son una respuesta creíble a las demandas actuales, que requieren un fuerte liderazgo gubernamental para hacer frente a los problemas de los conflictos sociales, las graves violaciones de los derechos humanos, la profundización  del empobrecimiento de las comunidades afectadas, y la destrucción de ríos, paisajes terrestres y marinos.

Para los pueblos indígenas, Río+20 debe proveer un liderazgo más fuerte de los Estados para vigilar que actividades extractivas como la minería cumplan estándares ambientales y de respeto a los derechos humanos y colectivos, en particular el derecho al consentimiento previo, libre e informado a las comunidades afectadas, como lo establecen los instrumentos internacionales.

En este marco, es indispensable insistir en el establecimiento de regulaciones y salvaguardas y no solo presentar las contribuciones de la minería de manera demasiado positiva. Frente a ello, los pueblos indígenas piden a los Estados considerar los derechos de los pueblos indígenas en el texto que se pretende modificar.


Finalmente, los pueblos indígenas reiteran su llamado a incluir explícitamente la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas en todo lo concerniente a las contribuciones de los pueblos indígenas al desarrollo sostenible, así como a apoyar el consentimiento previo, libre e informado de los pueblos indígenas para el uso de los conocimientos tradicionales, en consonancia con la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas y el Protocolo de Nagoya.

Adjuntamos: los párrafos sobre minería que se negocian actualmente en la sede de Naciones Unidas en Nueva York.

Mayo 31 del 2012,

Comunicaciones CAOI


CÚPULA DOS POVOS: O MOVIMENTO INDÍGENA E A RIO +20

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

O ano de 2012 será decisivo para as questões da saúde do nosso planeta. De 20 a 22 de junho, o mundo estará voltado para as discursões na Conferência das Nações Unidas sobre Desenvolvimento Sustentável, a Rio+20, evento global que reunirá centenas de participantes com o objetivo comum de encontrar saídas para a crise planetária em que vivemos. As organizações socioambientalistas, bem como o movimento indígena e a sociedade civil, unirão força na Cúpula dos Povos, um evento que ocorre paralelo à Rio + 20, e será um espaço de decisões e influência sobre os temas que serão abordados na conferência oficial. Vale lembrar que nós da Amazônia Brasileira, estaremos unidos com outras instâncias indígenas, nacionais e internacionais, também em um espaço próprio. Em junho, aldeiaremos o Rio de Janeiro, com mais uma edição do Acampamento Terra Livre, a maior assembleia indígena do Brasil. Esse será um espaço político de deliberação da nossa causa. E dentro desse espaço a COIAB e o movimento indígena como um todo, vai deixar bem claro o seu posicionamento com relação aos rumos que os governantes estão dando para as questões que afetam diretamente os nossos povos. No Brasil não há uma política de governo voltada às demandas dos povos indígenas. Até o momento, o Governo Dilma não recebeu o movimento para um diálogo franco e aberto. A principio, já não acreditamos que o diálogo com o governo brasileiro e a ONU seja transparente. Ele é prejudicado pela falta de clareza nos processo de organização do próprio evento. As pessoas que estão à frente do Comitê que organiza a RIO 20, no que diz respeito aos povos indígenas, não foram escolhidas com a participação do movimento indígena. Foi necessária muita intervenção das organizações indígenas, para colocar um representante legítimo no comitê organizador do evento, mesmo assim, somos prejudicados. Parentes, não podemos participar de um evento de tamanha envergadura como esses, somente para acender fogueira, dançarmos e cantarmos, como espera o governo. A violência do capitalismo que invade os nossos territórios precisa ser denunciada em todos os níveis. Os órgãos internacionais de defesa e promoção dos direitos humanos precisam tomar conhecimento das nossas realidades. Para os povos indígenas o desenvolvimento vem trazendo muita dor e sofrimento em nossas comunidades. Precisamos dar um basta nisso, pois temos a consciência que são os conhecimentos milenares dos povos indígenas que vão ajudar a salvar o planeta de crise climática em que vivemos. A nossa relação com os nossos territórios é base da nossa existência enquanto povos, a base do nosso Bem Viver e Vida Plena, em harmonia com a Mãe-Natureza. Esses direitos estão plenamente reconhecidos pela Convenção 169 da OIT – Organização Internacional do Trabalho, a Declaração das Nações Unidas sobre os Direitos dos Povos Indígenas e pelas constituições dos nossos países. A economia verde, que defendem os capitalistas, ameaça gravemente este nosso direito, por meio de políticas públicas que priorizam obras de produção e infraestrutura, grandes empreendimentos, sem considerar o nosso direito à consulta prévia. São inúmeras as grandes obras que invadem os nossos territórios no galope do desenvolvimento insustentável. As hidrelétricas nos rios da Amazônia, a Transposição do São Francisco, o agronegócio no Centro-Oeste, as Pequenas Centrais Hidrelétricas no sul do país, a criminalização das nossas lideranças que lutam por justiça, o Projeto TIPNIS na Bolívia, o Plano Puebla-Panamá, aliados à truculência dos governos e seus aparatos militares, vem perpetuando o sofrimento aos povos indígenas. É preciso denunciar essa violência, bem como construir alternativas que provoquem mudanças. Os governantes precisam de uma nova mentalidade para salvar o planeta. Para isso é importante estarmos engajados em nossa participação na RIO + 20. O Acampamento Terra Livre será o nosso espaço de discussão e deliberação de propostas que serão encaminhadas aos representantes mundiais.

COMO FUNCIONARÁ O ACAMPAMENTO TERRA LIVRE

O Acampamento Terra Livre será essa grande aldeia de todos os povos. De 17 a 22 de junho reuniremos as lideranças do Brasil, da Bacia Amazônica, da América Central e dos Andes. Estimamos a participação de 1220 indígenas só do Brasil, aliados aos parentes dos outros países, trataremos juntos de questões globais que afetam diretamente os nossos territórios e comunidades, como: Biodiversidade, produtos transgênicos, REDD, mudança climática, Gestão Ambiental e Territorial, Grandes Empreendimentos,Repartição de benefícios a partir da demanda indígena – Acesso a políticas e programas; Fortalecimento da produção indígena e, em especial Economia Verde. Como defendido no Grande Encontro Pan-Amazônico, a Cumbre de los Bosques, evento internacional que aconteceu no ano passado em Manaus, promovido pela COIAB, em parceria com a COICA, a Economia Verde é uma nova ferramenta do capitalismo para explorar os nossos territórios. Um verdadeiro engodo, travestido de politicas para as florestas, em projetos que se dizem sustentáveis, quando na verdade só contribuem para a depredação, o desmatamento, a degradação, por parte de minérios, hidrelétricas, agronegócio, estradas, entre outros. Como infraestrutura no Acampamento, contaremos com (01 tenda para auditório, 01 tenda para convivência, 30 tendas grandes para alojamento, colchonetes, redário para 200 redes, alimentação, som, banheiros, sanitários, água potável para beber, água para banho, iluminação, transporte interno dentro do espaço do Aterro e linha para a Conferência Oficial, gratuitos. A nossa participação na Rio +20, não se restringirá ao ATL. É importante inscrevermos nossas lideranças na Conferência Oficial, para fazerem as devidas intervenções. Também é válida a nossa participação nos stands para exposições diversas de materiais de divulgação e produtos indígenas. Para de fato garantirmos uma massiva participação do movimento indígena organizado, é fundamental já começar as articulações e mobilizações de parcerias (governos municipais e estaduais, ONGs, Ministérios da Cultura, MDA, MDS, Direitos Humanos e FUNAI). O momento é de luta, vamos juntar nossas forças em uma grande aliança pela igualdade e justiça social. 20 ANOS DEPOIS DA CÚPULA DA TERRA – A ECO 92 Em 1992 aconteceu no Rio de Janeiro, um grande evento de líderes mundiais por ocasião da segunda Conferência Mundial para o Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (que ficou conhecida como Eco-92) teve como um de seus resultados a formulação de documentos muito importantes. Porém, muitos dos termos desses documentos ainda não foram colocados em prática. Isso por tratarem de questões que estabelecem mudanças no comportamento dos países em relação ao meio ambiente. Essas mudanças deveriam ser implementadas tanto pelos países ricos quanto pelos chamados “países em desenvolvimento”. Considerada como o resultado mais importante da Eco-92, a Agenda 21, documento assinado por 179 países naquela ocasião, é um texto chave com as estratégias que devem ser adotadas para a sustentabilidade. Já adotada em diversas cidades por todo o mundo, inclusive através de parcerias e de intercâmbio de informações entre municipalidades, esse compromisso se desenrola no âmbito da cooperação e do compromisso de governos locais. Leva em conta, principalmente, as especificidades e as características particulares de cada localidade, de cada cidade, para planejar o que deve ser desenvolvimento sustentável em cada uma delas.