Indigenous Peoples Condemn Climate Talks Fiasco

December 13th, 201111:13 pm @

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From Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local
Communities against REDD and for Life

December 13, 2011 – Indigenous leaders returning
from Durban, South Africa condemn the fiasco of the United
Nations climate change talks and demand a moratorium on a
forest carbon offset scheme called REDD+ which they say
threatens the future of humanity and Indigenous Peoples’
very survival. During the UN climate negotiations, a Global
Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities against
REDD+ and for Life was formed to bring attention to the lack
of full recognition of Indigenous rights being problematic
in the texts of the UN climate negotiations.

“It was very
disappointing that our efforts to strengthen the vague
Indigenous rights REDD safeguards from the Cancun Agreements
evaporated as the Durban UN negotiations went on. It is
clear that the focus was not on strong, binding commitments
on Indigenous rights and safeguards, nor limiting emissions,
but on creating a framework for financing and carbon
markets, which they did. Now Indigenous Peoples’ forests may
really be up for grabs,” says Alberto Saldamando, legal
counsel participating in the Indigenous Environmental
Network delegation.

Berenice Sanchez of the Mesoamerica
Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network says, “Instead of
cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80% like we need, the UN is
promoting false solutions to climate change like carbon
trading and offsets, through the Clean Development Mechanism
and the proposed REDD+ which provide polluters with permits
to pollute. The UN climate negotiation is not about saving
the climate, it is about privatization of forests,
agriculture and the air.”

Tom Goldtooth, Director of
Indigenous Environmental Network based in Minnesota, USA
does not mince words. “By refusing to take immediate binding
action to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gas
emissions, industrialized countries like the United States
and Canada are essentially incinerating Africa and drowning
the small island states of the Pacific. The sea ice of the
Inupiat, Yupik and Inuit of the Arctic is melting right
before their eyes, creating a forced choice to adapt or
perish. This constitutes climate racism, ecocide and
genocide of an unprecedented scale.”

Of particular concern
for indigenous peoples is a forest offset scheme known as
REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest
Degradation). Hyped as a way of saving the climate and
paying communities to take care of forests as sponges for
Northern pollution, REDD+ is rife with fundamental flaws
that make it little more than a green mask for more
pollution and the expansion of monoculture tree plantations.
The Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local
Communities against REDD+ and for Life, formed at the Durban
UN climate negotiations, call for an immediate moratorium on
REDD+-type projects because they fear that REDD+ could
result in “the biggest land grab of all time,” thus
threatening the very survival of indigenous peoples and
local communities.

“At Durban, CDM and REDD carbon and
emission offset regimes were prioritized, not emission
reductions. All I saw was the UN, World Bank, industrialized
countries and private investors marketing solutions to
market pollution. This is unacceptable. The solutions for
climate change must not be placed in the hands of financiers
and corporate polluters I fear that local communities could
increasingly become the victims of carbon cowboys, without
adequate and binding mechanisms to ensure that the rights of
indigenous peoples and local forested and agricultural
communities are respected,” Goldtooth added.

“We call for
an immediate moratorium on REDD+-type policies and projects
because REDD is a monster that is already violating our
rights and destroying our forests,” Monica Gonz├ílez of the
Kukapa People and Head of Indigenous Issues of the Mexican
human rights organization Comision Ciudadana de Derechos
Humanos del Noreste.

The President of the Ogiek Council of
Elders of the Mau Forest of Kenya, Joseph K. Towett, said
“We support the moratorium because anything that hurts our
cousins, hurts us all.”

“We will not allow our sacred
Amazon rainforest to be turned into a carbon dump. REDD is a
hypocrisy that does not stop global warming,” said Marlon
Santi, leader of the Kichwa community of Sarayaku, Ecuador
and long time participant of UN and climate change
meetings.

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NO REDD Resources http://noredd.makenoise.org/

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ENDS

Article source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1112/S00446/indigenous-peoples-condemn-climate-talks-fiasco.htm