RIO DE JANEIRO – Indigenous Peoples of the world participating in Rio+20 denounce that the Green Economy and REDD+ privatize nature, sell the air we breathe and destroy the future.
Indigenous Peoples´ powerful message to the United Nations summit is eloquently conveyed in the No REDD+! in Rio+20 Declaration launched this morning by of the Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change against REDD and for Life. The Alliance warns that REDD+ constitutes a worldwide land grab and gigantesque carbon offset scam.
REDD+ is an UN-promoted false solution to climate change and the pillar of the Green Economy. Officially, REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. However, Tom Goldtooth (Dakota/Dine´), Director of Indigenous Environmental Network, insists that “REDD+ really means Reaping profits from Evictions, land grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of biodiversity.”
Just as Chief Seattle over a hundred years ago asked, “How can you sell the air?,” Marlon Santi of the Ecuadorian Amazon, condemns carbon trading and REDD+ and asks “How can you sell Mother Earth And Father Sky?” But apparently someone is trying, as the recently inaugurated Bolsa Verde do Rio de Janeiro (BVRio), a Brazilian stockmarket for forest carbon credits, shows.
“Not only does REDD+ corrupt the Sacred and fuel financial speculation, it also serves as greenwash for extractive industries like Shell and Rio Tinto,” according to Berenice Sanchez of the Nahua People of Mexico.
The Alliance argues that REDD+ is a “new wave of colonialism.” From Peru to Papua New Guinea, carbon cowboys are running amok trying to rip off native communities and grab the forests of the world, 80% of which are found in Indigenous Peoples´ lands and territories.
“The REDD+ race to take over our land is on. Without our land, we are nothing. The Green Economy and REDD+ could make money with genocide,” alerts Mr. Santi.
“The environmental crisis is getting worse because of capitalists´ false solutions such as REDD+. The real solution to the climate crisis affecting the people of the world, especially Indigenous Peoples, is to protect Mother Earth, uphold social justice and respect the Indigenous Peoples’ decisions and right to say no,” said Marife Macalanda of the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network.
Human rights activists like lawyer Alberto Saldamando, are also concerned about abuses by REDD+-type projects. “REDD+ threatens the very survival of Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities. Indigenous Peoples and local communities are now being subjected to forced displacement and human rights abuses including violations of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a result of the implementation of REDD+-type programs,” according to the Secretariat of the Alliance.
As for La Via Campesina, the 300 million-strong international peasant farmers´ organization rejects REDD+ which not only includes forests but agriculture and soils as well. “REDD perverts the task of growing food into farming carbon,” and could cause a global “counter-agrarian reform” notes the Alliance´s declaration.
“Don´t be fooled, “ the Alliance urges , the Green Economy and REDD+ constitute “a planet grab.” “Rio+20 is not an Earth Summit, it is the WTO of Life.”