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(Non-official translation by Earth Peoples / Povos da Terra)
The FUNAI (governmental Buerau of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Brazil) reports that more than 30 indigenous ethnicities have been approached by companies and / or individuals to enter REDD initiatives, and to negotiate carbon credits under the voluntary market. Contracts and projects have been presented, but not all of them have been effectively closed (signed).
The indigenous Peoples Surui, of Indigenous Reservation Sete de Setembro, did not sign a contract; they have conducted their project in coordination with us (FUNAI), and accepted the various recommendations as their specific process, including the certifications VCS (Voluntary Carbon Standard) and CCBA (Climate, Community and Biodiversity), receiving Gold. They have been cautious in the process, evaluating the risks and potential of the voluntary market and the signing of contracts in this context. It is expected that the Association of the Surui people present the draft to the Amazon Fund and the FUNAI supports this initiative.
As to the sales contract of carbon credits, to which FUNAI had access to since 1 ½ years, of the indigenous territory of Cinta Larga (Roosevelt, Aripuanã, Park and Aripuanã, Sierra Morena), with 2.7 million hectares, it blocked (immobilized – “privatized”- maybe?) the whole area and was negotiated by only a few individuals of the community, without consent of all the indigenous peoples in question. Since FUNAI knew of the contract, several steps were taken, among them the notification to the responsible company, performing several briefings to the Cinta Larga indigenous peoples, informing the federal prosecutors (MPF) to follow the issue, FUNAI published guidelines on this issue and made an official statement to the Association of the Indigenous Peoples Cinta Larga to clarify the illegality of the contract.
Like the above mentioned case, most of the REDD contracts FUNAI had access to, would have prevented the Indigenous peoples to continue their traditional practices, for example, farming, or to cut trees for their livelihood, without prior permission from the company.
In addition these contracts are long term, exceeding for more than a generation and do not include clauses for the right to determine the contract in case of negative impacts to the indigenous community.
FUNAI that has as its primary mission to defend the rights of indigenous peoples is against these contracts. The FUNAI has informed the Indigenous leaders on the legal invalidity of the contracts, considering that their land belongs to the state, and legal certainty required by such contracts cannot be given by the Indigenous Peoples, but by the Government of Brazil.
In consideration of the lack of national regulation of a REDD Mechanism, there is no validity to these agreements.
The Foundation supports the rapid regulation of the National Mechanism Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), considering that the lack of clear rules is the origin of the irregularities observed in this contractual matter.
FUNAI recommends that this mechanism should provide an arrangement / methodology that addresses specifically indigenous territories - protected areas covering 23% of the Amazon.
Territorial protection:FUNAI’s initiatives to “establish guidelines and criteria to be observed in designing and implementing actions to protect the territories and Ethno-environment on indigenous lands “(Ordinance No. 1682) has not the objective to stop or hinder REDD contracts, nor to reduce the incidence of FUNAI’s procurement initiatives and projects on REDD.
The solution to this question is the National Regulatory Mechanism.
The definition of FUNAI’s guidelines for Territorial Protection aims to regulate the participation of indigenous Peoples in their territorial and environmental surveillance actions, promoting therefore the protection of the lands they inhabit and enjoy by law, as well as the localization and monitoring of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation. The surveillance project, supported by FUNAI, through the Project Territorial Protection, provides some guidelines and criteria for the participation of indigenous peoples at environmental and territorial surveillance actions.
The indication by their communities, the need to reside in indigenous territory, and not to be involved in activities, non- illicit and / or harmful to the survival or wellbeing of their community, are some examples.
FUNAI emphasizes that the knowledge of indigenous peoples about their territories is a fundamental element of surveillance, and FUNAI’s definition of guidelines recognizes the environmental services provided by indigenous lands and indigenous peoples.
The indigenous participation in actions to protect the Ethno-environment and territories on their own land is an expression of exercise of the right to self-determination and participation of the indigenous peoples, giving efficiency to these actions, as well as a stimulus to the Indigenous Peoples role in defending their territories.
comment from Earth Peoples: Read why REDD is a false solution to Climate Change, and bad for the people CLICK HERE