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Indigenous Peoples denounce at United Nations; Demand Cancellation of REDD+

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2016

Contact:
Tom BK Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, + 1 218 760 0442, ien@igc.org
Alberto Saldamando, human rights lawyer, + 1 415 656 9198 (English/Spanish)
Juan Antonio Correa Calfin, Mapuche leader, Chile  juanantoniocorreacalfin@gmail.com (Español)

Brazilian indigenous Child with No REDD Shield 2New York –A false solution to climate change known as REDD+ causes conflict and is a new form of colonialism and must be immediately canceled, Indigenous Peoples denounced at the United Nations. REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is a carbon offset mechanism that uses Nature as a sponge for greenhouse gas pollution instead of cutting emissions at source.

“The sacred air we breathe is being sold to the highest bidder. We implore the UN to have compassion for humanity and Mother Earth by immediately canceling carbon trading, carbon offsets, and REDD+ projects in or near Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories” said Calfin Lafkenche of the Mapuche Nation in Chile.

“We are here today in the UN to stop the offensive of the Green Economy and its market systems of carbon trading, carbon offsets, the Clean Development Mechanism, and REDD+, which constitute a new form of colonialism and have caused conflicts, forced relocation, threats to the cultural survival and violations of the rights of Indigenous peoples, especially the rights to life, to lands and territories, and to free, prior and informed consent,” said the Mapuche leader.

Over 1500 native leaders are attending the 15th session of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which is addressing conflict and climate today.

“For centuries, Indigenous Peoples have suffered from colonialism and genocide. Now the United Nations itself is promoting false solutions to climate change that imperil the very survival of our peoples and Mother Earth. We are on the frontlines of protracted conflicts with governments and extractive industries that want to steal our land, territories and resources. We are also on the frontlines of climate change and the false solutions to climate change like REDD.  As Guardians of Mother Earth we should be protected and honored not persecuted and threatened with new forms of genocide,” noted Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, of Indigenous Environmental Network.

“To really address the issues of conflict, the UN needs to heal its relation with Mother Earth and stop promoting false solutions to climate change that threaten the survival not only of our peoples but of all of humanity.  The UN’s Paris Agreement on climate does not cut emissions at the source and treats Nature as capital with no real nor effective safeguard mechanisms that could guarantee the prevention of land grabs and the protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples. The Paris Agreement is a crime against humanity and Mother Earth.”

“The Paris Agreement is a trade agreement, nothing more. It promises to privatize, commodify and sell forest and agriculture lands as carbon offsets in fraudulent schemes such as REDD+. These offset scams provide financial laundering mechanisms for developed countries to launder their carbon pollution in the Global South. Case-in-point, the United States’ climate change plan includes 250 million megatons to be absorbed by oceans and forest offset markets. Essentially, those responsible for the climate crisis not only get to buy their way out of compliance but they also get to profit from it as well,” says Alberto Saldamando, human and Indigenous rights expert and attorney with the Indigenous Environmental Network.

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Learn more at: no-redd.com

 

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
UNHQ, New York, May 18, 2016

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

On behalf of the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Indigenous Educational Network of Turtle Island,

I would like to make the following recommendation to stop the offensive of the Green Economy against Indigenous Peoples that is creating new sources of conflict for Indigenous Peoples by commodifying, privatizing and selling the sacred air that we breath, the sky, the forests, the soil, the fields, the wetlands, the mangroves and even the deserts, as well as promoting genetically engineered trees, and greenwashing extractive industries like Shell Oil, Chevron and the Rio Tinto mining company.

The recommendation reads as follows:

  1. The Permanent Forum recognizes that carbon trading, carbon offsets, the Clean Development Mechanism, and REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) even in its pilot phase, constitute a new form of colonialism and  have caused conflicts, forced relocation, threats to the cultural survival and violations of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, consecrated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, especially the rights to life, to lands and territories, and to free, prior and informed consent.
  2. With compassion for humanity and Mother Earth, the Permanent Forum recommends the immediate cancellation of carbon trading, carbon offsets, the Clean Development Mechanism and REDD projects in or near Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories, including those to be implemented under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Convention Framework on Climate Change as “results-based payments” and the emerging Global Market-Based Mechanism, as well as under voluntary carbon markets including under the auspices of the aviation industry.
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