Monday, December 10, 2007

Indigenous Peoples barred from UN Climate Negotiations in Bali

Indigenous Peoples Protest UNFCCC
Indigenous Peoples shut out of Climate Change Negotiations

By Indigenous Environment Network

PHOTOS BY: Benjamin Powless, Mohawk, Six Nations, Ontario, Canada
IEN Indigenous Youth Network representative

NUSA DUA, Bali, Indonesia- Indigenous peoples representing regions from around the world protested outside the climate negotiations today wearing symbolic gags that read UNFCCC, the acronym of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, symbolizing their systematic exclusion from the UN meeting.Yesterday a delegation of indigenous peoples was forcibly barred from entering the meeting between UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer and civil society representatives, despite the fact that the indigenous delegation was invited to attend. This act is representative of the systematic exclusion of indigenous peoples in the UNFCCC process."There is no seat or name plate for indigenous peoples in the plenary, nor for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the highest level body in the United Nations that addresses indigenous peoples rights," stated Hubertus Samangun, the Focal Point of the Indigenous Peoples delegation to the UNFCCC and the Focal Point for English Speaking Indigenous Peoples of the Global Forest Coalition."Indigenous peoples are not only marginalized from the discussion, but there is virtually no mention of indigenous peoples in the more that 5 million words of UNFCCC documents," argued Alfred Ilenre of the Edo People of Nigeria.This is occurring despite the fact that indigenous peoples are suffering the most from climate change and climate change mitigation projects that directly impact their lands.Indigenous peoples are here in Bali to denounce the false solutions to climate change proposed by the United Nations such as carbon trading, agrofuels and so-called "avoided deforestation" that devastate their lands and cause human rights violations."This process has become nothing but developed countries avoiding their responsibilities to cut emissions and pushing the responsibility onto developing countries," stated Fiu Mata'ese Elisara-Laula, of the O Le Siosiomaga Society of Samoa. "Projects like REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries) sound very nice but they are trashing our indigenous lands. People are being relocated and even killed; my own people will soon be under water. That's why I call the money from the projects blood money," he added.Marcial Arias of the Kuna People of Panama reminded the international community that indigenous peoples' right to participate was recognized in the Earth Summit in 1992 and reaffirmed this year. "On September 13th of this year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [1] which enshrines the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples to their lands, territories and environment. It is precisely these rights recognized by the UN itself that the UNFCCC is violating," he explained.
Friends of the Earth International World Rainforest Movement Global Forest Coalition

December 10, 2007

BALI (INDONESIA), Dec. 10, 2007 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 off setting schemes, fails to combat climate change, the groupssaid, 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 negativesocial 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 offorest-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 being transferred or sold off to large corporations who hope to acquire profitable ‘carbon credits’ associated with those forests at some point in the 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 atsource. 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 moratorium on industrial logging and forest conversion, and addressing corruption and lack of enforcement.FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:IN BALI:Joseph Zacune, Friends of the Earth International climate coordinator,Indonesian mobile number +62.813.3896995 (dec 1-14 only)Sandy Gauntlett, Oceania focal point, Global Forest Coalition andchairperson of the Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition, +62-813-38938574 or email sandyoceania@yahoo.comTorry Kuswardhono, Energy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Indonesia(WALHI): +62- 811383270 or email torry@walhi.or.idFay, media officer, WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) , Indonesianmobile number +62 815 8070717Contact:Hubertus Samangun, Indigenous Focal Point to the UNFCCCOrin Langelle, Global Forest Coalition Media CoordinatorTom B.K. GoldtoothExecutive Director Indigenous Environmental NetworkPO Box 485 Bemidji, MN 56619 USAEmail: ien@igc.orgWeb:

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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