Tag Archives: indigenous rights

Blog Post from the Belly of the Beast: In the Bowels of the World Bank

 –by Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project; North American Focal Point, Global Forest Coalition

… the Indonesian military is getting money through climate financing for REDD-type projects. The communities that live in the forests–some of them Indigenous to the area, some of them relocated there in the 80s–are being invaded by heavily armed forest rangers, paramilitaries and police; and are forced to leave at gunpoint while their homes are burned to the ground.

Benoit Bosquet, Coordinator of the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, defends the bank's role in "forest conservation" in Indonesia, where forest-based communities have been forcibly evicted at gunpoint. Behind him is a photo of one such eviction. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Today commenced the fall meetings of the World Bank in Washington, DC.  The Bank has long been known for its strong-arm tactics to force countries in the Global South to turn over their resources–whether natural resources or poor peoples’ labor– to corporations based in the Industrialized North.

While the Bank is notorious as a major funder of fossil fuel projects, devastating large-scale hydroelectric projects and deforestation projects, they have now become one of the leaders in the effort to use “market-based” schemes for climate mitigation.  They are the world’s carbon brokers.

Indeed, one of the items on their meeting agenda is climate finance–pumping money into various developing countries to supposedly undertake climate mitigation programs that will predominately benefit countries in the north, by enabling them to maintain business as usual and avoid cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Appropriately, there was a civil society session this morning on the impacts of climate finance for REDD projects in Indonesia.  Indonesia is a global focal point for climate action because of the massive climate emissions that have occurred there largely as a result of the burning of primeval peat forests for conversion to oil palm plantations.  But even the climate mitigation programs come with a high price, and Indonesia provides a stark case study of the devastating social and ecological impacts of REDD (the scheme to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).

But in order to participate in the workshop, it was first necessary to navigate the World Bank’s ridiculous security process.

It became obvious quickly that the Bank is quite paranoid about security.  Now why, I wondered sarcastically, would an institution whose mission is ostensibly about poverty eradication need blocks and blocks of metal barricades and legions of police surrounding it?

Perhaps it has something to do with all of the people around the globe who have suffered under their severely unjust policies.  Maybe they never quite got over A-16, (April 16, 2000) when thousands of activists descended on DC to blockade all of the streets surrounding the World Bank in a massive condemnation of the Bank’s dirty dealings.

But on this day, there were no protests, yet I still got the run-around by numerous unfriendly security officers and police, directed this way and that until I finally managed to find the registration building.

Once there, I explained for the fourth time that I was only there for one workshop and just needed a day pass.  “We’re not giving out day passes today,” the desk jockey muttered. I had not encountered such surly, robot-like people since the Manchester, New Hampshire jail after a group of us were arrested in January 2000 for occupying Al Gore’s NH campaign headquarters in support of the U’Wa people of Colombia, whose lands were threatened by oil drilling by Occidental Petroleum.  (Al had a lot of stock in Occidental).

Frustrated, irritated and thoroughly disgusted, I was ready to give up and make the trek back uptown when I saw a separate registration area for CSOs (civil society organizations).  Okay, I thought, one more try.

I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say, I talked my way into an official access badge. Then after navigating yet more metal barricades, police officers and a metal detector, I finally arrived at my destination: the workshop on the impacts of REDD and forest “conservation” in Indonesia.  It was horrifying.

Global Justice Ecology Project has been exposing the impacts of REDD on communities in Chiapas, Mexico and California as the result of a sub-national REDD carbon offset deal between the two states.  Indigenous communities in the jungle of Chiapas are threatened with displacement for “forest protection” projects, and being subjected to intimidation tactics such as the withholding of medical services to try to force them to leave.

But what is happening on the ground in Indonesia is even more extreme. As one panelist pointed out, the violence happening to the people in the forests is even worse than the violence that occurred under the Suharto dictatorship.

While the dictatorship no longer exists, the military still maintains most of the power in the country–and now that the forests have suddenly increased in value because of REDD (because the carbon stored by the trees now has value), people who live in the forests but do not have official title to their lands (which is about 80% of the people in the rural areas) are being violently evicted for “conservation” projects.

In the 1980s, a program was initiated in Indonesia called the Transmigration Program.  It moved 2.5 million people off of the heavily populated islands of Bali and Java and onto other islands, leading to tremendous land conflicts.  In some areas, the ratio of migrants to locals was 2:1.  This, the speaker explained, is exactly what is now happening under REDD.  Massive population displacement.

In a nutshell, the Indonesian military is getting money through climate financing for REDD-type projects. The communities that live in the forests–some of them Indigenous to the area, some of them relocated there in the 80s–are being invaded by heavily armed forest rangers, paramilitaries and police; and are forced to leave at gunpoint while their homes are burned to the ground.

All in the name of conservation.

I spoke briefly with the panel moderator, a woman native to Indonesia, about our work in Chiapas and what we had found there.

“Yes,” she replied.  “What we see in Indonesia is not unique.  It is happening all over with these REDD projects.”

And what is the point of all of this suffering and misery and violence?  To provide corporations in the industrialized north with the opportunity to avoid reducing their pollution by “buying” carbon stored in some distant forest thereby “offsetting” their emissions.

So, in other words, impoverished rural and Indigenous peoples are being confronted with unspeakable violence to allow companies in the North to continue to poison and pollute poor communities near their facilities in the North.

Benoit Bosque, of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (the Bank’s program to help design and fund REDD projects in tropical and subtropical countries) spoke and tried to deflect this intense critique by explaining that REDD was extremely complex, but we shouldn’t give up. “These conflicts are about an accumulation of past mistakes. We cannot let fear of mistakes prevent us from taking bold steps forward.”

Yeah, tell that to the Indigenous Peoples being thrown off of their ancestral lands…

His callous reply received a lot of indignant responses from both the audience and the panel, who pointed out that the World Bank’s track record of enforcing even its own safeguards is terrible. “Consultations have been window dressing.  Demands must be made for accountability with World Bank partners or don‘t make them partners.  Don’t give them funding!”

At that Benoit bid his adieu before there were any more confrontations about the Bank’s role in funding violence against forest dependent communities.

For these reasons and many, many more, organizations and Indigenous Peoples’ groups around the world are condemning REDD.  For more information on this, go to: http://noredd.makenoise.org/.  To learn more about GJEP’s work in Chiapas and California on REDD, go to http://climate-connections.org/category/chiapas-2/.  To view our photo essay from the community of Amador Hernandez in the Lacandon Jungle, click here

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Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Posts from Anne Petermann, REDD

Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Blood Nation: Statement on arrest at fracturing blockade

Cross-posted from CENSORED NEWS-Brenda Norrell

By Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

September 11, 2011
“To members of the Blood Tribe, the Blood Tribe Chief and Council, all levels of government, the media, and the greater public;
My name is Elle-Máijá Apiniskim Tailfeathers and I am Blackfoot from Kainai or the Blood Reserve
as well as Sámi from northern Norway. I am 26 years old and a recent University graduate.  I am writing this statement with the intention to explain what led us to our actions on September 9, 2011.
On September 9, 2011, we gathered peacefully on the road leading to a newly built Murphy Oil well on the Blood Reserve.  After nearly a year of doing everything in our power to stop hydraulic fracturing from occurring on our land, we felt that time was no longer on our side.  With the imminent threat of hydraulic fracturing about to begin on Blood Tribe land, we decided that we had to act immediately.
Over the last year, we have written letters and created petitions, we have tried to raise awareness both within our community and beyond including founding Kainai Earth Watch and the Protect Blood Land website, we have repeatedly contacted the Blood Tribe Chief and Council, Kainai Resources Incorporated, the gas and oil companies, the media, the Energy Resources Conservation Board, and various levels of government including Indian and Northern Affairs Canada but still our rights were violated. Countless times, we were told that this was a matter between members of the Blood Tribe and the Blood Tribe Chief and Council. But as members of the Blood Tribe, we were never asked whether or not we wanted these wells built in the first place.  There was no referendum, no vote, and no transparent consultation process.  If any objective body were to look at the facts, they would see that the actual people who live on this land were both ignored and lied to.  The fact is that we are a marginalized population that has, once again, been exploited by those in power.  We have been cast into a legal no man’s land and were left with few other recourses at that particular moment but to exercise our right as members of the Blood Tribe to peacefully gather on our land and demand justice.  We were an unarmed group of people who numbered less than twelve at any given time.  We remained on Blood Tribe land and did not step foot on the well site.  We treated those working on the well along with the security personnel with respect.  After being told by the law enforcement officers present that the Blood Tribe Chief and Council refused to meet with us, we were given no other option but to stand our ground and refuse that any of the Murphy Oil vehicles carrying these harmful chemicals be allowed to leave the well site and enter tribal land.  At this point, Lois Frank, Jill Crop Eared Wolf, and myself were all arrested and handcuffed by the Blood Tribe Police while R.C.M.P. officers stood by.  Just after 9 PM, we were all placed in a Blood Tribe holding cell and held without charge for approximately four hours.  After we were charged with violating Section 423 (1)(G) of the criminal code for “intimidation”, we were not released until 7 AM the next morning.  One of the conditions of our release is that we do not attend any gas or oil site on the Blood Reserve.
Recently, Canada endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  We understand that this declaration is not legally binding, however if Canada wishes to recognize the rights set forth in the charter then it is clear that our rights as Indigenous peoples have been blatantly violated.  In particular, Article 29 of the Declaration states that “(1) Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination. ?(2) States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent. ?(3) States shall also take effective measures to ensure, as needed, that programmes for monitoring, maintaining and restoring the health of indigenous peoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials, are duly implemented.”
I do not feel as though what we did was heroic.  We were a handful of people, including a couple of children, who gathered for a common purpose; to prevent any further desecration of the land.  For us, this place is more than just land; it is the place that has given life to our people since time immemorial. Our culture, our language, our identity comes from the land and it is to the land that we owe our very existence.  This knowledge is something that our ancestors have passed on from the beginning; this land is our mother and we must always respect that. So when I say that I do not feel that what we did was heroic, I mean that we were just doing the right thing.   It is important to understand our actions were not rooted in politics because this issue is more than just politics; it is about doing the right thing.  I don’t think in any of our hearts, and I mean the collective “we”, that there is any denying what the right thing to do is. This earth is all we have. It is just that simple.  Without it, there is no “us” and there is no “we”.
We, on the Blood Reserve, have reached a point where we need to set aside politics and family ties and look at the very real issue at hand.  We are about to kill the one thing that has given us life since the very beginning.  How can we look our children and grandchildren in the eye and say that we have let such a thing happen? We are nothing without this place.  There is no simple solution to the greater social issues that come as a result of colonization. However, there is a simple solution to this one problem and that is just to do the right thing.  Set aside your fears and protect what we have, the land, our mother.
I want to believe, more than anything, that those behind our arrest knew in their hearts that treating the earth this way is wrong.  And I want to believe, more than anything, that their actions were motivated by fear; which may explain our criminal charges of “intimidation”.  I look back on the last year and am still in disbelief that it came to this point.  From the actual signing of the gas and oil agreement on the Blood Reserve to the arrest and imprisonment of three unarmed Blood Tribe women.  It feels much like a bad dream but somehow this is our current reality.
I feel that there is no reason for us to have to explain ourselves and our actions but the current state of affairs forces us to do so.  Lois Frank, Jill Crop Eared Wolf and myself are all members of the Blood Tribe. Each of us has a post-secondary education as well as an education in the ways of our people.  We each have a deep love for our homeland and wish for our children and grandchildren to be able to love the land in the same way that our people have since the beginning.
Our court date has been set for September 19, 2011 at 10 am at the Provincial Court Building in Cardston, Alberta.  We have legal council but are asking that anyone that is in the position to help, assist us with the funds needed for the necessary legal fees.
We would also like to gratefully acknowledge the overwhelming support that we have received worldwide throughout this whole ordeal.
For donations, please contact:
Ingrid Hess, Barrister
ingrid.hess@shaw.ca
Sincerely,
Elle-Máijá Apiniskim Tailfeathers”

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Energy, Hydrofracking, Indigenous Peoples

All Strong-Hearted People Invited To Come and Stand With US! DEFEND Mother Earth!

Source: Indigenous Environmental Network

UPDATE: Sept. 10, 2011 – Blood Tribe Women Arrested!

Blood Reserve, First Nations’ Women Arrested, Charged with Trespass on their own Land, Jailed Over Night, Released With Threats of MORE FINES and Charges

Two videos at the end of this posting

WOMEN members of the Blood Tribe; Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Lois Frank, and Jill Crop Earred Wolf were arrested September 9, 2011 and charged with trespass in their own community on Blood Tribe land by tribal law enforcement and RCMP. Although they could have been booked and released from the tribal jail Friday evening, the chief, instead, held them all night and released them the morning of September 10, 2011 with the threat, that if they continued their blockade and protest each person would be arrested, charged and fined $1,500!

NOTE: In late 2010, Kainaiwa Resources Inc. (KRI) quietly signed off on a deal with the Calgary-based junior mining company Bowood Energy and the U.S. company Murphy Oil. In exchange for the $50 Million, Bowood Energy and Murphy Oil gained a five-year lease to roughly 129, 280 acres, almost half of the Blood’s reserve, for oil and gas exploration.

More actions are planned – and calling on more people to join them!

**If you are interested in helping to support this action**

Please Contact For More Information:

Lois Frank 403-795-7945

Mike Bruisedhead 403-737-2194

UPDATE: September 9, 2011

Sept. 9, 2011: From Maiji Tailfeathers: “Just got arrested. In the back of the cop car with Lois Frank. Texting with handcuffs. 3 Blood Tribe women.”  Photos by Arnell Tailfeathers

Early [September 9, 2011] numerous women from the Blood Nation have courageously parked in front of Murphy Oil’s fracking development site vowing not to move until plans of fracking for oil and gas are stopped. The women are part of the Kainai Earth Watch and have been active advocates to stop the fracking due to the major threat to human health, wildlife and livestock and the irreversible damage to the land and water on the Blood Reserve and surrounding areas. They feel this is the only choice left to them to stop the operations as plans for construction begin tomorrow [September 10, 2011].

In late 2010, Kainaiwa Resources Inc. (KRI) quietly signed off on a deal with the Calgary-based junior mining company Bowood Energy and the U.S. company Murphy Oil. In exchange for the $50 Million, Bowood Energy and Murphy Oil gained a five-year lease to roughly 129, 280 acres, almost half of the Blood’s reserve, for oil and gas exploration.

Since that time local residents of the Blood Nation and surrounding communities have come together to oppose the projects. Members of the KaiNai Earth Watch have partnered with numerous community groups, including the Lethbridge Council of Canadians, to host numerous educational workshops, organize petitions, and meet with government officials. Despite their efforts, nothing has been effective in actually preventing the fracking from going ahead.

Plans of construction on four new fracking sites begin tomorrow. The women have vowed not to leave until they are confident the fracking won’t go ahead.


Protect Blood Land Canada

The first issue is the toxic nature of the drilling and its capacity to do irreversible damage to the land and water on the Blood Reserve and surrounding areas. Furthermore, fracking poses a major threat to human health, wildlife and livestock.

The second issue at hand is the nature of the deal between KRI, Murphy Oil, and Bowood Energy. We believe this to be highly problematic for a number of reasons:

  • Blood Tribe members were NOT consulted during the negotiations of this deal even though the drilling will occur on Blood Tribe land.
  • KRI and the Blood Tribe Chief and Council neglected to maintain any degree of transparency during and after the negotiations. Ultimately, leaving a large population of tribe members completely unaware of the situation until after the deal was made.
  • Above all else, the health and well-being of Blood Tribe members and all future generations will be compromised due to the rash and reckless decision by KRI and Blood Tribe Chief and Council to sign this deal with Murphy Oil and Bowood Energy

For more information on hydraulic fracturing here:

READ: Murphy Oil’s environmental history spotty

READ: Huffington Post – Fracking News, Videos, Information

WATCH: Is Your Water at Risk from Fracking?

READ: Hydraulic Fracturing 101

READ: Why should fracking be banned?

An Arrest:


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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Energy, Hydrofracking, Indigenous Peoples

Challenge Oprah Winfrey’s Support for Tar Sands Thursday Sept 8

Note: This action alert comes from Clayton Thomas Muller.  Clayton is on GJEP’s Board and is the Tar Sands Campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network

Oprah Winfrey has had Ethical Oil ads running on her Network OWN promoting tar sands as the ethical choice to middle eastern oil.

Tune in to Facebook Live (http://on.fb.me/fblivehq) on Thursday, September 8 at 1:30 PM PT / 4:30 PM ET for a live discussion with Oprah Winfrey.

Lets get as many people logged in to deluge her on how inaccurate the argument is and why there is nothing Ethical about Tar Sands!

Fcebook groups for event:http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=251369618236031

background article from Desmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/open-letter-oprah-winfrey-ethical-oil-ads

–Clayton-IEN Tar Sands Team

To listen to Clayton’s Interview about the tar sands on KPFK today, click here

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Tar Sands

KPFK Interview: The Indigenous Day of Action Against the Tar Sands in DC

Clayton Thomas Muller leads a workshop on the tar sands at the US Social Forum in Detroit in June 2010. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

This week’s Earth Segment on KPFK Los Angeles features an interview with Clayton Thomas Muller, Tar Sands Campaign Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network and a member of Global Justice Ecology Project’s Board of Directors.

Clayton discusses the Indigenous Day of Action that took place in Washington, DC on September 2nd to stop the Tar Sands Keystone XL pipeline, as well as the impacts of the pipeline and the tar sands gigaproject on Indigenous communities.

To listen to this interview click here  and scroll to minute 6:12.

About Clayton: 

Clayton Thomas-Muller, of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada, is an activist for Indigenous rights and environmental justice.  With his roots in the inner city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,Clayton began his work as a community organizer, working with Aboriginal youth.  Over the years Clayton work has taken him to five continents across our Mother Earth.

Based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Clayton is involved in many initiatives to support the building of an inclusive movement for Energy and Climate Justice. He serves on the board of the Global Justice Ecology Project and Canadian based Raven Trust.

Recognized by Utne Magazine as one of the top 30 under 30 activists in the United States and as a Climate Hero 2009 by Yes Magazine, Clayton is the tar sands campaign organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network. He works across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states with grassroots indigenous communities to defend against the sprawling infrastructure that includes pipelines, refineries and extraction associated with the tar sands, the largest and most destructive industrial development in the history of mankind.

The Earth Segment is a collaborative effort between Global Justice Ecology Project and KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show with Margaret Prescod.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Tar Sands

Communique from the communities of the Amador Hernandez region, Montes Azules, Lacandon Jungle

A view of the Lacandon jungle from Amador Hernandez. Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC

Note: GJEP received this communique from COMPITCH (Consejo de Médicos y Parteras Indígenas Tradicionales de Chiapas –Council of Traditional Indigenous Doctors and Midwives from Chiapas).  The communique was translated into English by Trisha Novak.  In March of 2011, GJEP’s Jeff Conant and Orin Langelle went to Amador Hernandez in Chiapas, Mexico to investigate the threatened forced relocation of the community and it’s relation to REDD+ and the California-Chiapas, Mexico-Acre, Brazil climate deal.

Español debajo

The indigenous communities of the Amador Hernandez region, Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, in the Lacandon Jungle communicate the following:

To the people of Mexico, to the people of the world, to the organizations and groups that do not serve the power interests but those of their own people, the lower classes.

On 20 and 21 August, the communities of the region had a forum in the Amador Hernandez common area entitled:  Regional Forum Against the Lacandona Brecha (the official border that would delimit the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve) and the Capitalist Looting of the Lacandon Jungle, and we approved the following:

D E C L A R A T I O N

  1. We reject and will not tire of confirming our rejection of the passing through the Lacandona Brecha next to our lands because it has as its purpose to make available the lands in the [Biosphere Reserve] to the service of the capitalist powers.
  1. The REDD+ project in the Montes Azules Reserve is the new mask, a climate mask, with which the federal government of Felipe Calderon and the Chiapas government of Juan Sabines attempt to cover up the dispossession of the biodiversity of the peoples.
  1. Speaking of climate change, it is clear to us that those who are most responsible are the capitalist enterprises and their governments, just like the federal government of Felipe Calderon and the Chiapas government of Juan Sabines, who have made a pact with the wealthy countries to allow that their greenhouse gas emissions be mitigated by the forests of our people.
  1. We reject all the ways in which the federal and the Chiapas governments and directors of organizations in service to the capitalists, want to dispossess us of our lands and our resources, through programs such as:  REDD+ (in the Montes Azules Reserve), Reconversion Productiva (Productive Restructuring), Pago de Servicios Ambientales (Payment for Environmental Services) and FANAR (Fund for Agricultural Entities without Regularization).

We point out the dual purpose of these programs: to dispossess us, but also to change our culture in order to disorganize us and neutralize our resistance.

  1. We denounce the control that the federal government exercises over the   people which, by decree (1972), it called the Lacandon, and which it has been using to legitimize all the plans for taking the lands and displacement of our peoples.
  1. We reject the projects for tourism by the capitalists or of the federal or Chiapas governments, such as the one that has divided the common lands of Emiliano Zapata in Laguna de Miramar.
  1. We reject monocultures, especially for biofuels and the new peonage that the peasant undergoes on his own land, just as the big landowners imposed in times of the Porfirio dictatorship.
  1. We reject the policy of land seizures promoted by the World Bank, conservationist organizations and their neo-liberal governments like that of Chiapas.
  1. Likewise, we reject the other face of “development:”  mining projects approved for regions that are not important for conservation and transnational exploitation of diversity, as happens in the Municipality of Chicomuselo where the people are resisting.
  1.  We demand agrarian regularization of the communities of Galilea, Benito Juarez Miramar and Chumcerro, located within the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve.

W E   P R O P O S E

To reorganize ourselves and expand at every level our relationships with other peoples and with independent organizations that are not at the service of the powerful in order to build a network of resistance among the peoples.

To develop internal plans in our communities to strengthen the production of our own foods.

To strengthen ourselves in the word of God and the community memory of our grandparents.

Agreement made in Ejido Amador Hernandez, Reserva de Biosfera Montes Azules, Selva Lacandona, Chiapas, Mexico, 21 August 2011

———————————————-

Comunicado de las comunidades de la región Amador Hernández, Montes Azules, Selva Lacandona

Las Comunidades Indígenas de la región Amador Hernández, Reserva de Biosfera Montes Azules, en la Selva Lacandona, comunican lo siguiente:

Al Pueblo de México, a los Pueblos del Mundo, a las Organizaciones y grupos que no sirven a los intereses del poder sino a los de su propia gente, la gente de abajo.

Los días 20 y 21 de agosto, las comunidades de la región celebramos un Foro en el ejido Amador Hernández, denominado: Foro Regional en Contra de la Brecha Lacandona y el Despojo Capitalista de la Selva Lacandona, y aprobamos la siguiente:

 D  E  C  L  A  R  A  C  I  O  N

1. Rechazamos, y no nos cansaremos de ratificarlo, el paso de la brecha Lacandona al lado de nuestras tierras porque tiene como propósito disponer las tierras medidas del lado Lacandón en servicio de las potencias capitalistas.

2. El proyecto REDD+ en la Reserva de Montes Azules es la nueva máscara, máscara climática, con la que el gobierno Federal de Felipe Calderón y el de Chiapas de Juan Sabines pretenden encubrir el despojo de la biodiversidad de los pueblos.

3. Hablando del cambio del clima, para nosotros está claro que los responsables mayores son las empresas capitalistas y sus gobiernos, como el Federal de Felipe Calderón y el de Chiapas de Juan Sabines, que han pactado con los países ricos que sus emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero se mitiguen en los bosques de nuestros pueblos.

4. Rechazamos todas las formas con las que los gobiernos, federal y de Chiapas, y dirigentes de organizaciones, en servicio de los capitalistas, quieren despojarnos de nuestras tierras y de nuestros recursos. Como los programas: REDD+ (en la Reserva de Montes Azules), Reconversión Productiva, Pago de Servicios Ambientales y FANAR. Llamamos a estar pendientes de la doble intención de esos programas: despojarnos pero también cambiar nuestra cultura para desorganizarnos y neutralizar nuestra resistencia.

5. Denunciamos el control que el gobierno federal ejerce sobre el pueblo que por decreto (1972) llamó Lacandón, que ha venido utilizando para legitimar todos los planes de despojo de tierras y desalojos de nuestros pueblos.

6. Rechazamos los proyectos turísticos de los capitalistas o de los gobiernos federal y de Chiapas, como el que ha dividido al ejido Emiliano Zapata en la Laguna de Miramar.

7. Rechazamos los monocultivos, en especial los de agrocombustibles y el nuevo peonaje al que es sometido el campesino en su propia tierra, como los hacendados hacían en tiempos de la dictadura porfirista.

8. Rechazamos la política de acaparamiento de tierras impulsada por el banco mundial, las organizaciones conservacionistas y sus gobiernos neoliberales como el de Chiapas.

9. Rechazamos igualmente la otra cara del despojo: los proyectos de Minería, aprobados para regiones no importantes para la conservación y explotación trasnacional de la biodiversidad, como sucede en el municipio de Chicomuselo donde resisten los pueblos.

10. Exijimos la regularización agraria de las comunidades Galilea, Benito Juárez Miramar y Chumcerro, ubicadas dentro de la Reserva de Biosfera Montes Azules.

P  R  O  P  O  N  E  M  O  S

Reorganizarnos y ampliar a todos los niveles nuestras relaciones con otros pueblos y con organizaciones independientes que no sirvan al poder, para constituir una red de resistencia de los pueblos.

Elaborar planes internos en nuestras comunidades para fortalecer la producción de nuestros propios alimentos.

Fortalecernos en la palabra de Dios y en la memoria comunitaria de nuestros abuelos.

Acordado en el Ejido Amador Hernández, Reserva de Biosfera Montes Azules, Selva Lacandona, Chiapas, México, a 21 de agosto del 2011

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD

Environmental, Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights Groups Reject International Offsets in California’s Global Warming Solutions Act

Oakland, CA – The California Air Resources Board meets tomorrow in Sacramento, CA to announce the findings of its evaluation of alternatives to Cap and Trade in AB32, the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act.  Environmental, indigenous peoples’ and human rights groups warn that outsourcing the state’s emissions reductions through carbon offsets will shift the responsibility for the climate crisis from industry to under-resourced communities, both in California and abroad.

“Any Cap and Trade Provision in AB32 will not only leave California communities continuing to bear the brunt of industrial pollution, they are no solution to climate change,” said Jeff Conant from the Oakland, CA office of Global Justice Ecology Project. “If the offsets are enacted in-state it will undermine forest conservation in California.  If California’s offsets are enacted at the international level, they will exacerbate land and resource conflicts in places like Chiapas, Mexico and Acre, Brazil – especially because these offsets are based on the controversial policy of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).”

The Cap and Trade provision in AB32 has clear links to REDD-type forest carbon offsets, as demonstrated by the Memoranda of Understanding signed by former Governor Schwarzenegger last year with the state governments of Chiapas and Acre.  While the mechanism for such an offsets program is not expected to be enacted until 2015, the effects of the policy are already showing impacts in these states. Commentators see this MoU as the world’s most advanced sub-national carbon offsets agreement, which could serve as a model for similar agreements worldwide.

Traditional healers prepare medicines in Amador Hernandez after the Mexican government cut off all medical services. The local residents believe this was done in an attempt to force them out of the Lacandon Jungle. Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC

In comments submitted to the California Air Resources Board, Francisco Hernández Maldonado, an indigenous Tzeltal from the village of Amador Hernández in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico wrote: “The promotion of REDD+ in Chiapas, which the government is doing without consulting us, is causing conflict between our peoples, because it benefits some and tries to criminalize those who truly dedicate ourselves to coexist with the earth and are not in favor of REDD + as a solution to climate change. By failing to consult us, our human rights are violated as well as international agreements such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

The Air Resources Board says that REDD as part of a Cap and Trade program will be developed under a separate process with public participation and environmental review. But critics of REDD recognize that the mere suggestion that California will engage in international offsets sends “price signals” to developing world governments – signals that have already led to forced evictions in the name of forest protection.

“These REDD forest offset initiatives in Mexico and the global South have no guarantees for safeguarding against land grabs and violating the rights of indigenous communities,” said Tom Goldtooth, Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.  “Putting trust in carbon market regimes based upon the privatization and commodification of air, trees and biodiversity could be devastating to indigenous peoples and their cultures. Not only abroad, but right here at home. Many of the dirtiest industries in the U.S. and Canada are located on Indigenous and First Nations lands that would benefit from domestic and international offsets, buying carbon credits to greenwash the pollution and toxic hotspots they create in local communities. Our people lose out on all sides of the border. There is no justice in carbon offsets – only more suffering.”

A coalition of California environmental justice groups is expected to turn out in Sacramento to demand that the Air Resources Board give real attention to concerns of ongoing pollution in the state’s heavily impacted industrial zones.

“Cap and Trade is no solution to climate change,” said Nile Malloy of Communities for a Better Environment in Oakland, CA. “It allows industry to continue polluting our communities, while the emissions continue to worsen climate change. It is a lose-lose scenario, benefiting only corporations like Chevron.”

For more information, contact:

Jeff Conant, Global Justice Ecology Project, Oakland, CA, +1.575.770.2829

Orin Langelle, Global Justice Ecology Project, Hinesburg, VT, +1.802.578.6980

Diana Pei Wu, Professor, Antioch University, Los Angeles, CA, +1.323.448.0566

Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network Bemidji, MN, +1.218.760.0442

 Low resolution photographs from the Chiapas jungle: http://www.flickr.com/photos/langelle/sets/72157627501175098/

Higher resolutions of those photographs from the Chiapas jungle are available to media by contacting Orin Langelle +1.802.578.6980 mobile or by email <orinl@globaljusticeecology.org>.

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Background Information:

Key Arguments Against REDD fact sheet

 Why REDD is Wrong

 Turning the Lacandon Jungle Over to the Carbon Market

 Interview with Santiago Martinez of Amador Hernandez, Chiapas

Photo Essay from Amador Hernandez, Chiapas, Mexico: Chiapas, Mexico: From Living in the jungle to ‘existing’ in “little houses made of ticky-tacky…”

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Filed under Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Pollution, REDD

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CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE (Download the 10 Page PDF by clicking here)

From standing trees to boiled, bleached pulp in one day. Photo: Petermann/GJEP-GFC

Rio+20 must Recognize the Role of Civil Society

by Fiu Mataese Elisara/ Chair of the Board, Global Forest Coalition

REDD and the Feeling of Standing Barefoot in a Peatswamp By Simone Lovera, Sobrevivencia, Paraguay

San Mariano Biofuel Project Should be Rejected as CDM Project By Feny Cosico, Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM), the Philippines

Genetically Engineered Tree Developments: GE Cold Tolerant Eucalyptus in the US By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project; North American Focal Point, Global Forest Coalition

African Faith Leaders get Organized for Durban COP17 By Nigel Crawhall, Director of the Secretariat of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) and member of the Western Cape Provincial Religious Leaders Forum

Calendar of Forest-related meetings

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Welcome to the thirty-eighth issue of Forest Cover, newsletter of the Global Forest Coalition (GFC). GFC is a world- wide coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPOs). GFC promotes rights-based, socially just and effective forest policies at international and national level, including through building the capacity of NGOs and IPOs in all regions to influence global forest policy.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, GE Trees, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, UNFCCC