RTNA Statement: Indigenous Peoples Critical of Position on Carbon Trading Protest at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

So it has recently come to RTNA’s attention that-once again-the United Nations has turned a deaf ear to serious issues and concerns formally raised in recent weeks by many of the world’s Indigenous Peoples. True to a 60-plus year-long pattern of denial, high-handedness, and self-serving conflicts of interest-the UN consciously acted to invalidate the legitimate concerns raised by many Indigenous groups when it presented its new adopted position regarding international carbon trading schemes at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

In a press release drafted Friday May 2, 2008 (see below)-Indigenous representatives attending the UNPFII in New York City protested emphatically when they learned that their resounding rejection of the carbon market was ignored completely in the UN’s final report of the 7th Session of the PFII. This report instead trumpeted the disastrous false solutions offerred and funded by the World Bank such as the so-called Clean Development Mechanism-labeling such corporate-profiteering schemes as “good examples” of partnership, even though they have resulted in wholesale ecological destruction, cultural desecration, and rampant human rights abuses the world over.

This forum was created specifically to recognize, promote, and support the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to address the mounting life-or-death ecological and environmental-justice issues that concern all of Life on this planet. Indigenous Peoples from all over the Americas testified wholeheartedly during the 2 weeks of this forum to the chronic injustices of these development schemes, requesting that the forum not promote these projects. Rather than heeding the pleas of its Indigenous constituents, the forum was mutated by the UN into yet another diplomacy circus used to present, impose, and implement neoliberal, neocolonial policies that are designed to appease extractive and development industries (itself an impossible mission) at the expense of the Land, Life, and People of the Earth.

On Friday May 2, 2008, many Indigenous groups-under the name of the Indigenous Caucus of Abya Yala-took the floor to express their concerns. Their statement affirmed that the recommendations of the Permanent Forum do not properly reflect their positions at all. They used the opportunity to affirm their blatant rejection of carbon trading mechanisms, and raised further concerns with a number of specific implementations thereof. Over 30 organizations at the forum called for the final report to include a section outlining their concerns.

RTNA recognizes this inherently destructive pattern as yet more “business-as-usual,” with the UN yet again enthusiastically serving as the global political puppet for multinational extractive and development interests-all united under the greenwashing banner of false solutions and “green” capitalism. This is an outrage, and RTNA finds the UN’s stance thoroughly reprehensible-and stands in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of the Earth. RTNA formally condemns the UN’s continued, consistent pattern of denial regarding the full and necessary recognition of the ecocidal and genocidal impacts of these profit-motivated “development” mechanisms.

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