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

Press Conference:

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).

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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, False Solutions to Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, UNFCCC

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