By Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, April 11 2013. Source: Upside Down World
Photo: Upside Down World
In the last ten years, the expansion of corporate sugarcane and oil palm plantations in northern Guatemala has encroached on the lands of Maya Q’eqchi’ indigenous people—many of whom fled to this region during the country’s 36-year genocidal war. These plantations have already displaced hundreds of families—even entire communities—leading to increased poverty, hunger, unemployment, and landlessness in the region. The companies grabbing land are controlled by European-descendent Guatemalan oligarchs who are benefitting from rising global commodity prices for food, animal feed, and fuel (biodiesel and ethanol). In the face of violent expulsion and incorporation into an exploitative system, peasant families are struggling to access land and defend their resources as the basis of their collective identity as Q’eqchi’ peoples or R’al Ch’och (“sons and daughters of the earth”). Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Women, World Bank
By Chris Lang, April 10 2013. Source: REDD-Monitor
Photo: Survival International
The Paraguayan Chaco covers an area about the size of Poland. Thorn forests provide habitat to a wide range of species, including jaguar, ocelot, puma, tapir and giant armadillo. It is home to indigenous peoples, such as the Ayoreo, some of whom are uncontacted, the last uncontacted indigenous tribe south of the Amazon.
It is also being rapidly deforested as cattle ranchers from Brazil move in and clear the forest. Also involved in clearing the land are Mennonites, descendants of people who fled religious persecution in Russia and eastern-Europe in the 1930s. Between 2006 and 2010, one tenth of the Paraguayan Chaco was converted to ranches. Last year, the New York Times reported that satellite analyses by environmental group Guyra revealed that 1.2 million hectares of the Gran Chaco (which extends into Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil) had been cleared in the previous two years.
This short film by Survival International documents the impact of the deforestation on the Ayoreo indigenous people in Paraguay:
Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
April 11 2013. Source: Global Forest Coalition
Istanbul–The current logjam in the negotiations at the 10th session of the UN Forum on Forests regarding forest carbon offset markets and other funding mechanisms for forest conservation does not imply that deforestation cannot be halted, argues a new report  by the Global Forest Coalition , Econexus  and the ICCA Consortium .
The report — launched today at the 10th meeting of the UN Forum on Forests in Istanbul  — concludes that providing appropriate recognition to territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities (ICCAs), and elimnating subsidies and changing policies that promote forest destruction, can effectively form non-market-based forest conservation policies that are far more effective, equitable and economically efficient than forest carbon offset markets and other payments for environmental services schemes.
The UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) is discussing how to increase financial support for the forestry sector, under the illusion that this will create more sustainable forest management practices. Negotiations about funding to compensate countries that agree to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) at the climate talks have stalled as countries debate whether most of this funding should be generated through forest carbon offset markets, or through official development aid. Continue reading
Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: Martha Pskowski is a PopDev Political Research Fellow, as well as a Global Justice Ecology Project Researcher focusing on domestic and international forest carbon offsets.
–The GJEP Team
By Martha Pskowski, April 8 2013. Source: PopDev
Negotiators, big NGOs, and companies In U.N. environmental summits are promoting the “Green Economy” as a win-win-win for people, the environment and business interests. Yet global South social movements denounce the Green Economy for serving the interests of transnational corporations and wealthy nations, and for stomping on the rights of those most impacted by climate change and environmental degradation. At the heart of the dispute is one big question– can capitalism solve the climate crisis? In January 2013 I traveled to Chiapas, Mexico to learn about the impacts of one Green Economy program, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), on local communities. In PopDev’s latest DiffernTakes article I describe the Green Economy and the dangers of REDD+.
Negotiated in the U.N. climate change summits, REDD+ is a mechanism to transfer funds from Northern countries to forested countries in the global South for forest conservation. The U.N. wants to make this a global market, where Northern countries would buy carbon credits from countries in the global South who commit to forest conservation, buying the right continue emitting carbon domestically. Rather than wait for a binding U.N. program to start REDD projects, the Chiapas government entered into an agreement with the state of California through the Governors Climate and Forest Taskforce (GCF). California hopes use carbon credits from REDD in Chiapas in the new California carbon market. A California company could buy the right to emit carbon, because it is “offset” by forest conservation in Chiapas. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Pollution, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
By James Bargent, April 4 2013. Source: Toward Freedom
Palm oil plantation in Colombia. Photo: Toward Freedom
The first of the displaced people to return to their homes in Curvarado, north Colombia found the forests they had known cut down, the rivers and streams diverted and the native wildlife long gone. It was a desert, they say – not of sand but of African-palm and cattle ranches.
Standing in the shadows behind the palm businesses and ranchers that had taken over the region were the same paramilitaries that had forced them from their homes several years before.
But still the people came. They built new communities known as “Humanitarian Zones,” which are now legally recognized as neutral zones where all armed actors, legal and illegal are prohibited from entering. They also began the process of reclaiming the land exhausted by the agri-business onslaught, dividing recovered territory into “Biodiversity Zones.”
However, over 15 years after they were first displaced, the Humanitarian Zone communities still live with the ever-present threat of violence, while the Biodiversity Zones have become a target for interests looking to force them from their lands again. Continue reading
Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: View video here: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/04/201343195752352158.html
-The GJEP Team
April 3 2013. Source: Al Jazeera
Three suspected killers of a couple who protested illegal logging in the Brazilian Amazon have gone on trial.
Jose Claudio da Silva and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo had for years campaigned against loggers and ranchers who force slave labour to clear-cut large swaths of the Amazon.
The couple were killed in a May 2011 ambush near the Amazonian town of Maraba.
Antonio Filho, a member of Brazil’s Catholic Church-affiliated Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) who is monitoring the trial, said Wednesday’s trial would last until the following day.
Jose Rodrigues Moreira, the alleged mastermind of the attack, and the two alleged perpetrators Lindonjonson Silva Rocha and Alberto Lopes do Nascimento, were arrested in a jungle hideout 300 kilometers from Maraba in the northern state of Para after the attack. Continue reading
April 4 2013. Source: Food and Water Watch
Brussels — Developments in the United States may lead to the adoption of international forest offsets being permitted in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). California’s newly launched carbon market is considering allowing offsets from REDD+ programs while at the same time the state is considering linking its market with the EU’s. California would be the first carbon market to allow international forest offsets. A new report, Bad Trade: International Forest Offsets and the Carbon Market, released by Food & Water Europe today, demonstrates that international forest offsets should not be allowed into any carbon market because they don’t encourage emission reductions at the source, but instead privatize natural resources, present opportunities for corrupt offset trading, and threaten the livelihoods and resources of indigenous communities.
Forest offsets would allow for a polluter in one location to pay for the protection of a section of forest in another location anywhere in the world, based on the idea that trees, which absorb carbon, can offset the emissions of the polluter. This methodology puts a financial value on the prevention of deforestation and degradation, essentially turning areas in countries with heavy forest cover into a financial opportunity for corporate greed. Continue reading
Filed under Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
By Jonathan Watts, April 3 2013. Source: The Guardian
The São Luiz do Tapajós dam is the biggest of three planned facilities on the Tapajós river in the Amazon basin. Photo: Gerd Ludwig/Corbis
An Amazonian community has threatened to “go to war” with the Brazilian government after what they say is a military incursion into their land by dam builders.
The Munduruku indigenous group in Para state say they have been betrayed by the authorities, who are pushing ahead with plans to build a cascade of hydropower plants on the Tapajós river without their permission.
Public prosecutors, human rights groups, environmental organisations and Christian missionaries have condemned what they call the government’s strong-arm tactics.
According to witnesses in the area, helicopters, soldiers and armed police have been involved in Operation Tapajós, which aims to conduct an environmental impact assessment needed for the proposed construction of the 6,133MW São Luiz do Tapajós dam. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Green Economy, Hydroelectric dams, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Water
Note: The push for wood-based energy is fueling a major land grab worldwide. Industry demand for wood – to be burned to generate electricity – is also driving the development of genetically engineered trees. It is not too late to stop this process, and prevent more massive land grabbing, the spread of GE trees and the climate impacts of burning trees to make electricity.
-The GJEP Team
April 3, 2013. Source: World Rainforest Movement
Apparently out of concern over climate change and the urgent need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels, the governments of the North – particularly those of the member states of the European Union, but also those of the United States and Canada – are increasingly promoting the use of a certain type of raw material, considered “renewable”, for large-scale energy generation: wood.
To meet the growing demand for wood in the countries of the North, vast areas of land in the South face the threat of being occupied by monoculture tree plantations, which would even further exacerbate the current process of land grabbing. There are already close to 60 million hectares of land occupied by industrial tree plantations in the South.
According to a report from the European Union, one of the main promoters of the use of woody biomass, “the rising demand for woody biomass energy is likely to push the global price for wood, thus adding pressure on forests and other ecosystems and increasingconflicts between different landuses. More specific risks are deforestation corresponding with the replacement of natural forests by monoculture plantations. Rural communities are potentially harmed in their access to land and water, their food and energy security for decades given the long-term nature ofmost investments and projects.”(1)
March 30 2013. Source: WW4 Report
Paramilitary policemen (bottom) and policemen block the street during a protest in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in this handout photo dated May 23, 2011. According to Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, on the morning of May 23, 2011, hundreds of Mongolian herders went on a protest against the Chinese miners brutal killing of a Mongolian herder and the destruction of Mongolian herders grazing land. REUTERS/Southern Mongolian Hum
Authorities in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region earlier this month blocked an attempted cross-country march by traditional Mongol herders, with police assaulting hundreds in two incidents. In the first incident, herders from Inner Mongolia’s Durbed (Chinese: Siziwang) banner (county) gathered at Hohhot train station on March 1, intending to march nearly 500 kilometers to Beijing. But police quickly arrived and broke up the gathering, according to the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC). The following day, troops in a dozen police vehicles descended on Halgait village in Zaruud (Zhalute) banner, breaking up another group that intended to march on Beijing. The herders hoped to arrive in Beijing for the meeting of the National People’s Congress where Xi Jinpingwas installed as president, to protest confiscation of grazing lands.
In addition to land-grabbing by corrupt officials, some grazing lands have been seized for new military bases. According to reports received by the SMHRIC from the impacted communities in Durbed, 1,767 herders from 470 households had recently been displaced for the expansion of the Beijing Military Command’s Zureh Military Training Base. The base, which is the largest of its kind in China, already occupies around 1,000 square kilometers of the best grassland in Inner Mongolia, according to SMHRIC. Continue reading