International Outcry against California’s Forest Offset Scam
Global civil society rejects REDD in climate law
Miya Yoshitani, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (510)-417-1775 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom BK Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network (218) 760 0442 email@example.com
Anabela Lemos, No REDD in Africa Network, Friends of the Earth-Mozambique +258 21 496668 firstname.lastname@example.org
From Africa to the Amazon, from Chiapas to Siberia, global civil society is raising an international outcry to resoundingly reject California’s proposed forest offset scam called REDD, which would let climate criminals like Chevron and Shell off the hook, cause human rights abuses and worsen global warming. May 7, 2013, was the last day for public comments on the draft California REDD Offset Working Group recommendations regarding linking California’s cap-and-trade program with a program to supposedly reduce deforestation in Chiapas and Acre, Brazil.
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32, is posed to include REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), a false solution to climate change, whereby California polluters could use the forests of Chiapas, Mexico and the Brazilian Amazon as sponges for their pollution instead of reducing greenhouse emissions at home. California REDD is considered a model for the world and if launched will probably be replicated both nationally and internationally.
“The global movement against REDD has been born!” cried Susannah, a delighted volunteer with the No REDD Group Initiative as she tallied letters from all over the world to California Governor Jerry Brown and the California Air Resources Board demanding that REDD be immediately stopped in its tracks. “The world is uniting against California REDD because it may unlock an avalanche of REDD-type projects around the world.”
May 07, 2013
INDIGENOUS ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK COMMENTS TO THE CALIFORNIA REDD OFFSETS WORKING GROUP (ROW) DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS
Re: Recommendations of the REDD Offsets Working Group for Subnational REDD crediting in California’s Cap-and-Trade Program
The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) was formed in 1990 by community-based Indigenous Peoples to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ) as they affect Indigenous-Native Peoples. Since that time, IEN’s outreach and activities have grown and now include building the capacity of indigenous communities in North America and globally to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.
In that role, IEN addresses the recommendations of the REDD Offsets Working Group (ROW) to the Governments of California, Acre and Chiapas (including the California Air Resources Board, as the responsible State of California authority) in its implementation of AB32. AB32 is considering creating a sub-national Cap and Trade scheme, meant to reduce the carbon emissions of certain California industries, which would allow them to buy carbon credits to mitigate their emissions. IEN addresses the recommendations relevant to the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of Forests (REDD), and more specifically, the issue of Social, Cultural and Environmental Safeguards.
 Draft, California, Acre and Chiapas, Partnering to Reduce Emissions from Tropical Deforestation, Recommendations to Conserve Tropical Rainforests, Protect Local Communities and Reduce State-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Redd Offsets Working Group, 2012.(hereinafter,” Recommendations”)
Hundreds Sign Petition to California REDD Offsets Working Group
The following petition was sent to the identified recipients by over 750 citizens from across Mother Earth:
Dear Honorable Jerry Brown, Governor of California
Dear Mary Nichols, Chairman, California Air Resources Board
I urge you to reject the inclusion of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) in the State of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32.
The four main reasons for rejecting California REDD are:
1. REDD is a false solution to climate change, which makes global warming worse.
2. REDD lets climate criminals like Shell and Chevron off the hook because it allows polluters to use forests as supposed sponges for their greenhouse gas and toxic pollution, instead of reducing pollution at source.
3. REDD lets polluters keep polluting and sickening Californians with asthma and cancer.
4. REDD has no guarantees to prevent human rights abuses. REDD is already causing social conflict and land grabs in Chiapas, Mexico, and violating Indigenous Peoples’ rights including the right to free, prior and informed consent.
California must not let climate criminals like Shell and Chevron off the hook, sicken its citizens, nor contribute to human rights violations. California must reject REDD now. Mother Earth depends on it.
Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy,
Arsenio Mataka, Subsecretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs,
Ronda Bowen, Ombudsman,
Jason A. Gray
Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change against REDD+ and for Life
The Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change against REDD+ and for Life joins its voice to the international outcry against the inclusion of REDD in the State of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32.
We, Indigenous Peoples, local communities, peasant farmers and fisherfolk are not fooled by the carbon trading system, and in particular, the State of California’s goal to develop protocols to implement sub-national REDD in California’s cap-and-trade program. As people of the land, we know colonialism when we see it. Regardless of its cynical disguises and shameful lies, colonialism always results in the rape and pillaging of Mother Earth, and the slavery, death, destruction and genocide of her peoples. REDD+ along with the implementation of green economy models of commodification and trading of ecosystem services constitutes a thinly-veiled, wicked, colonialist planet grab that we oppose, denounce and resist. There is no safe REDD. All REDD initiatives, current or future, cannot guarantee safeguards to prevent human rights abuses.
Just as historically the Doctrine of Discovery was used to justify the first wave of colonialism by alleging that Indigenous Peoples did not have souls, and that our territories were “terra nullius,” land of nobody, now these green economy initiatives such as California REDD and other REDD+ projects are inventing similarly dishonest premises to justify this new wave of colonialization and privatization of nature. REDD-type and forest carbon projects, are resulting in Indigenous Peoples and peasants being relocated, criminalized, and blamed for climate change. Our land is being labeled “unused,” “degraded” or in need of “conservation and “reforestation,” to justify massive land grabs for REDD+, carbon offset projects and biopiracy.
We see the link between California REDD and the green economy, which is as nothing more than capitalism of nature; a perverse attempt by corporations, extractive industriesand governments to cash in on Creation by privatizing, commodifying, and selling off the Sacred and all forms of life and the sky, including the air we breathe, the water we drink and all the genes, plants, traditional seeds, trees, animals, fish, biological and cultural diversity, ecosystems and traditional knowledge that make life on Earth possible and enjoyable.
The green economy is the umbrella for all kinds of ways to sell nature including REDD+, the Clean Development Mechanism, carbon trading, PES (Payment for Environmental Services), the financialization of nature, the International Regime on Access to Genetic Resources, patents on life, TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), natural capital, green bonds, species banking and state and business “partnerships” with indigenous peoples. Under the green economy, even the rain, the beauty of a waterfall or a honey bee’s pollen will be reduced to a barcode price tag and sold to the highest bidder. At the same time, the green economy promotes and greenwashes environmentally and socially devastating extractive industries like logging, mining and oil drilling as “sustainable development.” Nothing could be further from the truth.