By Brenda Norrell
Photo by Jihan Gearon/IEN
Photo by Jihan Gearon/IEN
BALI, Indonesia -- Navajo and Mohawk representatives of the Indigenous Environmental Network are now in Bali at the 13th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).Jihan Gearon, Dine’ Navajo Nation, IEN energy & climate campaign organizer and Benjamin Powless, Mohawk, Six Nations, Ontario, Canada, IEN youth representative, are gathered with other Indigenous Peoples and taking on the world's super powers and carbon scam.
Gearon, writing from Bali, said, "What I am saying is that Indigenous People need a much bigger and better seat at the table. Our communities and livelihoods are the first affected by climate change. We are also the most affected by the unsustainable solutions being proposed to solve climate change – nuclear power, clean coal, carbon sequestration, reforestation, carbon trading, etc, etc, etc. Yet, instead of having real input in the UNFCCC process, we have to spend our time picking through words. And while we’re busy doing that, those people who want to sacrifice us to put some dollars in their pockets, make the decisions."This past September 13th, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which protects the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their lands, territories and environment. Yet through the faulty process and false climate change solutions of the UNFCCC, it’s these fundamental human rights that are being violated."The Indigenous Peoples here in Bali are asking the UN to live up to their words, to listen to us, and to stop with the false solutions that devastate our lands, threaten our ways of life, and deny our human rights."
Tom Goldtooth, IEN executive director said, said Gearon arrived this past weekend, while Powless has been there since the week before. The UNFCCC climate meeting ends Friday. Both Gearon and Powless are helping the Indigenous Peoples Caucus draft the final intervention on Friday. IEN is working with the Environmental Justice Climate Change (EJCC.) Gearon's reflections are at this site:http://climatejusticenow.wordpress.com/
WORLD BANK HANDS OFF FORESTS
December 10, 2007BALI (INDONESIA) -- Environmental groups at the United Nations climate talks in Bali today urged governments to reject a new World Bank initiative promoting the inclusion of forests in carbon markets.The World Bank initiative, known as the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is set to be launched on Tuesday 11th December in Bali as part ofthe discussions on Reducing Emissions through Deforestation in Developing countries(REDD).The initiative, which would allow tropical forests to be included in carbon offsetting schemes, fails to combat climate change, the groups said, because it allows industrialised countries and companies to buy their way out of emissions’ reductions.Between 18-20 percent of annual global carbon emissions are caused by deforestation, and Indonesia is the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter as a result of deforestation.The World Bank has a particularly appalling track record in relation to funding forests and carbon projects, not least because it provides substantial funding to oil, gas and mining projects; and as a broker, has a vested interest in promoting carbon trading.Its planned Forest Carbon Partnership Facility would have serious negative social and environmental impacts, the groups said.Torry Kuswardhono, Energy Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Indonesia(WALHI) said, “Carbon offsetting is extremely unfair. Forests provide livelihoods for over one billion Indigenous and other forests peoples. Wealthy companies and countries are able to buy the right to continue to pollute, while poor communities in developing countries can find themselves locked into unfavourable, long-term commercial contracts over forest management."Sandy Gauntlett, Pacific focal point of the Global Forest Coalition and chairman of the Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition, said, “Indigenous Peoples and local communities will bear the real costs of forest-related climate mitigation projects based on carbon finance because they will increase the pressure on their lands and territories and undermine land rights claims. With this proposal, the World Bank is violating the principle of Prior Informed Consent, which is enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Peoples should not just be consulted on this facility. Without their full and prior informed consent this facility should be disbanded.”World Rainforest Movement spokesperson Ana Filipini said, “Carbon finance mechanisms in developing countries result in forests or sold off to large corporations who hope to acquire profitable 'carbon credits’ associated with those forests at some point inthe future. The current proposals are set to reward logging and palm oil corporations and countries with high deforestation rates whilst undermining Indigenous Peoples’ and other forest-dependent communities’rights, in particular those of women.”Some of the genuine and urgent measures needed to address the deforestation problem include:1) Giving the highest priority to halting the development, production and trade of agrofuels, and suspend all targets and other incentives, including subsidies, carbon offsets and public and private finance related to the development and production of agrofuels.2) Keeping tropical forests out of carbon finance mechanisms, which are unpredictable, inequitable and discourage the reduction of emissions at source. This includes keeping forests out of the Clean Development Mechanism and all carbon trading initiatives; and rejecting the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).3) Redirect the very substantial amounts of public funds, tax exemption sand other forms of subsidies currently provided to the fossil fuel and agrofuels industries, into avoided deforestation assistance funds, the effective promotion of public transport and the development of solar, wind, geothermal, wave and energy efficiency industries.4) Strengthen weak forest conservation policies and institutions, encouraging bans or moratoria on industrial logging and forest conversion, and addressing corruption and lack of enforcement.
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