24 September, 2012

During a week of open public forums, community groups, academics, and civil society organizations will gather in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, to analyze REDD+  and its orientation toward privatizing forests and jungles.

Photo Credit: urbanhabitat.org
Photo Credit: urbanhabitat.org

From September 25-28, 2012, sub national governments from six countries will arrive in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México, to advance policies of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), a shadow program with which they hope to privatize tropical forests under the pretext of the climate crisis. The 17 state or provincial governments expected to participate are: Chiapas and Campeche in México; Aceh, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Papua and West Papua in Indonesia; Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Pará in Brasil; California and Illinois in the United States; Madre de Dios in Perú; and Cross River State in Nigeria.

These governments are laying plans to advance, by way of this shadow mechanism, the privatization of Mother Earth, in order to appropriate her resources and services under the guise of aggressive conservation programs; to elevate the unsustainable production of biofuels, with all of their destructive impacts; and to fragment our cultures and community organizations, the primary historic barriers to capital in our forests and jungles. All of this comes clothed in the concept of the “green economy”.

Under the REDD+ program, the rights of Indigenous Peoples are not respected or taken into account. Indigenous communities who have lived in and stewarded forests for centuries are now shouldered with the responsibility for capturing the carbon dioxide emitted by industrialized countries. At the same time, if they interfere in the protection of forests identied as REDD+ project areas, whether by collecting firewood or harvesting medicinal plants or other forest products, they are criminalized

We consider REDD+ to be a false solution to the climate crisis that enables the countries of the North to continue polluting at the cost of the further impoverishment of peasant farmers and Indigenous Peoples, and their expulsion from their lands and territories. We recognize the principle cause of the climate crisis and the destruction of Mother Earth to be the globalized market economy. History has made clear that the primary effect of capital has been the destruction of our natural commons and our cultures. We therefore reject market mechanism such as REDD+.

REDD+ considers monocultures of African palm, jatropha, and eucalyptus to be equivalent to forests or jungles for purposes of absorbing industrial carbon emissions; therefore their cultivation is encouraged under REDD+ programs. We strongly condemn this approach, not only because industrial tree plantations are ‘green deserts’ devoid of biodiversity, but also because their demand for water and agrochemicals causes grave environmental and health problems. The economic benefits of biofuel and cellulose plantations go directly into the coffers of large multinational companies.

Further, we believe that the promotion of REDD+ in biodiverse regions such as the Lacandon Jungle serves to mask the interests of large pharmaceutical companies to patent genetic resources. Significant investments have already been made toward these ends.

United Nations and private REDD+ initiatives are formally tied to global discussions on climate change. But REDD+  agreements are also increasingly being promoted between sub national governments, such as the agreement between the states of Chiapas, Acre, and California signed in 2010, two weeks before the United Nations COP 16 Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancún, México.

In light of these concerns, REDDeldia calls on the public to attend a series of conferences, videos, and discussions on September 25th, 26th and 27th from 17:30 to 20:30, at Café Museo, María Adelina Flores No. 10. Representatives from impacted communities in the region of Amador Hernández in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas, as well as organizations from Brazil, Guatemala and the United States will present a broad analysis of the national and international implications of REDD+ as a new form of privatizing and commercializing nature.

For more information: reddeldia.blogspot.mx

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