Note from the NRAN: The No REDD in Africa Network expresses our solidarity with the Peoples' Council of Tezulutlan, Guatemala and calls for the cancellation not only of this proposed project but of the Clean Development Mechanism in its entirety and all carbon trading mechanisms including REDD.

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28 May 2014, For immediate release

Guatemala City-Brussels – In a meeting starting today, the Executive Board of the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) will decide whether to approve the Santa Rita Hydroelectric plant in Guatemala. The Peoples´Council of Tezulutlán and Carbon Market Watch call on the Board to reject this project because essential community consultation rules have been violated, tragically resulting in the alleged murders and intimidations of the affected community. 
 

The Santa Rita Hydroelectric Plant (project 9713) is a project under development on the Icbolay River, in the municipality of Cobán, in the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala and currently applying for approval under the UN’s carbon offsetting mechanism. The project is subject to community opposition over its environmental and social impacts and violation of community consultation rights which are at the heart of the Guatemalan Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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(26 March, 2014) La Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth International, Focus on the Global South, World Rainforest Movement and more than 120 organizations from around the world sent a letter to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, in Rome, on the occasion of March 21st, the UN International Day of Forest. The letter demands that the FAO change its present definition of forests. During the coming three months, groups will also present the demand to national and regional FAO offices.

Isaac Rojas, coordinator for forests and biodiversity of Friends of the Earth International notes that “FAO’s forest definition needs to reflect the cultural wealth that forests represent. The present definition only helps to hide this diversity, rather strengthening a set of false solutions and privatization trends, as well as activities that create negative impacts in the communities that depend on forests”.

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March 12, 2014

DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE LETTER HERE

We, the No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN) together with the Sengwer Indigenous Peoples Programme and the undersigned 66 organizations and over 300 individuals, strongly condemn the massive evictions and forced relocation of the Sengwer Indigenous People, one of the few remaining hunter-gatherers of the world, from their ancestral home in Kenya’s Cherangany Hills. The Kenyan government calls the Sengwer People ‘squatters and or Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),’ despite the fact that they and their ancestors have lived in the Cherangany Hills since time immemorial; and that Article (63d) of the Kenyan constitution (2010) grants them inalienable rights to their ancestral lands. 

Sengwer spokesman Yator Kiptum denounced the “disaster” carried out by a combined force of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Administration Police, a paramilitary unit of the police, now evicting the Sengwer, destroying property and burning homes[i]. “The government of Kenya is forcing us into extinction," he said.[ii] According to international human rights law such as the Convention on Genocide, forced relocation of ethnic or racial minorities is a very grave violation and can constitute genocide.

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Press statement – Embargoed until 21 November 00:01 GMT

Edinburgh, November 21 - Today, at the opening of the World Forum on Natural Capital[1] in Edinburgh, 140 organisations from all over the world are releasing a statement to say ‘No to biodiversity offsetting’. The statement was launched in a counter forum on Natural Commons[2] taking place in Edinburgh at the same time.

Biodiversity offsetting is the theory that you can destroy nature in one place, as long as you replace it elsewhere to ensure “no net biodiversity loss”. Not only has this proven unworkable, it puts pressure on community livelihoods. Hannah Mowat from FERN explains why offsetting has had such poor results so far: [3]  “Offsetting treats nature such as forests or rivers as if it were an exchangeable item you buy in the supermarket. Destroying one forest or river with a promise of protecting another fails to recognise that they are part of a wider ecosystem and intrinsic to human and cultural landscapes. Destruction of complex and site specific biodiversity cannot be offset. It is time to be clear that offsetting will not tackle biodiversity loss but may impoverish communities.”[4]

The statement raises concern that offsetting could erode the power of environmental laws to restrict damaging activities. In the UK, offsetting is being used as an excuse to speed up planning laws and remove ‘green tape’.[5]

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December 6, 2013 ● Bali, Indonesia

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We, the undersigned Indigenous Peoples, peasants, fisherfolks, immigrants, women, youth, cooks and civil society of the world gathered in Bali to protest the WTO, know that rice is a sacred staple crop which feeds billions of peoples worldwide. We, who courageously resist efforts to impose the use of genetically modified so-called “Golden Rice” of Monsanto, now unite to defend rice from being used as a part of capitalism of nature and carbon markets - “REDD Rice”.

Since 2007, the United Nations, World Bank and fossil fuel polluters like Shell and Chevron and mining company Rio Tinto, have been pushing a carbon trading regime called REDD1 (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). REDD uses agricultural land, soils, forests and tree plantations as sponges for greenhouse gas emissions. Now these climate polluters want to use rice as an offset for their pollution instead of reducing emissions at source. Market-based solutions for addressing the climate crisis are a false solution.

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