Tag Archives: tom goldtooth

Because the land is ours – The rights of Mother Earth vs. carbon trading

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell. September 25, 2013. Source: Sustainablog

Part 29 of the Harvesting Justice series.

The hip-hop group Kunarevolution celebrate the Kuna Yala nation’s recent rejection of carbon trading. Photo: Beverly Bell.

The hip-hop group Kunarevolution celebrate the Kuna Yala nation’s recent rejection of carbon trading. Photo: Beverly Bell.

Inatoy Sidsagi and his cousin Esteban Herrera, from the indigenous Kuna Yala (also known as Guna Yala) nation in Panama, make up the indigenous rap group Kunarevolution. They rap about Mother Earth and the Kuna’s inalienable right to protect her lands and waters.

The Kuna Yala people recently prevailed over a threat to their lands, in the form of carbon tradingREDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a global program promoted by the U.N., industrialized nations, and international financial institutions like the World Bank. REDD allows countries and corporations to buy “clean-air” credits from countries with undeveloped forests. In exchange, governments, indigenous nations, and other groups agree to preserve areas of their forests, with the rationale that the trees’ absorption of carbon, the element that causes global warming, will counteract damage done by industrial polluters. (Editor’s note: we published a post promoting REDD projects last year)

In October 2011, the US-based Wildlife Works Carbon presented a REDD proposal to the Kuna Yala. The fifty-one communities spent a year and a half in consultation. In June 2013, the Kuna Yala general congress voted to reject the corporate proposal. They declared, further, their complete withdrawal “from all discussions at the national and international level on the REDD issue” and a prohibition on “organizing events, conferences, workshops and other activities on the issue.”

We interviewed the hip-hop artist Inatoy Sidsagi from a liberated territory of the Lenca indigenous people of Honduras, in a building plastered with stickers reading, “REDD: No capitalism in our forests.” Inatoy told us, “The rejection of REDD is for the patrimony. Having accepted it would have complicated life for future generations. Why? Because the land is ours. We are bound and obliged to leave it for perpetual use. REDD would have been a betrayal for the long-term, with many consequences – cultural ones, but even more, our possibility to be a people, to be a nation. It would have been the end of us as a people.”
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Filed under Carbon Trading, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, UNFCCC

KPFK Sojourner Truth Earth Watch: Tom B.K. Goldtooth on the re-election of President Obama

Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network, discusses the re-election of President Obama, climate change and the work ahead.  Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Watch interviews every Thursday.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Indigenous Peoples

Poster: REDD + Indigenous Peoples = Genocide

Note: The photos in the upper right and lower left of this poster were taken in the indigenous village Amador Hernandez on the border of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve by Global Justice Ecology Project Board Chair Orin Langelle during an investigative trip to Chiapas, Mexico with GJEP’s then-Communications Director Jeff Conant.  The trip was organized in March 2011 to identify and expose the impacts on the indigenous communities in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico that would be caused by the California-Chiapas-Acre (Brazil) REDD agreement, which was announced at the Cancun climate talks in December 2010.  The series of events this week in California against REDD (also see previous blog post)  feature Orin’s photography as well as GJEP’s film “A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests.”  For more, go to no-redd.com

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, REDD