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Developed and Published by
The Indigenous Environmental Network:
with the endorsement of the following organisations:
REDD and Permits to Pollute

CARBON MARKETS buy and sell permits to pollute called “allowances” and “carbon credits”. Carbon markets have two parts: emissions trading (also called “cap and trade”) and offsets. They are false solutions to climate change because they do not bring about the changes needed to keep fossil fuels in the ground. They claim to solve the climate crisis but really allow polluters to buy their way out of reducing their emissions. These multi-billion dollar trading mechanisms privatize and commodify the earth’s ability to keep its atmosphere balanced. The International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change opposes carbon markets. “We cannot condone activities that defile the sacredness of Mother Earth…Carbon trade-induced conflicts … endanger our survival…”2

Northern polluters can get permits to pollute through offsets projects in the South like a dam or a tree plantation under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change calls the CDM “a new form of colonialism.”3 Permits to pollute are also being generated by promising not to cut down forests and plantations that absorb pollution. This is called REDD. The International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change says “REDD will not benefit Indigenous Peoples, but, in fact, will result in more violations of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights…Under REDD, States and Carbon Traders will take more control over our forests.”4

1 IPS; “Under carbon trading programmes, companies that release greenhouse gases can either agree to reduce their emissions or buy the right to keep on polluting.” See Carbon Trade Watch - Indigenous Environmental Network - Lohmann, Larry PDF: Carbon Trading: Climate , Privatization and Power
2 The Sky is Sacred: Indigenous Peoples’ Decade-long Struggle Against the Carbon Market
3 International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change, Declaration of Lyon, First plenary intervention to the UNFCCC, Lyon, France, Sept.15, 2000.
4 Indigenous Peoples’ Guide: False Solutions to Climate Change
What is REDD?

According to the publication, “The Little REDD Book”, the basic idea behind Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is simple: Developing countries that are willing and able to reduce emissions from deforestation should be financially compensated for doing so.5 However, according to many Indigenous Peoples, REDD is CO2lonialism of Forests because it allows Northern polluters to buy permits to pollute or “carbon credits” by promising not to cut down forests and plantations in the South. The newspaper The Australian calls REDD a ““clasic 21st century scamemerging from the global climate change industry.”6

Say no to REDDREDD will probably include forests in the carbon market which raises a crucial property rights issue: REDD commodifies and privatizes the air and forests. Carbon traders require legal title to the carbon in the forests or rights to the land. REDD projects that utilize carbon market financing could also generate profits for loggers, polluters and forest destroyers8 and reduce forests to mere carbon sequestration experiments. REDD-type projects already exist on the voluntary carbon market without a clear and agreed upon framework that ensures Indigenous land and forest rights, land tenure reforms and good governance. Under the Bali Action Plan, the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is negotiating the mechanism for implementing REDD within the post-Kyoto Protocol 2012+ framework.

The “ultimate goal” of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is “to jump-start a forest carbon market.”9 The World Bank isn’t waiting for the UN to adopt a REDD implementation framework, it has moved forward with its own REDD-type projects through R-PINs (Readiness Plan Idea Notes) and through its other carbon and climate funds.10 The UN-REDD Program is also moving forward with its own initiative set up by UNDP, UNEP, FAO and the World Bank. Additionally, governments, polluting industry, private sector and large NGOs are investing in carbon market REDD initiatives with no agreed upon policies that address Indigenous Peoples’ concerns.

There are hundreds of REDD-type pilot projects in the world and, as this booklet shows, many of them violate Indigenous Peoples’ rights and have resulted in militarization, evictions, fraud, disputes, conflicts, corruption, coercion, conmen, crime, plantations and 30-100 year contracts, deals with oil companies and other climate criminals. Furthermore, economic speculation with carbon credits from REDD may contribute to the next market crash and Indigenous Peoples could lose out if their “benefits” are subject to the volatile price of carbon. Lastly, Indigenous Peoples could be held liable if REDD projects fail due to natural ecological or climate change-related disasters such as floods, droughts, forest fires, storms, pests or plagues.

5 Scholz, I. and Schmidt, L. REDD in Developing Countries: Meeting the Main Challenges Ahead Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik. 2008.
6 The Australian: “The rush is on for sky money”,25197,26027588-16953,00.html
7 IPS; “Under carbon trading programmes, companies that release greenhouse gases can either agree to reduce their emissions or buy the right to keep on polluting.” - Indigenous Environmental Network
8 World Bank REDD “Poster Child would Reward Forest Destroyers
9 World Bank News
10 World Bank Climate Funds Update and World Bank Forest Investment Program
Most of the world’s forests are on Indigenous Peoples’ land.

“Some 1.6 billion people rely on forests, including 60 million Indigenous people, who are entirely dependent upon forests for their livelihoods, food, medicines and/or building materials (FAO, 2008) These people have already been severely impacted both by the loss of forests, cleared largely to grow crops and agrofuels for export, and by Clean Development Mechanism reforestation and afforestation projects. Often having no formal land title, many people have already been forcibly and even violently ejected from their ancestral territories. If the financial value of standing forests goes up they are increasingly likely to face governments and companies willing to go to extreme lengths to wrest their forests from them.”11

Therefore, the implementation of REDD in Indigenous territories is extremely risky since there is no guarantee that REDD projects will fully recognize the land tenure, customary and territorial rights of Indigenous Peoples. Forests and the “environmental services” they provide are quickly becoming a valuable commodity in carbon markets. This could lead to land being taken away from local people.

Furthermore, “[c]ommodifying forest carbon is also inherently inequitable, since it discriminates against people, and especially women, who previously had free access to the forest resources they need to raise and care for their families, but cannot afford to buy forest products or alternatives.” 12

REDD-plus” includes activities with potentially extremely serious implications for indigenous peoples, local communities and forests: The following is worth reading closely, because so far it is the only agreed text we have on REDD. The (paragraph 1b(iii)) of the “Bali Action Plan” referred to as “REDD-plus” calls for:13 “Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries”.

More Protected Areas? “[C]onservation” sounds good, but the history of the establishment of national parks includes large scale evictions and loss of rights for indigenous peoples and local communities.”14

Less Political Will to Resolve Land Disputes? “In many tropical forest countries, states fail to recognize the collective customary rights of indigenous peoples over their ancestral forests, or only recognize a small portion of their traditional lands – legally defining the remaining forests as so-called ‘State land’. Given the potential earning capacity of standing forests, REDD compensation payments to governments may create a disincentive for forest and conservation and other government authorities to resolve long-standing land disputes in forest areas.”15

11 Friends of the Earth International, Myths, critical review of proposed mechanisms to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries, December 2008
12 Global Forest Coalition ”Life as Commerce: the impact of market-based conservation mechanisms
13 REDD-Monitor: REDD, An Introduction
14 Ibid.
15 Griffths, Tom, Seeing ‘REDD’? Forests, climate change mitigation and the rights of indigenous peoples
REDD - A Flase Solution to Climate Change

REDD Means Loss of Land

REDD could “drive land speculation”18 and result in “massive land grabs”19 in the name of saving the climate. REDD could result in violations of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples especially Articles 10, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 32. The United Nations admits REDD could: 20

  • Criminalize indigenous agriculture and lifestyles
  • Violate Indigenous Peoples’ rights
  • “Lock-up forests” and “Marginalize the landless

16 Friends of the Earth International, REDD: Critical questions and myths exposed, Summary
17 A Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP) Policy Brief, (Peskett et al, 2008) - UN-REDD Framework Document, “REDD will lock-up forests by decoupling conservation from development.”p4-5, See also “'locking up' the land for a period of 25 or more years” in “Tasmania gets Australia’s first REDD deal
18 Griffths, Ibid.
19 FERN: “Research is increasingly showing that attributing a price to forest carbon will not be enough to save the forests or protect the climate and may lead to massive land grabs.”
20 UN-REDD Framework Document, p4-5, - Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP) Policy Brief
REDD means Land Grab

In May 2009, Reuters, an international news agency, reported from a forestry conference in REDD Land Grab IconIndonesia that an Interpol environmental crime official warned that organized crime syndicates are eyeing the REDD forest carbon credit industry as a potentially lucrative new opportunity for fraud. “Fraud could include claiming credits for forests that do not exist or were not protected or for land grabs.” - Interpol21

“…unscrupulous entities plan to profit from REDD: their methods could include expelling an indigenous people from their forest to acquire legal title over it.” 22

REDD Land Grab 2

21 Reuters: Forest-CO2 Scheme will draw Organized Crime
22 Scientific American Magazine: Conflicted Conservation: When Restoration Efforts Are Pitted against Human Rights - Saving Earth might mean trampling indigenous societies
23 Tom B.K. Goldtooth as quoted in Scientific American Magazine, - FERN: “research is increasingly showing that attributing a price to forest carbon will not be enough to save the forests or protect the climate and may lead to massive land grabs” - “Firm Targets US Buyers with African REDD Credits
PHOTOS: REDD could cause evictions like this one that occurred in Manaus, Brazil –Luis Vasconcelos/Reuters
Indigenous Peoples Ripped Off in $1 billion26 carbon trading scandal in Papua New Guinea27
“Carbon finance and REDD have triggered a ‘gold rush’ mentality.”28

  • “Carbon Cowboys” with false contracts29 and fake carbon credit certificates coerced30 villagers “to sign land rights away to do carbon trading,"31 and “to sign over the rights to their forests.” 32
  • The land and power of attorney of 45,000 indigenous in East Pangia was handed over to the “Kingpin of Carbon Cowboys”.33
  • “A dispute has broken out”34
  • A NGO is “buying oxygen” in Colombia35

24 The Australian: “this classic 21st-centruy scam emerging from the global climate change industry”.
25 Associated Press: “Papuan New Guinean landowners are being ripped off by conmen traveling village to village offering fake carbon trading deal and promising big returns from “sky money”…The crude carbon trading racket has duped at least 500 villagers since late last year around Popondetta, Oro Province on the north-west coast.”
26 Business Spectator - The Big Green Rush - “25 REDD Projects have been contracted at $1 billion per annum to date”.
27 Sydney Morning Herald: Australian Firm Linked to PNGs
28 Ibid.
29 REDD Monitor: “More on PNG’s ‘Carbon Cowboys’
30 Sydney Morning Herald: I am a Foreigner in Papau New Guinea Says Carbon King Pin
31 Point Carbon - Sydney Morning Herald: PNGs PM Nephew Phsing Carbon Deals
32 Sydney Morning Herald: Carbon Con-Men Selling the Sky
33 Watch VIDEO: “A Breath of Fresh Air” by Jeremy Dawes
34 Carbon Trading Scandal linked to Government
35 Colombian Ministry of the Environment warns against selling oxygen

“Ordering us to leave Mau is like taking a fish out of water and expecting it to survive" Ogiek People Development Program Director Daniel Kobei36
  • Minority Rights Group International includes the Ogiek People in their list of “Peoples Under Threat” from genocide, mass killings or violent repression.37
  • Kenyan Forest Service is acting like a “militia”38
  • Thousands already evicted39 including Ogieks
United Nations Environment Program-funded Mau Carbon Forest Project“The Mau Forest was made ‘ready’ for this carbon offset project by forceful and often violent eviction of its inhabitants, including the Indigenous Ogiek People.” 40

Amnesty International Amnesty International
Kenya: Nowhere to Go
: Forced Evictions in Mau Forest “Recommendation 1: Stop immediately the practice of forced evictions from forest areas and place a moratorium on all mass evictions in forests”

36 The Standard
37 The Standard
38 Minister of Agriculture William Ruto as quoted in the Standard Media
39 Amnesty International: “Incidents of forced evictions have been reported in different areas of the Mau Forest since 2004, affecting thousands of families.” p.1-2
40 REDD Monitor: Global Forest Coalition Attacks
REDD Means Eviction

EvictionsKenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced that every single Ogiek would be facing arrest if they did not voluntarily abandon their ancestral lands in the Mau Forest region of Kenya--where the Ogiek have lived for centuries.”42 Is this “a humanitarian crisis43 in the making? The Ogiek are called potential “Conservation Refugees44,” but they also could become REDD refugees. At the beginning of September 2009, the evictions were stayed by Members of Parliament.

41 The Standard, Ogiek set to lose ancestral land
42 Ground Report: Thousands of Ogiek will be Evicted
43 Mau: Settlers given 14 days to leave
44 Survival International: “Conservation refugees - Ogiek face eviction from their forest home
PHOTOS: Ogiek Intercontinental Cry, Ben Powless
REDD and Militarization

The full range of risks associated with REDD carbon offsetting merits serious consideration. In addition to the fundamental problem of equating forest and fossil carbon, it could “foster an ‘armed protection’ mentality that could lead to the displacement of millions of forest-dependent people, including by force.”45

Armed Guards for pilot projects46
UN: Remote Sensors in forests for REDD47
Satellite Surveillance of forests48

46 Friends of the Earth International, REDD: Critical questions and myths exposed, Summary:
47 REDD: Wrong Path: Pathetic EcoBusiness, WAHLI (Friends of the Earth-Indonesia) , p.8-9 For Merrill Lynch and Carbon Conservation project, REDD Myths, p.11
48 UNFCCC, SBSTA 30 agenda item 5, version 5 June 2009 at 09:00 hrs, Annex 1(b) (i) Bonn, Germany
49 The Woods Hole Research Center, Mapping and Monitoring Carbon Stocks with Satellite Observations: An Update, Scott Goetz, COP14, December 2008, Poznan, Poland, p. 2. Specifically: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar), Optical Remote Sensing and Multi-Sensor Synenergy. Also see REDD and Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTS). European Space Agency (ESA), the German company specialist in “tele-detection” GAF AG and the KfW participate in REDD pilot project in Cameroon

Peru and REDD

Indigenous Peoples of the Peruvian Amazon heroically defend their land and forests from the laws passed by the Peruvian government to favor multinational companies49 and the Free Trade Agreement with the United States. These brave communities risk their lives in the struggle against oil companies, mining and agrofuels. They protest the causes of climate change such as the extraction and burning of fossil fuels as well as the false solutions to climate change like monoculture plantations. REDD will result in more land grabs, more plantations and more repression.

That’s why we say NO REDD!

Peru and REDD Militarization

49 Amazon Watch: “oil concessions have jumped from roughly 15% to well over 70%
Peru and REDD

REDD and Gangsters
Red and Organized Crime - No REDDREDD will attract Organized Crime50 Interpol: “If there are indigenous people involved, there's threats and violence against those people.”51


REDD and Oil Companies

The largest REDD pilot project in the world is a 30 year “partnership” on indigenous land with oil giants British Petroleum and Amoco52 which coincidentally are participating in “the biggest global warming crime in history53 and violate Indigenous Peoples’ rights in Tibet,54 Sudan,55 Canada56 and the United States57. BP has also benefited from a regime of paramilitary terror in Colombia58 and is implicated in a coup d’etat in Azerbaijan.59 Other partners include the biggest coal burner in the U.S., American Electric Power (which depends on coal and uranium mining60 that have devastated native lands and health61) and PacfiCorp and The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy says that REDD is more important than cutting emissions.62 REDD could be the cheapest way63 for these polluting companies to buy permits to pollute. Cheap carbon credits from REDD could allow climate criminals to continue to destroy the earth and her peoples.

50 Sunday Mail
51 Reuters PHOTOS: Ben Powless
52 “Through a unique partnership, the Government of Bolivia, the Friends of Nature Foundation (FAN), The Nature Conservancy and three energy companies (American Electric Power, PacifiCorp and BP Amoco) have teamed up to jointly implement the US $11 million Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project--the largest forest based carbon project in the world.” The contract is for 30 years.
53 The Independent: The Biggest Environmental Crime in History
54 Corpwatch: “BP challenged to get out of Tibet
55 Los Angeles Times: “slavery and genocide in Sudan
56 The Globe: “a form of genocide” - PBS: Extreme Oil – Athabasca Tar Sands - The Guardian - 57 57 Greenpeace: Inupiat Eskimos sue BP
58 The Independent: BP Pays Out Millions to Colombian Farmers
59 BP and Amoco behind Coup
60 American Electric Power gets 66% of its energy from coal and 6% from nuclear power. See Fuel Diversity graph on p.4 of its 2008 Annual Report AEP is also an aggressive proponent of the oxymoron “clean” coal and the highly dangerous false solution to climate change called Carbon Capture and Storage
61 Indigenous Environmental Network See video Dine’ Grandmothers resist relocation to radioactive lands
62 The Nature Conservancy: Forest offsets more important than emissions reduction targets
63 The Economist:: “Companies would then buy cheap credits and continue doing business as usual rather than cutting their own emissions.”
Oil companies have caused genocide and continue to violate Indigenous Peoples’ rights in the Ecuadorian Amazon and in Niger River Delta.64 Oil companies also actively lobby in favor of the carbon market. “We denounce the further delays in ending fossil fuel extraction that are being caused by corporate, government and United Nations’ attempts to construct a ‘carbon market’.”65

64 See Chevron Toxico - Amazon Watch - Crude - Justice in Nigeria Now - Sweet Crude - Shell Guilty
65 Durban Declaration, 2004 - PHOTOS: Amazon Watch, JINN, GRAPHIC: Rising Tide

“The International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change reiterates that indigenous peoples have been and continue to be the primary guardians of forests. For generations, indigenous peoples have managed to utilize forests resources in a sustainable manner. Indigenous peoples have always regarded forests as not simply resources to be exploited but as the source of life and an integral part of our lives and lifestyles. Forests not only provide shelter and food to indigenous peoples; they also form the basis of many cultures, and have various spiritual and cultural values for us that cannot be expressed in monetary values. Many indigenous peoples derive their distinct identities from their relationship with the forests. In addition, many of the forests that are looked at for utilization in REDD mechanisms are located within our ancestral lands and territories………66

IIPFCC continues to oppose the commercialization and commodification of forests and recommends that Parties and other key actors be educated to understand the different, holistic worldview of indigenous peoples and to understand the different values that forests have for indigenous peoples and for humankind. Climate change and sustainable forest management must be based on different mindsets with full respect for Nature, and not on market-based mechanisms that benefit only a few for only a short time.”67

REDD is “air politics and air business for new colonialism instead of rights, traditional lifestyles, customs, culture and spirituality. Trading air… causes negative impacts for Indigenous Peoples’ traditional lifestyle. Indigenous Peoples …will be more exploited; our rights to our territories, land and resources will be violated. Indigenous Peoples do not want to put Mother Earth in “custody.” …There will be forced displacement, militarization, and Indigenous Peoples will become…refugees.”68 - Kamal Rai, Nepal

66 International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), IIPFCC made this submission in response to the call from UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice for Parties (SBSTA) and accredited observers to submit their views on “issues relating to indigenous people [sic] and local communities for the development and application of methodologies by 15 February 2009” paragraph 3.1
67 Ibid. paragraph 8.2
68 Kamal Rai on REDD
REDD Corrupts the Sacred

Privatizes and Commodifies forests, trees and air

“These REDD and carbon market regimes violate the cosmovision and spiritual beliefs and indigenous worldview of many of our Indigenous peoples in the South and North. The commodification of forests and the atmosphere is a corruption of the Sacred.” -Tom “Mato Awanyankapi” Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network

69 REDD Monitor: “REDD corrupts the sacred… It was born in darkness” Watch Video:: SommerFilms for EARTH PEOPLES “Carbon Trading is not Ethical-Indigenous Elders from the North” PHOTOS: WRM, l Kamal Rai - Agencja Gazeta; GRAPHIC: REDD-Monitor
REDD and Plantations

Definition of Forests: Includes Plantations and Logging“The definition of 'forests' used by the UNFCCC…includes monoculture tree plantations and clearcuts (euphemistically referred to as "temporarily unstocked areas")…it is unlikely this definition will change before the 15th Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in 2009…Under the current definition, the Brazilian government’s plans to replace part of the Amazonian forest with oil palm plantations would not even count as deforestation: they will only ‘temporarily unstock’ the Amazon before planting new trees.”70

Definition of Degradation: Blame Indigenous Peoples for Climate Change?71 Criminalizing Indigenous Peoples and Agriculture?“Depending on the definition of “degradation,” “illegal activities” could include shifting cultivation; hunting; foraging; collecting kindling, medicinal plants, materials for housing and art; performing ceremonies and accessing sacred sites. “[T]he interpretation of definitions relating to ‘degradation’ will have to be carefully monitored in situations where the poor are engaging in activities that are seen to be degrading forest resources.” PEP, p.5; “‘degradation’ activities that can be crucial for the poor (such as shifting cultivation) may be disrupted by REDD systems without adequate compensation.” PEP, p.3; “[P]oor people are unlikely to benefit directly…and evidence indicates that they could actually be subject to increased risks if they are engaging in illegal activities.” PEP, p.4”72

70 Global Forest Coalition: “REDD without Rules: Another Disaster in the MakingREDD will fail with the current definition of forests - See: UNFCCC Decision 11/CP.7 Annex 1 (a)
71 “They are slashing and burning and cutting forests of the world.” Richard Sandor as quoted in “Climate Politics: What we can learn from the financial crisis?” Lohmann, L.
72 A Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP) Policy Brief, (Peskett et al, 2008) as cited in REDD According to the UN, p.2

73 See: UNFCCC Decision 11/CP.7 Annex 1 (a) and Also the ‘enhancement of forest carbon stocks’ “could result in conversion of land (including forests) to industrial tree plantations.
74 PHOTOS and excellent resources on plantations World Rainforest Movement In Brazil, the Plantar S.A. plantations expelled the Tupinikim and Guarani Peoples, afrobrazilian communities and thousands of small farmers. Plantar S.A. is seeking to sell carbon credits.
75 ****Including agriculture and soils in REDD-Plus could lead to the commodification of the entire surface of the planet: Agriculture considered for inclusion in REDD-Plus****
76 Global Forest Coalition: “Forests and Climate Change” p. 7
77 See UNFCCC negotiating texts:
REDD and GMO Trees

78 UNFCCC Decision that allows GMO trees in plantations for afforestation and reforestation.
79 STOP GE TREES CAMPAIGN - Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
80 International Paper Treads Monsanto’s Path to ‘Frankenforests’
PHOTOS: ETC Group (graphic: Eric Drucker), MST Women Protest, Indigenous Representatives attending the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues protest Belgium planting GMO trees, Orin Langelle/Global Justice Ecology Project
REDD and Forests

81 Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, India and Malaysia, among others, have tabled the inclusion of Sustanable Forest Management which allows for logging and clearcuts. Australia, Indonesia in carbon trading plan, August 10, 2009, Tom Arup
82 REDD-Monitor: Global Forest Commission Attacts REDD - REDD an Introduction
83 Climate negotiations Drowning in a sea of brackets: Forest Protection Missing

According to REDD Monitor: “Proposals under discussion for a REDD mechanism based upon a baseline of deforestation also risk creating the perverse incentives for countries with low current levels of deforestation to increase their level of deforestation in order to subsequently be able to claim greater amounts of finance on the basis of reduced deforestation, thus increasing carbon emissions in the short term. These perverse incentives can clearly be seen in Guyana, where President Jagdeo has launched an “avoided threatened deforestation” scheme. An editorial in Guyana’s Kaieteur News in May argued that Guyana “should preceed full steam ahead with the exploitation of our forestry resources. In addition to placing our future development more firmly in our own hands, it will ironically make our arguments for REDD even stronger.” 86

Carbon Trading has a bloody record so far. Not only is it a eco-cidial false solution to climate change that has helped push the Arctic, Amazon and Antarctic closer to the Tipping Point87 but it has also contributed to quicken the disappearance of 14 countries in the Pacific whose population is 90% Indigenous which constitutes cultural genocide on an unprecedented scale. Human rights violations include: killings, servitude, regimes of terror, forced relocation, arbitrary detention, loss of land & territory, loss of income, livelihood and food, destruction of homes and crops, and threats to cultural survival.88 According to the UN, “More than 50 people were killed”89 in an Ugandan carbon forest project. In other recent cases, Indigenous Peoples suffer forced displacement,90 loss of access to land,91 land tenure disputes92 and social conflicts.93 REDD is already showing that it will be more of the same. The Ogiek were threatened with arrest if they didn’t vacate their ancestral Mau forest. “[A] tsunami of carbon traders is spreading across Papua New Guinea. Carbon Finance and REDD have triggered a 'gold rush' mentality''94 spiced with fraud, land disputes, rip offs, and coercion to sign Indigenous Peoples’ land rights away. (See previous pages.) (PHOTO: REDD-Monitor)

86 REDD Monitor - Offsetting a Dangerous Distraction
87 Director of NASA on the “Tipping Point
88 “Snapshots of Co2lonialism” in “Indigenous Peoples’ Guide"
89 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, “Impact of climate change mitigation measures on indigenous peoples and their lands and territories” March 2008
90 IPS: ”Carbon Trading Scheme Pushing People off Their Land’ -“…methods suggested to reduce global carbon emissions is causing the displacement of indigenous persons as western companies rush to invest in tree-planting projects in developing countries…indigenous people known as the Benet have been displaced to clear the way to tree-planting projects.”
91 “Threatened Tribesman: The Melayu of Indonesia may lose fishing and hunting grounds to a forest-saving carbon plan…The project would limit the access of the Melayu people to their traditional fishing creeks and hunting grounds; they have protested by preventing company staff from entering the area.” Scientific American Magazine: Conflicted Conservation: When Restoration Efforts Are Pitted against Human Rights - Saving Earth might mean trampling indigenous societies
92 Reuters: “deals sparked land ownership disputes
93 Scientific American Magazine, Ibid.
94 Sydney Morning Herald,
REDD Slaving on the Plantation

REDD monitoring requires cheap labor. According to a European ministry roadmap, "working with local communities could reduce the costs of monitoring" REDD. 95 In fact, there seems to be a consensus that “community involvement is the most cost-efficient mechanism to collect large volumes of such data” and that it is “two to three times” cheaper to hire natives than “professionals” or than using “remote sensing.”96 Indians, get out your carbon rulers! Just imagine. You can have a very low paying job measuring captured CO2 on the GMO tree plantation that was created where your rainforest use to flourish before it was clear cut and you were forcibly evicted for a REDD project.

The Carbon Markets’ Exploitation of Indigenous Peoples was not unanticipated. In 2000, in its first plenary statement to the UNFCCC, the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change predicted that carbon offset projects would turn Indigenous Peoples into “slaves of the carbon trade.”97 An eye-opening book published by the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests documents how Batswa Pygmies suffer “servitude”98 on the World Bank Ibi-Batéké Carbon Sink Plantation.99 An employee of the project says “this must not be understood…as if it were slavery.”100 Hailed as an inspiring model for all of Africa,101 this touted plantation for fuel wood and charcoal claims to be the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first Clean Development Project102 and to contribute to sustainable development and climate change mitigation.103 However, Pygmy leaders have repeatedly denounced the World Bank for funding deforestation of their ancestral forests which not only releases emissions but also violates their rights, leads to the destruction of their livelihood and causes social conflict.104 (PHOTO: WORLD BANK)

95 Bas Clabbers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, "Roadmap for safeguarding indigenous rights in EU REDD policy and proposals", May 2009
96 International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Submission to SBSTA 29, item 5: “Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries: approaches to stimulate action”, paragraph 11. (Document FCCC/SBSTA/2008/L.23) “Forest biomass assessment in support of REDD by indigenous people and local communities” - See also UN-REDD: REDD Monitoring and Verification Roadmap to UNFCCC - RECOFTC, “Community-based forest management: a key element of effective REDD methodologies”,
97 International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change, Declaration of Lyon, First plenary intervention to the UNFCCC, Lyon, France, Sept.15, 2000.
98 International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests, “Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: Vulnerabilities, Adaptation, and Responses to Mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol,” (2007) Makelo, S., “The DRC Case Study: the impacts of carbon sinks of Ibi-Batéké Project on the indigenous Pygmies of the Democratic Republic of Congo” p.45-74 especially 62-64 - The human rights violations against Pygmies are acute throughout the country. See “Pygmies beg UN for aid to save them from Congo cannibals
99 World Bank “DRC Ibi Bateke Carbon Sink Plantation” - World Bank documents claim no Indigenous Peoples affected on pages 4 and 8 - Four million dollar investment from World Bank Carbon Finance - Forest Carbon Inventory Project
100 Makelo, S., Ibid, p.64
101 Watch Video:
102 However, as of Sept. 9, 2009 the project is not listed by this name on the CDM Pipeline Spreadsheet
103 Reuters: World Bank to buy carbon credit from Congo Project
104 World Bank Inspection Panel - Request for Inspection from Pygmy Organization for harm caused by World Bank funding to forestry sector in DRC
REDD and Profits for the World Bank

105 Institute for Policy Studies, World Bank: Climate Profiteer
106 Global Summit of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change, Panel with the World Bank, webcast
107 Public Radio International,
108World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility would reward Forest Destroyers in Indonesia
109World Bank admits “We will make mistakes” on REDD
REDD is a Threat to Indigenous Peoples

110 Global Summit of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change, Panel with the World Bank PHOTOS: Ben Powless, REDD-Monitor: Robin Wood, UNFCCC and others
Is REDD a Cash Cow for Forest Destroyers

111 New York Times,
112 Public Radio International,
113The Big Takeover
114 “”Could Cap and Trade Cause Another Financial Meltdown?REDD Monitor - Our Climate Crisis Seeing REDD Plundering our Forests
115 New York Times: “Carbon Trading: Where greed is green” quotes Head of Environmental Makets of Barclays Capital.
116 Marc Stuart, EcoSecurities executive (Jeffrey Ball, 'Up In Smoke: Two Carbon-Market Millionaires Take a Hit as UN Clamps Down - EcoSecurities Sees Shares Slide 70 Per Cent', Wall Street Journal, 14 April 2008.)
117 Reuters:
118 US United Nations Archives
REDD Cheaper than Reducing Emissions

Cheapest Permits to Pollute • Bargain Basement Carbon Credits

The going price for carbon credits from offsets is USD $25 to $35 but a REDD credit is calculated at as little as USD $4 which is more than 6 to 8 times cheaper.119For big polluters, like oil companies and the United States, it will be cheaper to buy permits to pollute from REDD than to reduce emissions. ”[I]ndustrialized countries could find it easy to fulfill much of their targets with cheap REDD offset credits.”120 According to The Economist, REDD “will push down the price. Companies would then buy cheap credits and continue doing business as usual rather than cutting their own emissions.” 121 It’s just “trading thin air.”122

REDD Does Not Mitigate Climate Change

According to the Director of NASA, James Hansen, the world’s most distinguished climatologist, “industrialized countries could offset 24-69% of their emissions via the CDM and REDD… thus avoiding the necessary domestic cuts that are required to peak emissions around 2015 in line with avoiding dangerous climate change..” The much trumpeted US climate change legislation is “counterfeit.”124








119 Carbon Positive “REDD carbon markets: Proposals Compared
120 Ibid “ Offsets are still counterfeit carbon credits” - Offsets “make profits for large corporations and revenue governments and consultants” Gar Lipow
121 The Economist:
122 The Economist: “Trading Thin Air” - Scientific American: A Mechanism of Hot Air
123 James Hansen, Director de NASA,
124 James Hansen, Ibid. Institute for Policy Studies “Good news there is a climate bill, bad news it stinks
125 Our Climate Crisis: Seeing REDD, Plundering Our Forests
126 Ibid.
Gourmet REDD

127 See the Corner House
128 Brunner, Stephen, “Gourmet credits; refining Swiss carbon cheese”,
129 “How to use offsets in your marketing”, see especially Climate Change Chocolate and Ecosystem Market Place
130 “Voluntary Carbon Standard (VSC), backed by Geneva-based International Emissions Trading Association, the Climate Group and World Economic Forum, is likely to capture the largest volumes of the global voluntary offset market…The Basel-based Gold Standard Foundation developed a standard for ‘gourmet credits’” There are also third-party verifiers like the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance.
131 EcoSecurities Exec quoted in Business Green
132 Abyd Karmali, Managing Director and Global head of Carbon Markets at Bank of America Merril Lynch
133 IUCN, Building Biodiversity Business, See p.12 “How to combine carbon and biodiversity offsets? Afforestation/Reforestation, soil carbon and REDD” Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance has developed voluntary standards to help design and identify land management projects that claim to simultaneously minimize climate change, support sustainable development and conserve biodiversity Read about “The Duck Factory
134 “The idea is that real and measurable biodiversity outcomes based not only on species, but also structure and function, allow biodiversity performance to be better assessed and therefore value-added.”
135 For example, including credits for endemic and/or endangered species. See Species Banking Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance has developed voluntary standards to help design and identify land management projects that claim to simultaneously minimize climate change, support sustainable development and conserve biodiversity Read about “The Duck Factory
136 Transnational Institute, Smith, Kevin, “Offsetting Democracy”,
137 Forest Carbon Portal: Sierra Gorda Taps Voluntary Markets for Carbon and Environmetnal Offsets

138 Based on this prototype which is almost the size of Britain, “four new landscape-scale emissions abatement projects” are being developed for “emerging carbon and related markets…and opportunities on the unregulated or voluntary market.” North Australia Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance
139 United Nations International Expert Meeting on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change, April 2-4, 2008, Concept Note
140 Mugarura, Victor Aborigines burn the way to climate control, BBC, September 18, 2007 p.11
141 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: “pact of climate change mitigation measures on Indigenous Peoples…” p. 28 “Beneficial Effects of Mitigation, paragraph 57. “good results,” paragraph 63
142 National Indian Education Association
143 Obama: Canada must address dirt oil from the tar sands PHOTO: Democracy Now!
Carbon Footprint Trading

144 Groundbreaking Lawsuit Accuses Big Oil of Conspiracy to Deceive Public About Climate Change
145 ConocoPhillips ranked 3rd on a 2002 list of the worst U.S. corporate air polluters in terms of the amount and toxicity of pollution, and the numbers of people exposed to it - Activists turn to courts to stop ConocoPhillips refinery expansions - Democratic Underground
146 Amazon Watch and Save America’s Forests report on ConocoPhillips in the Amazon
147 Ibid.
148 Amazon Watch, annual report 2008
149 Tar Sands Watch: Shareholders Show Strong Support for ConocPhillips Oil Sands Proposal
150 The Independent: The Biggest Environmental Crime in History
151 Even US army generals assigned to "climate change strategy" are going around giving presentations about how the military should pay attention to its "carbon bootprint".
152 One proponent heralds “the emergence of a "forest economy" based on the knowledge of indigenous forest dwellers, cutting-edge science, and compensation for the ecosystem services provided by the Amazon as a living entity.”
153 Scientific American: “Global Warming: Beyond the Tipping Point"
154 Kari Oca Declaration
155 Tom B. K. Goldtooth, Director of Indigenous Environmental Network

156 Ibid. 157New York Times “Flooded Village Files Suit, Citing Corporate Link to Climate Change
158 Nersessian, David, “Rethinking Cultural Genocide under International Law
159 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Workshop: Effects of Climate Change on Indigenous Peoples - A Pacific Presentation, Fiu Mataese Elisara, Executive Director, OLSSI, Samoa,

Interesting Articles on pro-REDD “conservation”

  • NGOs: Controversial deal between US-based conservation NGOs and polluting industry slammed REDD-Monitor
  • Environmental Defense office invaded in eco-protest against carbon trade REDD-Monitor
  • Nature Conservancy role in World Bank REDD initiative highlights growing US NGO isolation on forests and climate policy | REDD-Monitor
  • Conservation International shock advert adds to confusion about REDD | REDD-Monitor
A Word about Liability and REDD as an “Alternative” to Oil Extraction & Mining: Indigenous Peoples could lose their land or other forms of collateral and/or have to reimburse carbon traders with money if a REDD project fails, for example, if there is a natural ecological or climate change-related disaster, drought, forest fire, hurricane or if trees die from a pest or plague. For the FACE/PROFAFOR carbon forestry project in Ecuador, the 25 to 99 year contracts stipulated that the communities had to plant trees as many times as necessary in case of forest fires and pay 300% what they had received if they broke the contract.160 Sociobosque, the Ecuadorian Government’s REDD program, DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT OIL EXTRACTION AND MINING will not be done, is funded in part by USAID, has already created divisions amongst Indigenous Peoples and may undermine collective land tenure.161
160 Bonilla, Nathalia, ACCION ECOLOGICA, “Socio Bosque: Puntal de la Venta de la Natureleza” en “Biodiversidad” magazine. Forthcoming: October 2009
161 Ibid,

162 UN-REDD Framework Document, , p. 4-5 A Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP) Policy Brief, Based on the report “Making REDD Work for the Poor”, (Peskett et al, 2008) PEP includes UNDP, UNEP, IUCN, OCI, SIDA, ADB, DFID, WCMC
163 For footnotes and complete textual citations of UN documents :See Earth Peoples REDD Brochure GRAPHIC: Riki Watzka
Can REDD be Fixed?

That recipe sweeps the whole issue under the rug, validating the carbon market paradigm of buying and selling permits to pollute more.

  • Many countries do not even recognize the existence of Indigenous Peoples - let alone their rights. National efforts to legislate and implement FPIC and UNDRIP may take years or decades to achieve and, in some cases, may never happen. So, saying that FPIC and UNDRIP will protect indigenous peoples is not entirely true.
  • Neither FPIC nor UNDRIP are considered legally binding by the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC164 nor by any state except Bolivia. The right to FPIC has already been violated in pilot projects (in Papua New Guinea, for example) and in R-PINs in several countries.165
  • UNDRIP is for defending Indigenous Peoples not for justifying the corruption of the Sacred.

REDD’s Fundamental Flaws and Environmental Nightmares
Remember REDD rewards forest destroyers, its fundamental concept is irremediably flawed and there is no political will to correct it. Furthermore, the definition of forests includes monoculture tree plantations; there is no mention of ‘forest protection” in the negotiating text and there are compounded perverse incentives for clear cutting or burning forests (i.e. REDD-plus with biochar, “sustainable forest management” and “temporarily unstocked carbon”). And let us not forget that GMO trees are acceptable, too! Not to mention the fraud, corruption, militarization and the role of organized crime predicted by Interpol. (Gangsta REDD)

Can REDD work outside the carbon market?
Fund-based approaches may be a tiny percentage of REDD, not economically competitive166 or even linked to polluters. For example, the manager of the billion-dollar Amazon Fund is the Brazilian Development Bank167 which funds projects that cause devastating deforestation in the Amazon. Fund-based approaches may also serve as window dressing and a pretty poster child for the massive land grab of market-based REDD. Non-market projects should use another name to avoid green washing REDD, which, fittingly, is the color of blood.

164 In response to a question from an Indigenous Representative of the Assembly of First Nations, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Yvo de Boer, in a meeting with civil society during SBSTA 30 in June 2009 in Bonn, read a previously prepared statement that clearly stated that the UNFCCC Copenhagen Deal will not be bound by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples because it is not a legally binding instrument.
165 REDD-Monitor; See lack of meaningful consultation on R-PINs in Suriname, Indonesia, Liberia and Panama
166Voluntary markets are much smaller in scale.” PEP
167 “The Amazon Fund is managed by the BNDES.”
GRAPHIC: Earth Peoples
Wake up and Smell the Emissions

168 See previous pages on the economics of REDD. PHOTO:: Indigenous Resistance in Peru, 2009 (AMAZON WATCH)
169 Lohmann, Larry: “Carbon Trading: Climate , Privatization and Power"
170 Business Spectator: The Green Gold Rush
171 WAHLI –FOE Indonesia REDD Wrong Path: Pathetic Ecobusiness
172 Paragraph 6 of the Declaration of Anchorage
173 Closing Plenary Statement, International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change, COP14, Poznan, Poland, 12 December 2008
First Indigenous Peoples' Statement on REDD

174 International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples on the Tropical Forests

175 Declaration of Anchorage, paragraph 6, Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change,
Indigenous Peoples Reject REDD

176 Resolutions of the First Congress of Women of the CONAIE, paragraph 12, August 30, 2009
177Indigenous Peoples in Ecuador Reject REDD
178 Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, September 2009.
Global Temperature Chart

To REALLY Reduce Deforestation:

  • Demarcate and title Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories where most forests and 80% of the world’s biodiversity are found because Indigenous Peoples have sustainably managed them for millennia!
  • Declare and enforce bans on deforestation
  • Address the underlying causes of deforestation
  • Stop large-scale monoculture tree plantations and agrofuels production
  • Reduce demand for pulp and paper and restructure the logging industry
  • Declare moratoria on new fossil fuel exploitation, mega-hydro dams and metal and mineral extraction on Indigenous Peoples’ traditional lands and territories
  • Support non-market financial mechanisms for the full phase-out of fossil fuels development within and near traditional lands and territories of Indigenous Peoples, without nuclear power, with a just transition to sustainable jobs, energy and environment.

179 Reuters
UN Admits REDD Threatens Indigenous Peoples

180 Huntington News change.html

To read UN-REDD Framework Document:

To see photos from the protest against REDD and the World Bank in Bali:

To watch video from the protest against REDD at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: