The participants of the workshop on REDD and Biocultural Protocols organized by the Indigenous Peoples Biocultural Climate Change Assessment (IPCCA), from Ecuador, Panama, India, Nicaragua, Peru and Samoa met on 24 and 25 November 2011 in Durban, South Africa to share emergent findings and analyse how REDD is affecting our territories in order to respond through our assessments. We discussed strategies for addressing climate justice. Continue reading

Facing the COP17-Durban and Rio+20: NO to the market mechanisms as solutions to climate and environmental crisis

Declaration of Brazilian movements and civil society organizations

Despite successive failures related to market based solutions proposed in the last almost 20 years of UNFCCC negotiations, some governments, and Brazil among them, keep insisting on the promotion of market mechanism in the legal framework as a solution to climate crisis, as well as on the road to green economy frame proposed to be discussed at Rio+20 in June next year. Continue reading

From Copenhagen to Cancun to Durban:Behind the politics of climate change

by Hewa Nzuri

This year is a critical one for the global climate change negotiations. Durban, South Africa will play host to the UN Conference of Parties (COP 17) later this year.

One of the challenges in the run-up to Durban is understanding the politics of climate change arising from the Copenhagen meeting and the subsequent Cancun conference, the outcomes of those meetings, and how these outcomes relate to Durban and, therefore, what civil society demands can and should be. Continue reading

COP17: Inspiring the global climate justice movement

by Nnimmo Bassey

PAMBAZUKA NEWS: What role will Environmental Rights Action (ERA) and Friends of the Earth International be playing at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP17) in Durban? What will you be pushing for?

NNIMMO BASSEY: While there is a generally low level of expectation from the Durban Conference of the Parties (COP17), we see it as a great moment to stand with impacted peoples and the environmental justice movement and call for a climate tackling regime that understands the depth of the crises and the fact that the impacts are already manifesting. We will push for polluting countries to cut emissions at source and not through offsets and related market mechanisms that help polluters profit from the damage they do. We will push for legally binding emissions reduction targets to ensure that temperature increase is kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. ERA will demand the recognition and payment of the accumulated climate debt due to centuries of exploitation and colonisation of the atmosphere. Continue reading

Climate change negotiations: Durban, a critical battleground

by Kwesi W. Obeng

The just ended United Nations Climate Change Conference in Panama barely made progress in resolving the thorniest issues, stalling negotiations to conclude a global agreement later this year in Durban, South Africa to save the planet from overheating.

The future of the Kyoto Protocol, the architecture of any future agreement, long term finance and sources of funding especially for the Green Climate Fund are some of the most fractious issues still outstanding.

Durban, South Africa will be a critical battleground to break the deadlock within the framework of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2011. The Panama talks made progress on a few issues, notably adaptation, agriculture, technology, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). Continue reading

Tanzania:Rufiji Delta Project Still On

by Finnigan Wa Simbeye

Replacing community conservation of mangrove forests at Rufiji delta in favour of fortress conservation by the state to meet carbon trading needs will not work.

Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) is a climate change mitigation initiative that seeks to integrate tropical forests into market-based carbon sequestration schemes to counter the effects of global climate change. Continue reading

Letter from the State of Acre : In defence of life and the integrity of the peoples and their territories against REDD and the commodification of nature

We gathered in Rio Branco, in the State of Acre, on 3-7 October 2011 for the workshop “Serviços Ambientais, REDD e Fundos Verdes do BNDES: Salvação da Amazônia ou Armadilha do Capitalismo Verde?” (Environmental Services, REDD and BNDES Green Funds: The Amazon’s Salvation or a Green Capitalism Trap?)

The participants included socio-environmental organizations, family agriculture associations, Extractive Reserve (RESEX) and Extractive Settlement organizations, human rights organizations (national and international), social pastoral organizations, professors, students, and members of civil society committed to the struggle of “the underdogs”. Continue reading

Submission by CJN! to LULUCF Workshop 3 August 2010

Distinguished delegates:

We appreciate this opportunity to share the views of some members of Climate Justice Now!, and from members of the women and gender constituency with you. We wanted to share these views at the beginning of this workshop, but regretfully we were not allowed to present. We also regret that we are not invited to attend the entire workshop.

We share the concern of many other stakeholders that methodologies and modalities for land use, land us change and forestry (LULUCF) accounting should not undermine the integrity of the Kyoto Protocol and its effectiveness as a legally binding instrument to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To effectively address climate change and ensure environmental integrity, all significant emissions, including those from the land use sector must be properly accounted for and reduced in the second commitment period. However, the current LULUCF rules and draft proposals represent a serious threat to environmental integrity and are the most outrageous of many loopholes that need to be closed in the second commitment period.

It is unacceptable that countries can simply choose not to account for emissions from forest management. In the second commitment period, Parties must not be allowed to pick and choose which segments of the land use sector they account for. We also object to attempts to set reference levels that would allow countries to increase their emissions from LULUCF related activities considerably, instead of reducing them in line with the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention.

We would like to reiterate our strong concern in this respect that the forest definition that is currently used for LULUCF includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. That is, it includes real, biologically diverse forests, which are an essential source of livelihood for women and their families, but it also includes monoculture tree plantations, including large-scale monoculture tree plantations that have a devastating impact on women’s livelihoods and communities in general. These plantations destroy ecosystems and subsistence agriculture, cause rural unemployment and depopulation, deplete soils and water resources and violate Indigenous Peoples’ rights. That is why we insist that the definition of “forests” is revised jointly with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) so as to exclude monoculture tree plantations. Moreover, it should be ensured that forest degradation is fully taken into account in any scheme to conserve forest.

We also insist that forest management accounting methodologies and modalities within the framework of this Rio Convention should not lead to practices that impact negatively on the objectives of the other major Rio
Convention, the CBD, or on the rights and livelihoods of women, Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the North or South. 

We strongly object to the proposed continuation of clean development mechanism (CDM) credits for monoculture tree plantations falsely classed as ‘afforestation and reforestation’ projects, and to proposals to increase the amount of such CDM credits for those plantations. We also object to proposals, contained in the LULUCF draft, to include forest, cropland and grazing land management, soil carbon and other ‘land use’ in the CDM. If approved, this would provide major new carbon finance for monoculture tree and crop plantations of all types. Annex I countries must not be allowed to “meet” or rather avoid their commitments under LULUCF or otherwise through offsetting.

Forest management accounting methodologies and modalities should not create incentives for forest management practices that are unsustainable from a social or environmental perspective. We reject any forest-related scheme that ignores or undermines the many different values forests have for women and men. Any incentive scheme that favors the carbon value of ecosystems more than other values will lead to serious negative impacts on food and water sovereignty, access to traditional medicines and seeds, and the other socio-economic, cultural, spiritual and ecological values of forests, which are of essential importance to our existence, and especially that of women.

We hope these general observations can be taken into account in your deliberations.

Thank you.