Sunday, April 18, 2010


Everybody wants to save the Earth these days, and surely the sentiments are laudible. Despite the gloating of the climate change deniers the scientific evidence is virtually incontrovertible that a)the Earth is warming and b)human activities are very much responsible for this. The minor actions of a couple of researchers don't take away at all from the tens of thousands of others across the world who have come to the obvious conclusion. Whatever those who search the internet for evidence of their pre-formed beliefs may think.

Yet, there is something that should be taken into account when measures are proposed to mitigate climate change...the rights of indigenous people. While very few outside of Nazi and primitivist ideological cesspools would advocate outright genocide of such "marginal" people to "save the Earth" the general 'liberal consensus' gives such people minimal importance. Here's an item from the Care2 site about how such things should deserve attention.

Bring Indigenous Voices into the Conversation About Climate Change

The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries or UN-REDD was created to offer developing countries financial incentives for cutting down carbon emissions by preserving forests and biodiversity.

Addressing global climate change is vital, but unfortunately policies developed by the global North are not always harmonious with the livelihoods of the indigenous peoples that live on the lands. The watchgroup REDD-Monitor points out specific language in REDD's call to action that can be problematic:

1. "conservation" sounds good, but the history of the establishment of national parks includes large scale evictions and loss of rights for indigenous peoples and local communities.

2."sustainable management of forests" could include subsidies to commercial logging operations in old-growth forests, indigenous peoples’ territory or in villagers’ community forests.

3."enhancement of forest carbon stocks" could result in conversion of land (including forests) to industrial tree plantations, with serious implications for biodiversity, forests and local communities.

When groups of marginalized people barely have a voice at the state or national level, it is easy and convenient for world leaders to overlook them. But besides bringing unique perspectives and knowledge of the issue, indigenous peoples need to have a say in the fate of the land they live on.


Tell the Head UN-REDD Programme Secretariat Yemi Katerere that indigenous peoples must participate in deciding climate change policies by signing the petition.
The Letter:
Please go to the link above to send the following letter to the United Nations Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries (REDD).
Dear Dr. Katerere,

As the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) develops its policies for COP-16 in Mexico, I am writing to encourage you to promote the participation of local and indigenous peoples. They are the key to conserving standing forests and restoring degraded forests to combat global climate change.

[Your comment will be inserted here]

In particular, EcoLogic encourages integration of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in REDD projects and policies, including: a) free, prior, and informed consent of local and indigenous people in REDD project development; b) land rights based on traditional ownership, occupation, and use; and c) a transparent and fair process to recognize and adjudicate these rights.

I strongly support the EcoLogic position that indigenous people must be an active part of the solution to protect the world's forests.

Thank you for your time.

[Your name here]


Unknown said...

Joan Martinez-Alier's 'The Environmentalism of the Poor' book (Cheltenham UK/ Northampton MA: Edward Elgar, 2002) mentions an 1888 strike by "syndicalist miners" in Rio Tinto in Andalusia, Spain, led by an anarchist Maximiliano Tornet, who also formed an alliance with 'Huelva Anti-Smoke League', which was an alliance of farmers in opposition to sulpher dioxide pollution from the copper mines, this pollution was also one of the greviances in the strike. On the 4th of February 1888 a protest of miners and farmers was gunned down by the military, with between one hundred and two hundred persons killed. The company was the infamous Rio Tinto Zinc, actually their first mine.

International Workers Memorial Day 2010

Ten Victorian workers have already died at work in 2010.
Thousands of workers have already been injured or made ill from their work before this year - and many more will be before the year iis through.

mollymew said...

Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the info.