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Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director
Indigenous Environmental Network
(218) 760-0442

Indigenous leader kidnapped and forced at gunpoint to surrender carbon rights for REDD in Papua New Guinea

New York, USA — As carbon traders hawk permits to pollute at the Second Annual Carbon Trading Summit, Indigenous Peoples denounced that selling the sky not only corrupts the sacred but also destroys the climate, violates human rights and threatens cultural survival.

“Carbon trading and carbon offsets are a crime against humanity and Creation,” said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network. “The sky is sacred. This carbon market insanity privatizes the air and sells it to climate criminals like Shell so they can continue to pollute and destroy the climate and our future, rather than reducing their emissions at source.”

“This Carbon Traitors’ Summit comes on the heels of the failed UN Copenhagen climate conference which put forests in carbon markets by creating a mechanism called REDD or REDD-plus (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation).” According to Goldtooth, “Most of the forests of the world are found in Indigenous Peoples’ land. REDD-type projects have already caused land grabs, killings, violent evictions and forced displacement, violations of human rights, threats to cultural survival, militarization and servitude.”

A recent World News Australia television expos� sheds light on the risks of REDD, carbon traders and the shocking kidnapping of a Papuan New Guinea native leader. Abilie Wape, a leader of the Kamula Doso Peoples claims he was forced at gun point to surrender the carbon rights of his tribe’s forest. https://player.sbs.com.au/naca#/naca/wna/SpecialFeatures/playlist/PNG-climate-woes-continue/

A visibly shaken Wape told reporters, “They came and got me in the night� police came with a gun. They threatened me. They forced me to get in the vehicle. Then we came in the night to the hotel. They told me, “You sign. Otherwise, if you don’t sign, I’ll get a police and lock you up.”

“Indigenous Peoples are being forced to sign over their territories for REDD to the Gangsters of the Century, carbon traders, who are invading the world’s remaining forests that exist thanks to the knowledge of Indigenous Peoples,” denounced Marlon Santi, President of the CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, one of the most powerful native organizations in the world. “Our forests are spaces for life not carbon markets.”

Another REDD-type project, a UNEP-funded carbon forestry project in the Mau forest of Kenya has resulted in evictions and threatens the cultural survival of the Ogiek hunter-gathers. “Ordering us to leave Mau is like taking a fish out of water and expecting it to survive” said Ogiek People Development Program Director Daniel Kobei. According to REDD Monitor, “UNEP’s failure to prevent the eviction of thousands of people to make way for a carbon project�does not bode well for the millions of Indigenous Peoples and forest dwelling communities of the world.”

Survival International reports that REDD schemes could leave Indigenous Peoples “with nothing.” “Everyone who cares about our future, forests, Indigenous Peoples and human rights should reject REDD because it is irremediably flawed, cannot be fixed and because, despite efforts to develop safeguards for its implementation, REDD will always be potentially genocidal,” concluded Goldtooth.