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What's missing from the climate talks? Justice!


For Immediate Release             

14 December 2007     

Bali Forest Outcomes Trample Indigenous Peoples' & Local Communities' Rights
False "Solutions" to Climate Change Condemned at the UNFCCC

Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia-As the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change ends, Global Forest Coalition [1] expresses great
concern that market-based mechanisms promoted here do not give enough
guarantees to indigenous peoples and forest dependent peoples to
ensure their rights.

Global Forest Coalition's Managing Coordinator, Simone Lovera stated,
"The outcomes of the forest negotiations here in Bali do not include
any guarantee that the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local
communities regarding their forests, which have been enshrined in the
UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, will be respected.
Instead, this entire process is dominated by the corporate interests
of logging, soy and palmoil companies that have started to demand
compensation for every tree they don't cut down. Carbon offset projects financing such compensation schemes do not contribute anything to mitigating climate change, they are no more than a convenient lie to subsidize some of the most destructive industries on earth. Considering the crisis we are in, carbon offsets are unacceptable: We desperately need both forest conservation AND policies that cut emissions at source."

"Indigenous peoples and women are the traditional caretakers of the forest," said Anne Petermann, Co-director of Global Justice Ecology Project. [2]  "The fact that they are being ignored and excluded in this process is typifying for the way in which we are moving in the wrong direction."

The International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change,
expressed their profound concern in a statement read inside the UNFCCC
about Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries
(REDD) [3]:

"REDD will not benefit Indigenous Peoples, but in fact, will result in more violations of Indigenous Peoples' Rights. It will increase the violation of our Human Rights, our rights to our lands, territories and resources, steal our land, cause forced evictions, prevent access and threaten indigenous agriculture practices, destroy biodiversity and culture diversity and cause social conflicts. Under REDD, States and Carbon Traders will take more control over our forests."

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues added, "It is countries in the North that have caused the climate problem and now they are promoting projects like agrofuels [4] to supposedly address this problem, the impacts of which will be shouldered by the countries and indigenous peoples of the South."

"To worsen matters, World Bank President Robert Zoellick announced
their latest scheme called the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility,"[5] stated Dr. Miguel Lovera, Chairperson for the Global Forest Coalition.  "They are going to use the failed model of carbon trading to supposedly protect forests, but just like agrofuels, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is going to exacerbate deforestation at a faster rate, worsen human rights abuses and do
nothing for the climate but make it less inhabitable," he said.

Contacts:
Dr. Miguel Lovera (Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Dutch and
Italian) +595-21-663654

Hubertus Samangun (Bahasa and English) +62 813 10778918

Anne Petermann (English) +62 813 38918437

Notes:
[1] The Global Forest Coalition is a worldwide network of
non-governmental organizations and Indigenous Peoples Organizations
that promotes effective rights-based forest conservation policies.
See
http://www.globalforestcoalition.org
for more information.

[2] Global Justice Ecology Project takes action to address the common
root causes of social injustice, economic domination and environmental
destruction.  GJEP is the North American Focal Point of the
Global Forest Coalition.  See
http://globaljusticeecology.org/

[3] The term 'agrofuels' is a more
accurate label for the production of fuel from industrially produced
agricultural crops (and is also used by the FAO). The term 'biofuels'
gives a false impression that these fuels are environmentally
friendly, when they are in fact environmentally and socially
destructive.

In a 4 December press conference, Global Forest Coalition and Global
Justice Ecology Project [released the advance copy of a major new
report that reveals the social and ecological impacts of large-scale
production of agrofuels.  The True Cost of Agrofuels: Food,
Forests and the Climate [specifically details the threats on
forests and forest-dependent people that are resulting or are
predicted to result from the production of agrofuels from food, oil
and cellulose crops.  The report is available online (English
version)
http://www.globalforestcoalition.org/img/userpics/File/publications/Therealcostofagrofuels.pdf
and
(Spanish)
http://www.globalforestcoalition.org/img/userpics/File/Spanish/Elverdadocostodelosagrocombustibles.pdf

[4] Statement from the International
Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IFIPCC) at the 13th
Session of Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC--SBSTA 27,
concerning agenda item 5/REDD. See
www.globalforestcoalition.org

[5] The Forest Carbon Partnership
Facility is the World Bank folding the carbon storage potential of
forests into their carbon trading scheme as another way to avoid
emissions reductions from polluter countries.


---------------------------

PRESS RELEASE

What's missing from the climate talks? Justice!

BALI (INDONESIA), 14 December 2007 - Peoples from social
organizations and movements from across the globe brought the fight for social, ecological and gender justice into the negotiating rooms and onto the streets during the UN climate summit in Bali. [1]

Inside and outside the convention centre, activists demanded
alternative policies and practices that protect livelihoods and the
environment. In dozens of side events, reports, impromptu protests and press conferences, the false solutions to climate change - such as
carbon offsetting, carbon trading for forests, agrofuels, trade
liberalization and privatization pushed by governments, financial institutions
and multinational corporations - have been exposed.

Affected communities, Indigenous Peoples, women and peasant farmers
called for real solutions to the climate crisis, solutions which have failed
to capture the attention of political leaders. These genuine solutions
include:

*        reduced consumption.
*        huge financial transfers
from North to South based on historical responsibility and ecological debt for adaptation and mitigation costs paid for by redirecting military budgets, innovative taxes and debt cancellation.
*        leaving fossil fuels in the ground and investing in appropriate energy-efficiency and safe, clean and community-led renewable energy.
*         rights based resource conservation that enforces Indigenous land rights and promotes peoples' sovereignty over energy, forests, land and water.
*        sustainable family farming and peoples' food sovereignty. Inside the negotiations, the rich industrialized countries have put unjustifiable pressure on Southern governments to commit to emissions' reductions. At the same time, they have refused to live up to their own legal and moral obligations to radically cut emissions and support developing countries' efforts to reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts. Once again, the majority world is being forced to pay for the excesses of the minority.

Compared to the outcomes of the official negotiations, the major
success of Bali is the momentum that has been built towards creating a
diverse, global movement for climate justice. We will take our struggle forward not just in the talks, but on the ground and in the streets - Climate Justice Now!


Notes:
[1] Many social movements and groups that came together in Bali
have agreed to establish a coalition called Climate Justice Now! in order
to enhance exchange of information and cooperation among themselves and
with other groups with the aim of intensifying actions to prevent and
respond to climate change. Justice must be at the heart of tackling
climate change, and must in no way be sacrificed.
Members of this coalition include: Carbon Trade Watch,
Transnational Institute; Center for Environmental Concerns; Focus on the Global South; Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines; Friends of the Earth International; Gendercc -  Women for Climate Justice, Global
Forest Coalition; Global Justice Ecology Project; International Forum on
Globalization; Kalikasan-Peoples Network for the Environment
(Kalikasan-PNE); La Via Campesina; Members of the Durban Group for
Climate Justice; Oilwatch; Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment
Coalition, Aotearoa/New Zealand; Sustainable Energy and Economy Network; The Indigenous Environmental Network; Third World Network; WALHI/ Friends of the Earth Indonesia; World Rainforest Movement

International press contacts:
Walden Bello, Focus on the Global South. Mobile: +62 852 387 14793 or
+66 81 935 0633

Henry Saragih, La Via Campesina. Mobile: +62 816344441

Joseph Zacune, Friends of the Earth International. Mobile: +62  338969955

Tamra Gilbertson, TNI +62 8174779110

Sandy Gauntlett, Global Forest Coalition. Mobile: +62 81 338938574

Janet Redmann, Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. Mobile +81
338984882

Dr. Michael Dorsey. Mobile +62 81 338 950482 or +1734 945 6424

Indonesian press contacts:
Farah Sofa, WALHI/ Friends of the Earth Indonesia. Mobile: +62 81
1194773

Top Right:  Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia-Indigenous peoples representing regions from around the world protested outside the climate negotiations
today wearing symbolic gags that read UNFCCC, the acronym of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, symbolizing
their systematic exclusion from the UN meeting. Photo:  Langelle/GJEP
--



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