Posts Tagged ‘indigenous indígenas’

Three Indigenous Nations in Altamira area, Para, signed REDD contracts with an untrustworthy individual, Benedito Millleo Junior, representative fromTopoGeo.

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

By Rebecca Sommer

I was in the city of Altamira, the Amazon area in the state of Para, preparing to leave the next day. It was with a knot in my throat when I promised the young chief of one of the three indigenous nations in this area that had signed REDD contracts, not to reveal their identity.

For years I have tried to inform indigenous peoples about the lies and wrongs that one day soon they will be told in order to obtain their consent for REDD projects on their indigenous territory.

But it is indeed a very abstract issue, and unfortunately, my explanation had no effect on this particular young chief, and other young leaders that were standing in a circle around me, with their REDD contract signed, in their hand, in June 2011.

They were worried, thus the reason why they approached me with the contract. They trusted me enough to allow me to photograph it. (To view the original contract in Portuguese with the names that could identify the indigenous nation removed CLICK HERE)

The young leaders wanted to know what the contract actually said, as they admitted, it wasn’t exactly clear to them.

The first thing that I spotted was that the contract was signed by an individual and not by a company. Benedito Milleo Junior.

The chief showed me Benedito Milleo Junior’s business card.
Business card from carbon cowboy "Benedito Millleo Junior", TopoGeo (Photo © Rebecca Sommer) [TopoGeo | Surveying and Geo-referenced GIS | Annotation Legal Reserve IBAMA and IAP | Accredited at INCRA under Code APO | Benedito Milleo Junior | Agronomist | Federal Judicial Expert | CREA 13.062/D-PR]

I asked the young leaders why they thought he had signed as an individual, while they had to sign with their positions, under their Indigenous Association.

They did not know why.

I ask them if they knew this (sinister) gentlemen, and asked about the location of his companies’ office.

“He lives in a rather shabby house in Altamira, with no sign or logo of his company. We wondered about that. But he promised to pay us a lot of the money in June 2012.” said the young chief.

However, when we went to the location, the neighbors informed us that the carbon cowboy and his assistant had vacated the house, and that we were not the first ones to look for them.

The neighbors said many small landowners would come every day, with the goal to sign “the contract that would make them rich”. Further, during the time Mr. Benedito Milleo Junior from TopoGeo had resided next door, hundreds of contracts had been signed in the region, and sometimes there had been a line of waiting folks, in front of Benedito Juniors’ house, that was in a shabby condition, with paint peeling off of it.

The second issue I raised with the indigenous young leaders was the language of the contract, the way it was actually written. I told them that Portuguese is not my mother language, but the text was confusing, without comas and proper punctuation, in my view leaving some sentences seriously unclear.

I told them that I am not a lawyer, but that in my view important parts have been left out in the contract, such as who will pay whom. I couldn’t find clear articulation who would pay them. This articulation was left out by Mr. Benedito Milleo Junior.

However, what was not left out in the contract was that the indigenous nation was charged for all the costs. Including the costs of the project and the costs that the broker, Mr. Junior himself would incur. Do these costs include promotion of the sale of carbon credits, his office expenses, travel costs, gasoline, utilities website administration and whatnot?

I asked them to imagine what he could charge them for, as this wasn’t clarified in the contract.

“We don’t know, he didn’t say,” responded the young chief, while the others were looking down, poking their toes in the sand.

I told them that in my view this man is a criminal, and that they will not only not receive any payments, but also won’t be able to trace the carbon credits sold on behalf of their forest.

I explained to them the problems of REDD, the lies and wrongs, but to no effect.

“We wait for June 2012, and hope he will pay,” they said. “And please, stick to your promise and don’t reveal our identity.”

I wasn’t able to meet the Elders and the traditional chief of this indigenous nation, to which I had the year before explained the problems with REDD, with not only the young chiefs present, but that of the entire community. Yet I firmly believe that I know what the Elders and old chief would have told me.

I have attempted to translate the contract from Portuguese to English as accurately as possible. It is as follows:(download original here)

PRIVATE CONTRACT TO PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL SERVICES AND PARTNERSHIP FOR CARBON CREDIT AND AVOIDED DEFORESTATION

For this particular instrument of RENDERED PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL SERVICES, that makes one side the prominent CONTRACTOR: BENEDITO MILLEO JUNIOR, Brazilian citizen, married, agronomist, holder of identity card RG. No1.494.076-6-SSP-PR and CPF / MF. under the 320838409-25, resident Marechal Candido Rondon Street No 911, center, GUAIRA-PR.,
On the other hand the prospective Contracted: INDIGENOUS ASSOCIATION XXXXXX, Civil Society, CNPJ XXXX XXXXXX Location In the municipality of Rio XXX ALTAMIRA, to the State. THE AREA WITH A TOTAL OF XXXX HECTARES, THE INDIGENOUS LAND XXXX, Located in the municipality of ALTMAIRA, state PARA.
1) THE CONTRACTOR AND THE CONTRACTED will receive on both sides the importance of 50% (FIFTY PERCENT) FOR EACH OF CARBON CREDITS SOLD IN THE Stock Exchange OF CHICAGO – U.S. and or STOCK EXCHANGE LONDON – ENGLAND, NATIONAL BANKS OR INTERNATIONAL BANKS or anyone interested in Buying, AND THE COSTS ON BEHALF OF THE PROJECT AND PLACEMENT FOR SALE IS ON ACCOUNT OF THE CONTRACTEE, AND THE PROJECT OF CARBON CREDIT and avoided deforestation, the OWNER agrees to not deforest THE AREA OF THE PROJECT BEING THE TOTAL OF NATIVE FOREST DETERMINED IN THE UPDATED SATELITE PICTURE OF THE ABOVE CITED PROPERTY, GEOREFERENCED ACCORDING TO INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS, ON BEHALF OF CONTRACTEE THE AMOUNT OF RS 4,000,000.00 (Four million dollars) paid WHEN RECEIVING THE 1rst part of the payment of Carbon Credit and Avoided Deforestation. The contracted shall pay 10% (ten percent) INCOME TAX and 10 (ten percent) BROKERS COMMISSION FOR THE SALE OF CARBON CREDITS. FOR THE PERIOD OF 25 (TWENTY FIVE) YEARS. THEIR SUCCESSORS SHALL COMPLY WITH THIS AGREEMENT, IF THE TERM IS EXTENDED BY 40 (FORTY YEARS) OR HIGHER THIS CONTRACTS DEADLINE EXTENDED
2) Therefore we are under contract, having signed this particular instrument in two identical copies and form
ALTAMIRA – PA, JUNE 28, 2011

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CONTRACTOR – JUNIOR BENEDITO MILLEO

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PRESIDENT OF THE INDIGENOUS XXXX

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VICE PRESIDENT OF THE INDIGENOUS XXXX

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VICE PRESIDENT OF THE INDIGENOUS XXXX

Río+20: Todas las instancias internacionales vinculadas a los derechos de los pueblos indígenas deben pronunciarse

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Comunicaciones CAOI

Fortalecimiento de la cultura, ejercicio pleno de derechos, autodeterminación y respeto a nuestros territorios, son componentes vitales del desarrollo sostenible.

Nueva York, marzo 26.- El derecho a la autodeterminación, que se materializa en la gestión social, política, económica, ambiental y cultural de nuestros territorios, debe estar incorporado en todos los programas del desarrollo sostenible, como un aporte de los pueblos indígenas para alcanzar el Buen Vivir/Vivir Bien. Este es uno de los puntos centrales del documento alcanzado hoy al Grupo Mayor de los Pueblos Indígenas y organizaciones de la sociedad civil que participan en la Primera Ronda de Negociaciones del Borrador Cero.

Al explicar el contenido del documento, entregado por las organizaciones indígenas presentes en la ronda de negociación, Miguel Palacín Quispe, Coordinador General de la Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas (CAOI), insistió en la necesidad de que el movimiento indígena, a través de sus espacios de participación en las instancias internacionales, se pronuncie acerca del Borrador Cero de El futuro que deseamos, documento que será aprobado por los Estados en la Conferencia Mundial de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Río+20, que se reunirá en junio próximo.

“El Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas de las Naciones Unidas, el Relator Especial de la ONU, el Consejo Consultivo de los Pueblos Indígenas en la Comunidad Andina, entre otros, deben pronunciarse para que nuestros derechos sean parte integral de todos los acuerdos que se adopten en Río+20”, subrayó Miguel Palacín.

Recordó que en las conferencias internacionales solo los Estados dialogan y llegan a acuerdos, bajo la presión de los países industrializados, para aprobar finalmente textos generales que eluden temas vitales como los derechos humanos y colectivos, la conservación de la biodiversidad, la garantía de los territorios indígenas, la prohibición de actividades extractivas en cabeceras de cuenca, glaciares y zonas vulnerables, entre otros.

Advirtió, incluso, que los países industrializados están presionando para que el Derecho Humano al Agua, reconocido por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, sea excluido del Borrador Cero.

Contribuciones indígenas

El documento entregado hoy se titula Las contribuciones de los pueblos indígenas al desarrollo sostenible: caminando hacia el futuro siguiendo las huellas de nuestros antepasados. Contiene tres puntos esenciales: el fortalecimiento de la cultura como el cuarto pilar del desarrollo sostenible, el ejercicio pleno de nuestros derechos humanos y colectivos, y el fortalecimiento de diversas economías locales y la ordenación territorial.

En el primer punto destaca que la diversidad de la naturaleza está íntimamente vinculada a la diversidad cultural y que las políticas tradicionales de los pueblos indígenas, consagradas en el Buen Vivir, son un ejemplo de la vida en equilibrio con la Madre Tierra. En el segundo, enfatiza que el desarrollo humano sostenible significa la incorporación de la perspectiva de los derechos humanos y colectivos en la elaboración, diseño y discusión y aprobación de todos los programas, planes y proyectos en materia de desarrollo sostenible en todos los niveles. En el tercer punto, señala que la solidaridad comunitaria es un componente vital de la resilencia de los ecosistemas.

“Vamos a seguir defendiendo nuestras economías, nuestros derechos a las tierras, territorios y bienes naturales, la gestión comunitaria y la biodiversidad, contra las actividades extractivas, las inversiones depredadoras, el acaparamiento de tierras y el desarrollo insostenible”, afirma el documento, que concluye demandando a los gobiernos “respetar y apoyar nuestros esfuerzos”.

Bolivian indigenous social movements worried about future of Kyoto Protocol and reject the commodification of forests

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

11 June, 2011

After one week of UN climate change negotiations in Bonn it is still unclear whether countries will adopt a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol – the only legally binding treaty which obliges developed countries to reduce their emissions of green house gases.
“These reduction targets must be binding for all Annex 1 countries. They must be ambitious to guarantee a level of reduction in line with what is demanded by science. Current emissions targets will lead to an increase of four degrees centigrade in temperature by the end of this century”, said social movement leader Lauriano Pari.
With 2010 one of the hottest years on record, Bolivia’s indigenous peoples demand urgency on a comprehensive global deal to prevent irreversible climate change. Time is running out as the first commitment period of Kyoto Protocol finishes at the end of 2012.
Indigenous leader Rafael Quispe said: “Our glaciers are melting, causing desertification of our lands. Now our communities are forced to migrate to the cities. It is not possible that forests, that are our home and that we have been the guardians of for many centuries, are converted into simple carbon sinks and providers of environmental services. They should have a broader vision viewing them as areas of biodiversity and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples”.
“There must be a holistic vision of forests. Forests will not be protected through a mechanism that issues certificates for the reduction of emissions to be sold on a carbon market.  With these certificates for the reduction of emissions in our forests developed countries and companies will not fulfill their emissions reductions obligations”, added Lauriano Pari.
“There must be financial reward for countries and indigenous peoples who preserve their forests. This financial reward cannot be based on market mechanisms. Instead funds should come from developed countries and innovative funding sources should be explored. For example, by establishing a new mechanism for a tax on financial transactions that would generate funds without any conditionality”
Lauriano Pari finished by saying, “We believe that in the build up to the Conference of the Parties COP17 instead of promoting the commodification of nature through the REDD mechanism we should follow a path where we recognize the rights of Mother Earth”.
Notes to editors
A webcast of the full press conference at Bonn UN climate change talks is available here
The indigenous leaders who spoke in the press conference were Tata Rafael Quispe, Mallku of CONAMAQ and Lauriano Pari, Secretary of Natural Resources of the CSUTCB.
The Pacto de Unidad is a coalition of Bolivia’s five main social movements representing millions of people – the Committee of the Confederation of Bolivian Peasant Workers (CSUTCB), the National Confederation of Native Indigenous Peasant Women (CNMCIOB-BS), the National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu (CONAMAQ), the Confederation of Intercultural Communities of Bolivia (CSCIB) and the Confederation of Bolivian Indigenous Peoples (CIDOB).