RSS

Indigenous people call for suspension REDD-projects

09 Dec

The International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IFIPCC) has urged the UN Climate Summit in Poland to suspend all REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) projects, until the rights of indigenous peoples are guaranteed.

The Forum also called for the creation of an Expert Group on Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to ensure that their rights and concerns are taken into account in the UNFCCC processes.
“While we are very happy that governments are seemingly supportive of our rights, we are dismayed at the slow progress of adopting a mechanism that ensures our participation at the UNFCCC,” says Pashuram Tamang, chairperson of IIPFCC. “This is especially in view of the developments related to REDD.”

The International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IFIPCC) has demanded that the UN Climate Summit in Poland should suspend all REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) projects, until the rights of indigenous peoples are guaranteed.
The Forum also called for the creation of an Expert Group on Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to ensure that their rights and concerns are taken into account in the UNFCCC processes.
“While we are very happy that governments are seemingly supportive of our rights, we are dismayed at the slow progress of adopting a mechanism that ensures our participation at the UNFCCC,” says Pashuram Tamang, chairperson of IIPFCC. “This is especially in view of the developments related to REDD.”

The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) also delivered a statement to Yvo De Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, in which it called for urgent action to reduce deforestation and for a new international agreement for a REDD mechanism that would reduce emissions and also protect the rights of and provide benefits to people who depend on forests for their livelihoods.

Talks on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries started at COP 11 in Montreal in 2005, with a proposal on the issue by Papua-New Guinea and Costa Rica. Parties recognized the importance of the issue in relation to addressing climate change, particularly in light of the large contribution of deforestation activities in developing countries to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries is now a central issue in COP 14, given that deforestation contributes up to 20% of global CO2 emissions. Developing countries want to include REDD as a new mechanism in the post-Kyoto agreement that will frame a new international climate treaty after 2012. However, the issue of REDD remains problematic for indigenous people.

The IFIPCC says indigenous peoples see the current lack of a formal consultative process for them within the climate change negotiations as evidence that REDD will be contrary to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007. “We are especially amazed that these parties who now do not want us to participate in the UNFCCC are the same parties that have adopted a document that clearly recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples,” says Adam Kulet Ole Mwarabu, a delegate from Tanzania.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UPFI) does not think the parties at the conference will discuss the IFIPCC statement in the negotiations. So UPFI will take the UN declaration as a framework to address climate change in the Convention.
“If they talk about forests, then they have to recognize our rights,” she said. “At least then the rights issue is discussed in the negotiations. Until now the UNFCCC is only technical. It does not have a human face. The parties don’t talk about the most vulnerable people.”

Forest Value

Max Ooft, technical assistant of the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal People of the Tropical Forest, agrees that the UNFCCC needs to include indigenous people, because they too feel the effects of climate change.
“Indigenous people also suffer from floods and droughts in the forests where they live,“he says.”Crops which are not resistant against climate change could die out; certain shifts in animal populations are already palpable. Indigenous people are most affected, because they depend directly on nature. Therefore our point of view has always been that indigenous people have to participate directly in the negotiations.”

Ooft says forests are now high on the agenda of the UNFCCC because they have the ability to absorb CO2. He thinks it is a disadvantage that forests are commercialized.
“People just look at the economic value of forests. In the past they were only for logging, but now one sees that logging is not the only way to make money out of the forests. From an indigenous view we say that you cannot look at their economic value alone, because they have more value than that. You cannot see them as separate from the lives and culture of indigenous people. They also have spiritual, medical and food value. These aspects must be taken into consideration,” says Ooft. ` He emphasizes that one of the important issues is the question of who owns the forests and who takes the decisions. “Until now it is governments who decide on forests, but indigenous people always said let’s talk about land rights first. It is indigenous people who first inhabited the land, and they have the right to the areas where they have lived for centuries.”
Some countries have already recognized the land rights of their indigenous people. Bolivia for example has adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as part of its national law.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 9, 2008 in Caribisch Gebied

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: