Archive for February, 2013

TODAY: The ILO Convention No. 169 debate at the German Bundestag – since 24 years Rights of Indigenous Peoples still not recognized by the Germans

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Himba women from Omuhonga, Namibia (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Himba women from Omuhonga, Namibia (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

By Rebecca Sommer

The year 2013 marks the 24th anniversary of the final adoption of the historic United Nations ILO convention No. 169 (Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169)). Together with the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other human rights instruments, the Convention is key for the promotion and protection of the rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

As a Convention it entails the international set of laws for Indigenous Peoples that are “binding” for those countries that ratified it. Since adoption, the ILO Convention No. 169 has been crucial in changing, correcting and shaping national policies, programs and laws regarding the rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples worldwide, particularly in ratifying countries.

Yanomami from Papiuu Novo (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Yanomami from Papiuu Novo (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

And that is the very reason why most governments refuse to ratify it.

German parties that argue today against the ratification of the ILO 169 should be ashamed of themselves.

Big business oriented Parties such as the CDU and FDP argument for example, that there are no Indigenous Peoples in Germany (they can be lucky that the Friesen People don’t claim indigenous status) and lie about the very reason why they do not want to do right by giving rights to the Indigenous Peoples of the world.

In order to protect German companies, governmental and financial institutions’ economical interests that want the very resources from Indigenous Peoples lands and territories, certain German parties don’t want to do the right thing and sign the ILO 169. They want to get a freebee. With no strings (rights) attached.

In support of the ILO Convention ratification, members of the SPD and the Green party applied for the discussion on the previous denial of Germany to ratify the Convention, but the discussion moved back on the agenda item to about 1am – tomorrow morning. In other words, there won’t be a discussion at all. You see, for them it is that easy.

 Diné Bikéyah Grandma Ana (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Diné Bikéyah Grandma Ana (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

They forgot that we depend on the Indigenous Peoples as Indigenous Peoples  depend on our “leaders” to sign laws that do right, such as the ILO Convention.

We are all connected. Indigenous Peoples are caretakers of the last few spots of intact environments in the world. And they would be able to continue doing so, if states such as Germany would support them. And that benefits ultimately humanity.

Indigenous Peoples maintained their traditional knowledge from time immemorial, and they continue to forward it to the next generations. You and I can survive many diseases because of what they have taught pharmaceutical researchers. Indigenous Peoples are the keepers of an enormous variety of traditional knowledge that is ancient, molded and shaped through centuries.

24 years have passed, since the ILO Convention 169 was adopted. Indigenous Peoples are growingly pushed against the wall and are in despair, marginalized, often killed in the ever increasing vicious globalized capitalist economical war for land, the last bit’s of first growth forests, any resources, the water, now even the air (through programs such as REDD, carbon credits for trees on Indigenous land that “in theory-but not really” would absorb the CO2 emissions, including those – so the plan – from Germany).  It is truly alarming how slick and sinister German elected representatives of the German people kick human rights into the mud.

Across the world, Indigenous /Tribal Peoples’ lands are being stolen and their communities and way of life destroyed. ILO Convention 169 is the only international law designed to protect their collective rights as a people.

You can help.

If you are German, please take a moment and send to your governmental representatives a clear message (you find all contacts on the internet- write them), speak about it at your schools, universities, at work, collect signatures, – do something. Your taxes fund many projects that affect and even murder vulnerable Indigenous Tribal Peoples.

And…next time you vote, think carefully where you put your cross.

Indigenous Peoples Statement regarding the Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Comment Earth Peoples: The GCF board meeting will take place in Germany, Berlin, 12-15 March 2013. Below the Statement of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change Statement on the Green Climate Fund (GCF):

We, indigenous peoples’ representatives present in Doha at COP18, wish to express our views and demands with reference to the Green Climate Fund.

First of all, we wish to underline the potential role that indigenous peoples can play in any climate-related policy and program and the imperative to adopt and implement a rights-based approach to climate financing, in accordance with international standards and commitments, such as those enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge, livelihoods and sustainable resource management and use provide key contributions to mitigation and adaptation.

Second, as agreed in the Cancun Agreements, any climate-related activity should not harm indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. This means that the Green Climate Fund, its operations and activities should be informed by a rights-based approach that would prevent any negative consequence of climate change policies and programmes on the rights of indigenous peoples. We are pleased to see that the Governing Instrument of the GCF does have a section on Safeguards (Section X) and on Accountability (Section X1).

Thirdly, our right to participation has been recognized both at the UNFCCC level, and in various funds and climate related initiatives such as the Climate Investment Fund, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the FCPF (Forest Carbon Partnership Facility) and UN-REDD Collaborative Programme We have representatives who sit as observers in the decision-making bodies of these entities. While we seek more improvements for our full and effective participation in these bodies, such arrangements are good starting points. To us, full and effective participation means the recognition of indigenous peoples as rights holders and as a separate constituency, the right to timely access to culturally-appropriate information, the right to be consulted and to attend meetings of decision-making bodies, with the right to speak and actively engage.

We welcome the commitment of the Board to discuss these matters in the upcoming Board meetings in 2013 and provide additional elements to that purpose.

A. FULL AND EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AS ACTIVE OBSERVERS

We wish to express our concern about the modalities currently practiced by the Board in terms of civil society and indigenous peoples’ participation and consultation. Indigenous peoples’ representatives have attended the first two Board meetings, sharing views and concerns with a wide range of civil society organizations and NGOs with reference to the current working mode and future policy discussions meant to provide the GCF with the framework and institutional architecture needed to start its operations. Pending the adoption of a clear and effective policy on stakeholders’ and rightsholders’ engagement, our chances and opportunities to actively engage with the Board since the very beginning of its operations have been limited. Not only have Indigenous Peoples not been recognized as active observers, nor as a separate constituency, as is the case in other climate funds, but our opportunities to attend the Board meetings and to access the necessary documentation to inform our contribution and position have been either denied or reduced. Active observer status is granted only to two civil society representatives and two private sector representatives. Indigenous Peoples cannot be represented by either of these categories. We can only represent ourselves and we cannot accept to continue being excluded in this process.

This is a matter of serious concern for us and for the future activities of the Board and the GCF alike. Hence our first call to the Board, and to Member governments is to adopt, as a matter of urgency, a policy that would allow active participation of indigenous peoples and other constituencies in the activities of the Board, and relevant subcommittees, in line with internationally recognized standards and practices. Therefore, we, demand that Indigenous Peoples be granted positions as active observers in line with international human rights instruments and standards and in accordance with decision 3/CP (FCCC/CP/2011/9/Add.1).

a. A Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Advisory Board

A Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Advisory Body should be established as well as an indigenous peoples contact person to guarantee the active engagement of Indigenous Peoples in the decision-making processes so as to ensure ownership and success of GCF activities. The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues should participate in the Board meetings as an official observer to the GCF.

b. Dedicated financing to support participation

Furthermore, the Green Climate Fund Board should provide dedicated financing for IPs’ participation to enable the full and effective participation in GCF activities, starting with support for the self-selection process to identify indigenous peoples’ representatives at the Green Climate Fund. In line with what is being done by other climate funds we also propose that the GCF support regional level dialogues with indigenous peoples that would feed in into a global dialogue as is the case currently with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

B. SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS

The Board working agenda for 2013 includes some crucial items such as the development and adoption of social and environmental safeguards, a recourse mechanism, evaluation procedures, as well as modalities for direct access to financing. In our view these can be fundamental tools to help ensure that the operations and activities of the Green Climate Fund are respect and protect our our rights and respond to our needs.

a. Rights-based social and environmental safeguards for GCF policies, programmes and actions

As far as safeguards are concerned, these have to be based on international standards and instruments such as the UNDRIP and the ILO Convention 169. More specifically, safeguards should include the following elements among others: right to Free Prior Informed Consent right to redress and compensation for any harm inflicted as a consequence of GCF policies, programmes and actions, rights to land, territories and natural resources, right to traditional knowledge and practices, rights to self determination and the exercise of customary laws, governance and customary land use and forest management, right to law enforcement and conflict resolution through traditional governance systems, with local monitoring and reporting of infringements, and the right to equitable benefit sharing.

b. a safeguards compliance framework and grievance mechanism

Safeguards should be linked to a compliance framework, that includes a system of information on how safeguards are implemented, based on effective performance indicators, the opportunity for indigenous peoples to contribute with their own monitoring, reporting and verification models, and the existence of an independent, accessible and effective recourse mechanism. The Accountability Chapter of the Governing Instrument of the GCF calls for information disclosure and the establishment of a grievance mechanism. We urge the members of the Board to elaborate and adopt a Safeguard Policy on Indigenous Peoples which does not fall below the standards enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Other policies which should be established are a gender policy, environmental standard policy and an information disclosure policy. We also urge you to establish the grievance mechanism which can receive and act on complaints from indigenous peoples and communities which are adversely affected by projects funded by the GCF.

C. DIRECT ACCESS TO FUNDING FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Last but not least, direct access currently refers to national governments and the ability of accredited national implementing entities to access the funds. There are strong benefits for creating a similar specific finance facility under the GCF to enable indigenous peoples, to have direct access to dedicated funds that would strengthen the contributions of indigenous and local knowledge to climate change adaptation and mitigation and would support self-determined development. This facility will also provide direct access to women and local communities. We therefore call on the Green Climate Fund Board and member governments to establish a Small Grants Facility that will allow for indigenous peoples, women, local communities to have direct access to dedicated financing to implement mitigation and adaptation projects. This can build upon and can further improve on existing mechanisms for participation in various climate change programs such as the FCFP (Forest Carbon Partnership Facility) and the FIP (Forest Investment Programme), Small Grants Facility of the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) as well as in UN bodies such as the Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

We urge you, the members of the Board of the Green Climate Fund, to consider all these points as you shape your Business Model and further elaborate on what is in your Governing Instrument. We look forward to more fruitful dialogues with you and we hope to see results in terms of the integration of our proposals in your deliberations and decisions.

Open Statement on the Green Climate Fund (GCF)
UNFCCC COP18/CMP8, Doha, Qatar
7 December 2012

EARTH PEOPLES bLog hits record with a whopping 8 million viewers

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

We started end of 2008 the EARTH PEOPLES blog as an alternative to our website and have hit the record – with a whopping 8 million viewers.

MPF vai apurar denúncia de espionagem contra o Consórcio Construtor de Belo Monte O Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre enviou representação pedindo elucidação dos fatos

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Ministério Público Federal no Pará

MPF vai apurar denúncia de espionagem contra o Consórcio Construtor de Belo Monte
O Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre enviou representação pedindo elucidação dos fatos

O Ministério Público Federal recebeu hoje uma representação do Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre informando a descoberta de um agente contratado pelo Consórcio Construtor de Belo Monte que atuava infiltrado no movimento, gravando reuniões, fotografando pessoas e repassando informações para a empresa. A representação deu origem a um procedimento de apuração que será conduzido pela unidade do MPF em Altamira.

A descoberta foi feita durante reunião de planejamento do movimento em Altamira, no último final de semana, quando o funcionário gravava, com uma caneta espiã, tudo que se falava no recinto. De acordo com a representação, assinada pelo advogado do Xingu Vivo, Marco Apolo Santana Leão e pela liderança do movimento Antônia Melo da Silva, depois de flagrado, o próprio funcionário se dispôs a gravar em vídeo um depoimento sobre a natureza de seu trabalho para o Consórcio Belo Monte.

“Num impressionante relato, revelou um esquema de espionagem que chega a ser inacreditável em pleno estado democrático de direito”, diz o pedido de investigação. Ele disse ter sido contatado pela equipe de segurança do Consórcio com uma proposta de receber R$ 3 mil por mês para repassar informações sobre o Xingu Vivo. Negociou e aceitou fazer a espionagem por R$ 5 mil.

Ele disse que estava desempregado, nunca tinha visto tanto dinheiro e por isso aceitou a proposta. Um dos principais alvos seria Antônia Melo, uma das coordenadoras do Xingu Vivo para Sempre e a quem ele conhece pessoalmente desde a infância, por ser morador antigo de Altamira. De acordo com o depoimento em vídeo, ele repassaria tudo que descobrisse para o Consórcio mas, nos próximos dias, uma pessoa da Agência Brasileira de Inteligência (Abin) iria até Altamira para ver as informações.

Ainda de acordo com o depoimento gravado, era esperado do funcionário que espionasse também os trabalhadores nos canteiros de obras de Belo Monte, para descobrir e apontar possíveis lideranças que buscassem melhorias para os trabalhadores. Ficou nos alojamentos dos operários, fez o mapeamento das lideranças, informou ao Consórcio, que demitiu cerca de 80 trabalhadores graças a essas informações.

“Estes lamentáveis fatos ocorrem em plena democracia num momento em que o Brasil se arvora internacionalmente como defensor de liberdades e signatário de diversos pactos e convenções de direitos humanos. Daí nossa indignação com esses desmandos, que não são cometidos apenas pela CCBM, mas também por uma agência de informações da Presidência da República”, diz a representação.

A representação informa o temor pela segurança dos integrantes do Xingu Vivo e pede ainda providências para a proteção do próprio funcionário. “O agente do Consórcio passa a ser uma testemunha das ilegalidades perpetradas pela empresa, nesse sentido, conforme consta em uma de suas declarações em vídeo, o mesmo se sente ameaçado pela empresa e seu serviço de segurança”, diz o documento.

A investigação do MPF sobre as denúncias será conduzida pela procuradora da República Meliza Alves Barbosa

O vídeo com o depoimento do funcionário está disponível na internet.

Ministério Público Federal no Pará
Assessoria de Comunicação
(91) 3299-0148 / 3299-0177
ascom@prpa.mpf.gov.br
http://twitter.com/MPF_PA
http://www.facebook.com/MPFPara

NEWS SUMMARY: Two branches of human rights NGO Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) charged with embezzling donations, in Germany and Switzerland

Monday, February 25th, 2013

SUMMARY:
(see references [ ] below)

The Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) has branches in Germany[a], Italy[b], Austria[c], Bosnia-Herzegovina[d] and Switzerland[e]. The organization also claims to have branches in Chile, USA and Iraq. But no records of registered offices can be found.

Society for Threatened Peoples International's Vice-President Christoph Wiedmer (GfbV-Schweiz) and President Tilman Zülch (GfbV-Deutschland). Both organizations were charged and are under investigation in Germany and Switzerland for fraud and embezzlement

Society for Threatened Peoples International's President Tilman Zülch (GfbV-Deutschland) (Left) and Vice-President Christoph Wiedmer (GfbV-Schweiz) (Right). Both organizations were charged and are under investigation in Germany and Switzerland for fraud and embezzlement

The Secretary General of the Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) and the organizations headquarters, the Society for Threatened Peoples-Germany (GfbV-Deutschland) is Tilman Zülch[1][2].

The Vice-President of STP-International is Christoph Wiedmer [3], who is also the managing director of the Society for Threatened Peoples-Switzerland (GfbV-Schweiz][4].

Both “not-for-profit, human rights” branches of the international non-governmental organization are currently under criminal investigation for fraud and embezzlement of donation money by state prosecutors in both countries, Germany[5] and Switzerland[6].

In 2012, German state prosecutor announced investigations of charges of embezzlement filed by the Society for Threatened Peoples board of directors[7], against Tilman Zülch the Secretary-General of both the international umbrella organization and the German branch. In 2010 the board of directors uncovered substantial accounting and contractual irregularities[7] and accused him of embezzlement of donations and funds[8], of having continued to receive salary payments of 70,000.00 Euro per year, even though he had agreed to resign from his position as the Secretary General (and the position doesn’t even exist in the statutes of the organization), and for having ordered payments to the Bosnia-Herzegovina[d] branch on insufficient documentation[9]. They also questioned payments forwarded to others.

Already a decade ago, about one million German DM were missing from the organizations yearly assets, and the Society for Threatened Peoples was at the brink of bankruptcy. The organization had to borrow money from private persons and other sources to fill the holes. Interesting to note that the organizations  financial managing director from that past is now the very same one who signs the audit report at present.

The organization’s headquarters in Göttingen, Germany, rejected the charges[10]. After former board members were in November 2012 officially ousted from the organization[11][12][13], the new board of directors swiftly withdrew the charges which had been filed by the previous board. Days later, the German branch and headquarters of the Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) falsely claimed on it’s website that the state prosecutor had dismissed the charges and closed the case. (The relevant press release on their homepage cannot be found to-date).

2013, former board president Harald Klein and former Vice-chair James Albert pressed additional charges to ensure that the investigation against the organization’s embezzlement of donations continues.

Up-to-date Tilman Zülch is the Honorary President of the Society for Threatened Peoples International and the Secretary-General of Society for The Society for Threatened Peoples-Germany[1][2], and Senior Associate and advisor to the board of the Committee for a Democratic UN (Komitee für eine demokratische UNO, KDUN) [14].

Since February 11, 2013, the Society for Threatened Peoples International’s branch Switzerland is also under investigation for substantial embezzlement of donations and the organizations assets[15]. State prosecutors of Bern opened a criminal case to investigate the allegations for misappropriation of donations[16][17].

Up-to-date Christoph Wiedmer is the vice-president of the Society for Threatened Peoples International, and the managing director of the Society for Threatened Peoples-Switzerland [3][4].

The international organization has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, participatory status at the Council of Europe and is a Member organization of the Committee for a Democratic UN.

References
a. GfbV-Deutschland homepage
b. Associazione per i popoli minacciatiGfbV-Italy homepage
c. GfbV-Österreichhomepage
d. GfbV-Shweizhomepage

1. GfbV-International: Tilman Zülch – Ehrenpräsident (retrieved 25 February, 2013) Society for Threatened Peoples International website

2. GfbV –Deutschland: Tilman Zülch – Generalsekretär (retrieved 25 February, 2013) Society for Threatened Peoples –Germany website

3. GfbV-International: Christoph Wiedmer Vize-Präsident (retrieved 25 February, 2013) Society for Threatened Peoples International website

4. GfbV-Schweiz: Christoph Wiedmer- Geschäftsleiter (retrieved 25 February, 2013) Society for Threatened Peoples-Switzerland website

5. Ruedi Suter “Krach in der deutschen “Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker” (26. November 2012) OnlineReports

6. Ruedi Suter “Betrüger ruiniert Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker” (11 Februar 2013) Onlinereports

7. Matthias Heinzel “Ermittlungen gegen Zülch” (29 February 2012) Göttinger Tagesblatt

8. REIMAR PAUL“FÜHRUNGSSTREIT IM MENSCHENRECHTSVEREIN Verdächtige Kontoausgänge.” (November 2, 2012) GÖTTINGEN taz

9. Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine “Ermittlung gegen GfbV-Vereinsgründer Tilman Zülch wegen Untreue” (November 2011) Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine

10. Charlotte Morgenthal “Göttinger Menschenrechtler führen internen Bürgerkrieg-Schlammschlachten bei der Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker”(13. March 2012) Dom Radio

11. dapd “Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker feuert Ex-Vorstände” (04.11.2012) dapd

12. Reimar Paul “GESELLSCHAFT FÜR BEDROHTE VÖLKER-Kritik ausgeschlossen”
Der monatelange Streit bei der Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker ist formell beendet worden – mit dem Ausschluss früherer Vorstände” (4 November 20112) Tageszeitung

13. Christian Röther “GfbV schließt ehemalige Vorstände aus” (5. November 2012) Stadtradio Göttingen.

14. KDUN Senior Associates: Tilman Zülch, President, Society for Threatened Peoples (retrieved 25 February 2013) Committee for a Democratic UN website

15. Neue Zürcher Zeitung “Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker- Veruntreuung bei einer NGO” (11 Februar 2013) Neue Zürcher Zeitung

16. Suedostschweiz “Gelder veruntreut bei GfbV” (11 Februar 2013)”SuedostSchweizer Zeitung

17. Basellandschaftliche Zeitung “STRAFVERFAHREN: Veruntreuung bringt Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker in Not” (11 February 2013) Basellandschaftliche Zeitung

External links:
Society for Threatened Peoples International Watch (STPI Watch)
GfbV WATCH Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker Watch

Greenpeace and RAN want us to wipe our asses with old-growth forests

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

EARTH MEANDERS: Earth Is Dying, Yet Climate and Forest Movements Lack Urgency and Substance

Human industrial growth is systematically liquidating the natural ecosystems that are the habitat for humans and for all life. Earth is dying, one logged old-growth tree and tank of gasoline at a time, yet most environmental groups are shilling solutions that are inadequate and ill-conceived – such as logging old-growth forests to protect them. Nothing shows this better than Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network – in an age of mass extinction, abrupt climate change, and ecosystem collapse – wanting us to wipe our asses with toilet paper from “certified” old-growth forest pulp.

By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet, Earth Meanders come from Earth’s Newsdesk, http://www.ecoearth.info/newsdesk/
February 24, 2013

A profound lack of understanding exists, even amid the supposedly radical environmental movement, of the seriousness of merging ecological crises. If Gaia – the Earth System or biosphere – is alive, as science has come to understand, then clearly she can die as key ecosystems are destroyed and biogeochemical processes fail. To survive, much less thrive, humanity must stop scraping Earth’s land of life, spewing waste into our air and water, and claiming it can all be certified as sustainably done, while calling it “development.”

Industrial growth’s destruction of ecosystems is undermining the habitability of the planet, threatening the maintenance of conditions necessary for life, by destroying the ecosystems required for a living planet. As key ecosystems are lost, indications are humanity will soon be going extinct, quite possibly taking the biosphere and all life with us.

Life begets life. It is a miracle of nature that life, together in ecosystems, creates conditions necessary for life. Yet multidimensional ecological crises – climate, forests, water, food, overpopulation and inequitable consumption, and others – are undermining life. A time of great dying looms as humans are destroying their habitat, all life, and the Earth System.

Together either we end fracking, tar sands, coal, old-growth logging, overpopulation, and inequitable overconsumption all at once or our one shared biosphere collapses. Not only do we need to protest, but we need the right solutions. These must be derived from the best ecological minds in broad consultation, not by hipster, non-ecologists who have tapped into celebrity and foundation money.

Protection of old-growth forests is a vital climate solution being given short thrift by the self-appointed, often underqualified environmental movement elite. Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace USA’s obstinate support for Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) massive old-growth logging – across an area twice the size of Texas – for throwaway consumer products is a major obstacle to going forward on climate. I have written at length, including at http://bit.ly/rainforest_heist, how virtually every major NGO greenwashes old-growth forest logging in what I have termed the “Great Rainforest Heist.”

In 2009 Lindsey Allen (now Rainforest Action Network’s new acting director, then with Greenpeace Canada) claimed victory and ended a campaign against Kleenex because they agreed to have their old-growth boreal forest clearcuts for toilet paper certified by FSC as being sustainable. Ms. Allen has gone on to greenwash old-growth Gucci shopping bags and Disney books with RAN. Before her, Michael Brune, now chief accountant for Sierra Club, did similarly.

Greenpeace and RAN want us to wipe our asses with old-growth forests. Old-growth forest logging and its terrible impacts upon species, climate, and the biosphere will never end as long they – as members of FSC – falsely certify it as sustainable.

I recently presented a scientific paper in Kerala, India, now being prepared for publication, which seeks to quantify how many terrestrial ecosystems – including old-growth forests – can be lost without biosphere collapse. This is an attempt to set an easily understood threshold for old-growth forest loss, like the 350ppm limit on carbon to avoid abrupt climate change.

Based upon an amazing landscape metric called “percolation,” I hypothesize that a loss of more than 40 percent of terrestrial ecosystems long-term – including old-growth forests – collapses the biosphere. This is the point where critical deterioration in ecosystem connectivity occurs across scale, from landscapes to bioregions and continents, and on to the biosphere. Instead of humanity existing within a context of nature, ecosystems become fragmented, disconnected, and surrounded by humanity.

We are now at 50 percent natural ecosystem loss globally. I conclude that Earth needs to maintain some two-thirds of its land area as natural and seminatural ecosystems to meet local needs and to maintain local and global ecological sustainability. Along with a number of other planetary boundaries, including climate change and biodiversity loss, Earth is already in ecological overshoot and will collapse unless we pull back from the brink.

It is clear that global ecological sustainability and universal well-being depend critically upon protecting old-growth forests and ending fossil fuel emissions. Large, intact, and connected standing old-growth forests are required for local prosperity and ecosystem service continuity – and for an enduring, naturally evolving, global biosphere.

It is still possible to avoid abrupt climate change and global ecosystem collapse – but only if we both dramatically cut fossil fuel emissions AND protect and restore natural ecosystems immediately. Based upon ecological science, an end to their industrial destruction is vital to limiting climate change.

It is time for the climate movement, led by 350.org, to call for protection of all old-growth forests. And for Greenpeace, RAN and other NGOs supporting their logging to re-examine their position and resign from FSC.

Ending poverty doesn’t justify endless ecocidal growth for all, at the ever-advancing cost of liquidating old-growth ecosystems and fouling our atmosphere, an impossible path on a finite planet. Rather the focus for ecologically and socially sustainable development should be meeting basic needs with some of life’s luxuries for all, with a reasonable bit more for those who work hard and are gifted.

Earth’s people want universal democracy, freedom, economic justice, and sustained ecology for everyone, for the whole world, and they want it now. And governments and corrupt NGOs had better get out of the way.

Your biosphere, old-growth forests, human family, and kindred species need you. Go to them now.

###

Dr. Glen Barry is an internationally recognized political ecologist, environmental advocate, writer, and technology expert. He is well-known within the environmental community as a leading global ecological visionary, public intellectual, and environmental policy critic. Dr. Barry’s work as the President and Founder of Ecological Internet – the Earth’s largest biocentric ecological advocacy web portals – was recently recognized as one of “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” by the Utne Reader. More: http://forests.org/staff/glen.asp

VIDEO: Arctic Methane: Why The Sea Ice Matters

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Excellent Part I of a series by Nick Breeze, on disappearing arctic sea ice, thawing methane hydrates, and what these increasing sources of climate instability threaten. Watch out for Part II.

To watch VIDEO Arctic Methane: Why The Sea Ice Matters : PART 1

Arctic Ice melting (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Arctic Ice melting (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Bolivia-TIPNIS: Vargas: No dejaremos que Quintana llegue al TIPNIS

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Edición: ERBOL retomado por Aininoticias

El presidente de la Subcentral Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS), Fernando Vargas, señaló que no permitirán el ingreso del ministro de la Presidencia, Juan Ramón Quintan, a la zona ecológica para erradicar en tres años la pobreza en la Tierra Comunitaria de Origen (TCO) como le encomendó el presidente Evo Morales.
Vargas dijo que Quintana atropelló a la estructura orgánica del movimiento indígena y que su retorno al TIPNIS es poco probable porque sólo busca dividirlos con el afán de lograr apoyo para la construcción de la carretera en medio del Isiboro Sécure.

“El ministro Quintana no va entrar al TIPNIS porque tanto daño que nos ha hecho, para que vuelva a entrar de nuevo como hizo atropellando estructuras de la organización, no va ser bienvenido”, manifestó a la Agencia de Noticias Indígenas de Erbol. Ubicación

BRASIL: Bolivianos negocian hidroeléctrica en Brasil

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Edición: O Globo  George Vidor

Resumen: Una misión técnica boliviana del sector eléctrico estuvo en Brasil para negociar las obras de las represas proyectadas en la cuenca binacional del río Madera Son tres cosas en negociación:

1. Una ampliación de Jirau (elevar en ocho metros el embalse, extendiendo la represa a parte de Bolivia) para aumentar en 350 megavatios la capacidad de la HE brasileña

2. La construcción de una Hidroeléctrica en Guayaramerín (o Ribeirão), binacional, para 3.000 megavatios

3. La tercera, no mencionada, debe de ser Cachuela

Ubicación em Portugués

COLOMBIA: Farc-Eln: amenaza conjunta a los Megaproyectos

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Edición: Colprensa, Medellín

La nueva amenaza de las Farc y el Eln contra las hidroeléctricas y los proyectos de explotación minera no sorprende a las autoridades, que esperan que las medidas adoptadas en los últimos meses frustren los intentos de ambas guerrillas de atentar contra la infraestructura energética. Ubicación