FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2022
Contact: Jennifer K. Falcon, Indigenous Environmental Network, firstname.lastname@example.org
Asia / Europe press conference recording(English and French):
– English version: https://youtu.be/smvZOcAQFKc
– French version: https://youtu.be/d7OkDFtCMgg
Americas press conference recording (English and Portuguese) https://drive.google.com/file/
Press Conference Ahead of United Nations Convention on Biodiversity Uplifts Global Indigenous Voices Exposing Harmful “Natuure-Based Dispossessions”
Yesterday, global Indigenous communities held a press conference ahead of the United Nations’ Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) talks in Geneva on a Global Biodiversity Framework to halt biodiversity loss. The concept of “nature-based solutions” is expected to be a controversial issue at the talks, with some governments pushing for it while many governments from the global South are concerned about more loopholes for carbon offsets. An IPCC report due to be released later this month is likely to lend more unwarranted credence to the “nature-based solutions” concept, as the UN climate COP26 talks in Glasgow did.
The Americas press conference facilitated by Jutta Kill of the World Rainforest Movement featured Ninawa Huni Kui, Chief of Huni Kui Peoples of the Amazon, Mardy Townsend, National Family Farmers Coalition, Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Direction of the Indigneous Environmental Network, Bren,t Newell, Offices of Brent Newell.
“We have examples of these creations, of these legal frame works in 2010. It was the start of the legalization of neocolonialism via offsets and nature based solutions. There was a bill in the state house which was law 20308 of 2010, the first action was to use bad faith to create a bill that did not have the participation in its formulation of traditional Indigenous communities.” said Chief Ninawa hereditary Chief of the Huni Kui Indigenous people of the Amazon on the press conference. “The intention of these governments is not to solve the climate problem of the world. It’s just geared to the financial aspect. We know that nature does not depend on us as humans, we depend on her. But we do not know how to look after her probably. People ask me what is the true solution? I say for the Amazon region its the demarkation of Indigenous land, to give the territory back to the peoples. Thats the real solution but government and banks have no interest because it will not create revenue for the corporations. To take out timber, to take out forest, to take out oil and gas– that generates revenue but land returned, no. The false solutions are clear to our eyes. The same company taking out offsets, is the same corporation destroying nature.”
The press conference was to highlight a statement released by 364 organizations, networks and movements and 128 individuals from 69 countries expose these “nature-based dispossessions”, warning of harmful practices such as the expansion of monoculture tree plantations and industrial agriculture lurking behind the “nature-based solutions” marketing/greenwashing ploy. They call for a rejection of “nature-based solutions”, because these carbon offset schemes in disguise are not designed to slow climate breakdown. Rather, “nature-based solutions” are a means for corporations to continue, and even increase, their greenhouse gas emissions.
“Nature-based solutions” promotes the illusion that plants and soils can undo the climate damage caused by carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning. This is a dangerous deception and provides window dressing for “net-zero” pledges from governments and corporations. Instead of agreeing on the drastic emissions reductions needed to prevent climate chaos, they make false, inaccurate claims that “nature” will remove enough excess carbon from the atmosphere to avert catastrophe.
These are just three of the many corporate net-zero pledges that will cause unspeakable harm to peoples and territories in the global South. The reality is that corporate demand for “nature-based solutions” will enclose living spaces of Indigenous Peoples, peasants and forest-dependent communities on a massive scale.
To avert catastrophic climate chaos and biodiversity loss, the destruction of underground fossil carbon stores must be stopped and frontline communities must be supported and protected. “Nature-based solutions” must be halted in its tracks. They are dangerous distractions from ending fossil fuel burning, and will result in massive land grabs aimed at dispossessing Indigenous Peoples and rural communities in the global South.
No to the dangerous deception of “nature-based solutions”!
Statement Quotes :
Tom BK Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network: “Nature-based solutions is dangerous for Indigenous Peoples.” “Under the umbrella of net-zero emissions targets the private sector corporations, the UN and governments are using it to push for more land-based offsets for a global carbon pricing system. “Nature-based solutions” has Big Ag, Big Oil and Big Pharma behind it. We are seeing a huge push for policies that falsely claim to save Mother Earth – the planet. The reality will be more land grabbing from Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories.”
Silvia Ribeiro, Latin America Director for ETC group: “The umbrella term of NBS is functioning effectively to greenwash and expand profit-making opportunities – so the number of corporate ‘NBS pledges’ has exploded. But there simply isn’t enough nature to go round, so companies are pushing also for technological means of “enhancing” nature, such as huge bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) projects and other geoengineering technologies.”
Shalmali Guttal, Focus on the Global South: “Nature-based solutions” are solutions only for corporations, that are constantly looking for more ways to make profits regardless of their impacts on people and the planet. These are dangerous deceptions that will lead to large scale dispossessions of rural peoples, and increase conflicts over land and territories between rural communities and states. ‘Net zero’ is a cynical corporate calculus to produce bogus data and fool the world that destructive corporate operations can be offset somehow. We have to join forces across the world to dismantle corporate power, and halt their continuing attempts to extract value from nature and people.”
Kirtana Chandrasekaran, Friends of the Earth International: “In crucial Convention on Biological Diversity meetings this week, “nature-based solutions” is being presented as necessary for biodiversity, but really, all NBS does is use nature to offset ever-growing carbon emissions, at the expense of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, who are biodiversity’s true custodians. Commercializing biodiversity and offsetting are not the answer to the climate or biodiversity crises. Corporations and governments must cut carbon emission at source, rather than use NBS for greenwashing.”
Henk Hobbelink, GRAIN: “If we let big oil, agribusiness and other giant corporations offset their emissions with what they call “nature based solutions”, we will not only allow them to continue polluting the atmosphere but also to create a giant new farmland grab at the cost of small-scale farmers and global food production. We need to promote food sovereignty instead, which is the best way to keep farmers on their land while fighting the climate crisis.”
Soumya Dutta, India Climate Justice / South Asian People’s Action on Climate Crisis / Friends of the Earth India: “Agricultural soil carbon sequestration projects such as the ‘Boomitra’ controlled project in India are false solutions to the climate change crisis. They let polluting corporations and countries continue with high emissions in return for carbon market money. They put the data of millions of small farmers in the hands of big corporations, through their micro surveillance, exposing small farmers to more control from big agri-corporations. This will have serious adverse consequences for food sovereignty.”
Jutta Kill, World Rainforest Movement: “The beautiful sound of “nature-based solutions” is deceitful. “Nature-based solutions” is REDD re-branded and expanded. For 15 years now, REDD has distracted from ending large-scale deforestation and provided cover for fossil fuel companies to keep on destroying underground carbon deposits. “Nature-based solutions” will result in the same conflicts, land grabs as REDD has done the past 15 years and fuel, not slow climate breakdown and deforestation.”
Notes for editors:
The full statement is available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Bahasa Indonesia:
Statement in English: https://bit.ly/3hFoYDe
Declaración en español: https://bit.ly/35otbZv
Déclaration en français : https://bit.ly/3vISShY
Declaração em português: https://bit.ly/3Mnpgwz
Pernyataan dalam bahasa Indonesia: https://bit.ly/3IMDsgy
1) ENI’s offsetting pledge: https://www.eni.com/en-IT/low-
2) Nestlé’s offsetting pledge: https://www.nestle.com/ask-
3) Reference for the Shell, BP, Eni, Total: https://www.foei.org/wp-
4) Links to video and photos:
Video: Communities from Gabon call for suspension of Grande Mayumba NbS project