By Indigenous Environmental Network
May 18, 2016
NEW 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 1,500 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,” said 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.
Tom BK Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, + 1 218 760 0442, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alberto Saldamando, human rights lawyer, + 1 415 656 9198 (English/Spanish)
Juan Antonio Correa Calfin, Mapuche leader, Chile email@example.com (Español)