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NOTE: The No REDD in Africa has documented that the forced relocation of the Sengwer People from the Cherengany Hills in Kenya is linked to World Bank REDD; threatens the cultural survival of this Indigenous People; and proves the urgency of canceling REDD.

Since December 2013, REDD-Monitor has been following the evictions of the Sengwer indigenous people who live in the Cherangany Hills. The evictions have been going on for many years, at the hands of armed Kenya Forest Service guards, who have evicted the Sengwer and burned down their homes.

In March 2015, a meeting took place in Eldoret, organised by the World Bank and Kenya’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. The meeting aimed to find a positive way forward following years of evictions from Kenya’s forested areas.

The Sengwer were one of the indigenous peoples represented at the meeting in Eldoret. But just before the meeting started, the Sengwer released a statement describing how the Kenya Forest Service had started a new wave evictions and had burned down more than 30 houses.

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By Ed King

One of the key elements for a global climate deal was unexpectedly resolved in Bonn on Tuesday, with governments signing off on plans for a UN-backed forest protection scheme.

Envoys told RTCC of their surprise at the agreement, which will see the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme form part of a Paris pact in December.

“It was successful… we all got a little of what we wanted,” said Ghana negotiator Yaw Osafo, who represented the Africa group at the meeting.

A US official in Bonn said the draft text, which will be formally agreed in Paris, was a big moment for efforts to slow deforestation and protect regions holding vast stores of carbon.

“It is big. It has been ten years of work. It concludes all of guidance around a really important issue which is how you reduce emissions from forests in developing countries,” she told RTCC, speaking in a background briefing.

One major issue was the “non-carbon benefits” generated from protecting forests, said Osafo, which include the protection of indigenous peoples and valuable ecosystems.

Many communities have complained of forest carbon initiatives which failed to consult or at worst displaced villages and in some cases did not share revenues with locals.

In Africa, where forest degradation is a bigger problem than industrial scale logging, this meant initiatives needed to be better coordinated with local communities, said Osafo.

In another well documented case, a Panama forest tribe engaged in a year-long campaign against REDD+, which it said ignored their rights and effectively sold off their traditional lands to outside investors.

- See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2015/06/10/un-finalises-forest-protection-initiative-at-bonn-climate-talks/#sthash.bdFLmSs4.dpuf

One of the key elements for a global climate deal was unexpectedly resolved in Bonn on Tuesday, with governments signing off on plans for a UN-backed forest protection scheme.

Envoys told RTCC of their surprise at the agreement, which will see the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme form part of a Paris pact in December.

“It was successful… we all got a little of what we wanted,” said Ghana negotiator Yaw Osafo, who represented the Africa group at the meeting.

A US official in Bonn said the draft text, which will be formally agreed in Paris, was a big moment for efforts to slow deforestation and protect regions holding vast stores of carbon.

“It is big. It has been ten years of work. It concludes all of guidance around a really important issue which is how you reduce emissions from forests in developing countries,” she told RTCC, speaking in a background briefing.

One major issue was the “non-carbon benefits” generated from protecting forests, said Osafo, which include the protection of indigenous peoples and valuable ecosystems.

Many communities have complained of forest carbon initiatives which failed to consult or at worst displaced villages and in some cases did not share revenues with locals.

In Africa, where forest degradation is a bigger problem than industrial scale logging, this meant initiatives needed to be better coordinated with local communities, said Osafo.

In another well documented case, a Panama forest tribe engaged in a year-long campaign against REDD+, which it said ignored their rights and effectively sold off their traditional lands to outside investors.

- See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2015/06/10/un-finalises-forest-protection-initiative-at-bonn-climate-talks/#sthash.bdFLmSs4.d

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By Ed King

One of the key elements for a global climate deal was unexpectedly resolved in Bonn on Tuesday, with governments signing off on plans for a UN-backed forest protection scheme.

Envoys told RTCC of their surprise at the agreement, which will see the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme form part of a Paris pact in December.

“It was successful… we all got a little of what we wanted,” said Ghana negotiator Yaw Osafo, who represented the Africa group at the meeting.

A US official in Bonn said the draft text, which will be formally agreed in Paris, was a big moment for efforts to slow deforestation and protect regions holding vast stores of carbon.

“It is big. It has been ten years of work. It concludes all of guidance around a really important issue which is how you reduce emissions from forests in developing countries,” she told RTCC, speaking in a background briefing.

One major issue was the “non-carbon benefits” generated from protecting forests, said Osafo, which include the protection of indigenous peoples and valuable ecosystems.

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On 9 April 2015, the Brazilian Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) approved the commercial use of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees. This is the first approval of GE trees in Latin America. The application came from FuturaGene, a subsidiary of pulp and paper company, Suzano.

Paulo Pase de Andrade works in the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco. Until September 2012, he was a member of CTNBio. The day before CTNBio approved the release of GE eucalyptus, he wrote to the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, explaining that the decision had already been taken – the CTNBio meeting the following day was a technicality.

The CTNBio decision, Andrade explained, was based solely on the biological risks of GE eucalyptus. Andrade also sent a 23-page risk assessment (in Portuguese) of GE eucalyptus that he co-authored.

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In 2012, after the Suruí Forest Carbon Project was validated by the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard, this was “pathbreaking news for the project … and the progress of REDD worldwide,” according to Forest Trends.

But last week, Suruí chiefs and leaders travelled to Brasília for meetings with the Federal Public Ministry and the president of the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI). Their demand was simple: the immediate suspension of the carbon project.

Below are translations of two articles about the Suruí’s meetings in Brasilia from CIMI (the Indigenous Missionary Council).

This is the fifth in a series of posts on REDD-Monitor about the Suruí Forest Carbon Project. Here are links to the previous posts:

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* Nnimmo Bassey is a co-founder of NO REDD in Africa Network

The mass walkout of the 19th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Warsaw by civil society groups and movements rekindled the hope that the Voice of the Streets would find a space in the battle to save the planet from the unfolding global burning. The walkout was an expression of disgust at the way the climate negotiations have become little more than an arena for trading in hot air, a carbon stock exchange. The need for deep emissions cut has been clearly shown by science.

The mass walkout of the 19th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Warsaw by civil society groups and movements rekindled the hope that the Voice of the Streets would find a space in the battle to save the planet from the unfolding global burning. The walkout was an expression of disgust at the way the climate negotiations have become little more than an arena for trading in hot air, a carbon stock exchange. The need for deep emissions cut has been clearly shown by science. It is also known that global warming is not a matter of speculation but a reality. The carbon budget has been calculated and the level of emissions to be cut is known. Still, negotiation arenas remain places for fiddling while Rome burns. 

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By: Salena Tramel

"There is no excuse to turn nature into a commodity," said Tom Goldtooth, director of the U.S. and Canada-based Indigenous Environmental Network, a close ally of Via Campesina. Both groups are strongly opposed to REDD and work together in spaces such as the No REDD in Africa Network. Goldtooth spoke powerfully at the Peoples Summit in Lima, warning against the interconnected nature of imperialism, militarization, and market-dependent strategies. "We reject the WTO of the sky," he concluded.

new report by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indisputably confirms what many scientists had predicted: 2014 is officially the hottest year on record. And this past year is not an anomaly -- the previous 10 hottest years on the books have all occurred since 1998. This announcement adds to the urgency expressed just last month in Lima, where political leaders and business tycoons from around the world met for the 20th yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The gathering in Peru was historic in that it was the last time the decision-making body would meet before COP 21 in Paris next December, where an international and legally binding agreement on climate will be signed.

However, growing movements of those on the frontlines of climate disruption argue that the high-level political remedies touted at venues such as the COP amount to false promises and leave out marginalized voices. Via Campesina is perhaps the most prominent of these movements, with more than 250 million peasant, pastoralist, and indigenous members from around the world. Along with allies ranging from labor to environmental networks, Via Campesina organized the Cumbre de los Pueblos (Peoples Summit) in its own grassroots rendition of the COP 20 process in Lima to promote bottom-up solutions to the climate crisis and refute the corporate-driven and exclusionary nature of the official negotiations.

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Read more...The No REDD in Africa Network organized a very successful and well attended workshop in the Peoples' Summit on Climate Change in Lima, Peru to denounce the impacts of REDD-type pilots projects in the continent. Ruth Nyambura of the African Biodiversity Network from Kenya, Asume Osuoka from Social Action of Nigeria and our co-coordinator Nnimmo Bassey of Health of Mother Earth Foundation also from Nigeria were joined by Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network. An article by the indigenous news agency for Latin America Servindi follows in Spanish.

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CP, 8 de diciembre, 2014.- En el marco de las actividades por la Cumbre de los Pueblos, representantes de África condenaron las políticas de Reducción de Emisiones por Deforestación y Degradación de los bosques (REDD) que se ejecutan en sus países.

Asimismo, ellos cuestionaron a organismos como la ONU que, según ellos, sirven a los intereses de las grandes empresas petroleras y mineras.

Ruth Nyambuza, representante de Kenia señaló que las políticas de REDD están terminando con los bosques de su país. Precisó en ese sentido que el propio gobierno actúa en contra de los pueblos, habiendo llegado incluso a quemar espacios habitados por indígenas hace solo unos meses.

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(This article was first published on theguardian)

Thirteen judges meet in Peru to hear accusations that the rights of ‘Mother Earth’ are being violated

Read more...It’s difficult to know what was more moving or arresting. There was the Ponca lady, Casey Camp-Horinek, starting to cry as she spoke about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, on her people in what she called “occupied” Oklahoma in the US, and saying “We’re having a funeral a week... We’re this close to being fracked to death.”

Then there was Kandi Mossett, from North Dakota, a fracking “victim who wasn’t able to come”. She appeared on the projector and broke down too, telling how “these radioactive frack socks [that are] off the charts on the Geiger counters” are being dumped and found by children who say things like, “Hey, we’re catching bugs with our nets.”

That was right after Shannon Biggs, the executive director of Movement Rights, had explained that fracking in the US is destroying lives, livelihoods, groundwater, rivers, farms, prairies, communities and landscapes, as well as causing “earthquakes where earthquakes don’t exist” and poisoning “millions and millions and millions” of gallons of water that are “taken out of the hydrological cycle forever”.

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Read more...There isn’t a word or phrase in the Kuna language for "carbon trading,” and much less for something as complex as REDD+. Standing for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, REDD+ is the worldwide UN backed climate change mitigation scheme that relies on carbon trading within forest landscapes for funding. And yet, since 2008, the Kuna people have been hearing lots about it and referring to it often in their private conversations.

"It has something to do with the value of our forests to non-Kuna people,” said a young man to me recently, trying to explain REDD+. "I only know that I don’t agree with it.”

A majority of the indigenous Kuna reside on just under 40 of the 365 islands that comprise the San Blas Archipelago in eastern Panama, an area known as Kuna Yala, or 'land of the Kuna.' They depend on fishing, subsistence farming — including crops like banana, coconut and sugar cane — and eco-tourism for their livelihoods. On the mainland the Kuna also possess rights to a vast old-growth coastal forest, which they have managed sustainably and communally for hundreds of years.

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Plight of Kenya's indigenous Sengwer shows carbon offsets are empowering corporate recolonisation of the South
 
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Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 500 million acres of land in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean was acquired or negotiated under deals brokered on behalf of foreign governments or transnational corporations.

Many such deals are geared toward growing crops or biofuels for export to richer, developed countries – with the consequence that small-holder farmers are displaced from their land and lose their livelihood while local communities go hungry.

The concentration of ownership of the world's farmland in the hands of powerful investors and corporations is rapidly accelerating, driven by resource scarcity and, thus, rising prices. According to a new report by the US land rights organisation Grain: "The powerful demands of food and energy industries are shifting farmland and water away from direct local food production to the production of commodities for industrial processing."

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