Brazil will sue companies that made forest carbon credit/trading contracts with Indigenous Peoples

By Rebecca Sommer

Indigenous Affairs bureau FUNAI stated that contracts for the sale of carbon credits offered by international companies are illegal and jeopardize the use of reservation land by the Indigenous Peoples themselves. Brazil has not yet created any legislation on REDD.

Brazil is preparing to fight international carbon credit negotiators (Carbon Cowboys) in the courts. The Attorney General’s Office (AGU) will bring a lawsuit against contracts that have been already signed between indigenous peoples and companies as well as to prevent any future operations or contracts in the carbon market sector with indigenous peoples in Brazil, on the ground that the negotiators and carbon emssion trading companies acted illegally in Brazil.

To date, at least three contracts considered illegal were identified by the authorities. “The contracts are for the sale of carbon credits, which means these contracts removed the exclusive right of enjoyment and full use of the land from the Indigenous Peoples. The contracts also tried to determine and secure access of unauthorized persons to indigenous lands,” said Flávio Chiarelli, the Federal Prosecutor Specialist with the National Indian Foundation (Funai), an agency that is part of the AGU.

FUNAI says more than 30 indigenous nations (with their legalized indigenous territory “reservation”) have been approached by companies interested in closing  Redd (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation Decrease) contracts with them,  an international mechanism that was created by rich major polluter countries, the World Bank and the UN – that don’t want to reduce (their) emissions at source,  and therefore created a scam to be able to claim by renting trees from southern countries that these would absorb their greenhouse gas emissions back home. However, this market is still voluntary, ie, is not subject to regulation and supervision by an international authority. It is important to note that REDD, the carbon market, carbon credits are a false, criminal NON-solution to climate change.  It is nothing else but an idea of business folks to make money, and an unethical try from states and banks to create the illusion of “we are doing something”, while the Earth needs a real solid and swift reduction of emissions, and not a fake ping pong carbon credit game that does nothing else but claiming to reduce emissions.

Brazil has not yet created a national law to regulate the sector. The recommendation Funai is clear: Funai asks indigenous leaders  not enter into REDD contracts ( to offset with their forests (biomass) carbon emissions through the REDD carbon credit scheme) due to the lack of regulation of REDD in Brazil.

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