UN Admits Its Climate Change Program Could Threaten Indigenous Peoples

From: EARTH PEOPLES

UN Admits Its Climate Change Program Could Threaten Indigenous Peoples

Sept. 27, 2008 – On the third day of the General Assembly’s 63rd Session, the
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Prime Minister of Norway
launched the United Nations REDD program, a collaboration of FAO, UNDP, UNEP and
the World Bank.

The inclusion of forests in the carbon market, or REDD (Reducing Emissions from
Deforestation and Degradation) has caused anxiety, protest and outrage throughout
the world since it was created at the failed climate change negotiations in Bali and
funded by the World Bank.

An estimated 60 million indigenous peoples are completely dependent on forests and
are considered the most threatened by REDD. Therefore, indigenous leaders are among
its most prominent critics. The International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate
Change declared that: ‘…REDD will steal our land… States and carbontraders will
take control over our forests.’

It is alarming that indigenous peoples’ fears and objections have now been confirmed
by the UN-REDD Framework Document itself.

On page 4 and 5 it blatantly states that the program could “deprive communities of
their legitimate land-development aspirations, that hard-fought gains in forest
management practices might be wasted, that it could cause the lock-up of forests by
decoupling conservation from development, or erode culturally rooted not-for-profit
conservation values.”

It is further highlighted that “REDD benefits in some circumstances may have to be
traded off against other social, economic or environmental benefits.”

In carefully phrased UN language, the document further acknowledges that REDD could
cause severe human rights violations and be disastrous for the poor because it could
“marginalize the landless.and those with. communal use-rights”.

This is tantamount to the UN recognizing that REDD could undermine indigenous
peoples and local communities rights to the usage and ownership of their lands.

Could it be that the UN is paving the way for a massive land grab?

To read UN-REDD Framework Document:
http://www.undp.org/mdtf/UN-REDD/docs/Annex-A-Framework-Document.pdf

To see photos from the protest against REDD and the World Bank in Bali:
http://www.globaljusticeecology.org/gallery.php

To watch the video from the protest against REDD at the United Nations Permanent
Forum on Indigenous Issues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtORVi7GybY

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