Forced Relocation of Sengwer People proves urgency of canceling REDD

February 25, 2014

We, the No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN) together with the undersigned organizations and individuals, strongly condemn the massive evictions and forced relocation of the Sengwer Indigenous People, one of the few remaining hunter-gatherers of the world, from their ancestral home in Kenya’s Cherangany Hills.

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The Kenyan government calls the Sengwer People ‘squatters,’ despite the fact that they and their ancestors have lived in the Cherangany Hills since time immemorial; and that Article (63d) of the Kenyan constitution (2010) grants them inalienable rights to their ancestral lands.

Sengwer spokesman Yator Kiptum denounced the “disaster” carried out by a combined force of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Administration Police, a paramilitary unit of the police, now evicting the Sengwer, destroying property and burning homes[1]. “The government of Kenya is forcing us into extinction,” he said.[2] According to international human rights law such as the Convention on Genocide, forced relocation of ethnic or racial minorities is a very grave violation and can constitute genocide.

World Bank’s complicity

We take great exception to the press statement issued by the World Bank[3] in which it attempts to distance itself from the forced relocation of the Sengwer People. The cause and effect is perfectly clear; the Bank in its highly controversial role as both carbon credit financier and broker is aiding and abetting the forced relocation of an entire Indigenous People through its Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP) which includes REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), in the Cherangany Hills.

What is perhaps most disturbing about the statement is the World Bank’s offer to the Kenyan government, “to share best practices in resettlement in line with its safeguard policies. These seek to improve or restore the living standards of people affected by involuntary resettlement.” The World Bank is both admitting its complicity in the forced relocation of the Sengwer People as well as offering to collude with the Kenyan government to cover-up cultural genocide. Claims of being able to restore and improve the living standards of evicted people such as the Sengwer are crude, paternalistic, colonial in nature and above all smack of sheer arrogance on the World Bank’s part.

Background

From 2007 till date, there have been almost yearly forced evictions of the Sengwer People[4] with the latest evictions being the most violent of them all. It is no coincidence that the evictions began in 2007, the very same the year that the World Bank’s Natural Resource Management Project started[5].

In 2013, the Sengwer People moved to court to file an injunction against their imminent removal from their homes and in May an interim injunction was secured at the Eldoret high-court. These orders were further extended in November and on 18 January 2014; the same court issued further orders requiring that the police arrest anyone breaching the injunction until the matter of community rights to their land is resolved. The government of Kenya has continued to ignore these court orders, taking upon itself the role of judge and prosecutor of the Sengwer People’s case.

The Sengwer People are being accused of encroaching on and destroying the forests in the Cherangany Hills, leading to the drying up of rivers that provide water to nearby towns and villages. The government of Kenya states that evicting these ‘squatters’ is the only way to begin the ‘conservation’ of the ecosystems and specially the forests in the area. This is a complete obfuscation of the truth. The Sengwer People have always preserved these ecosystems in their ancestral land by practicing by living sustainably and are now facing complete annihilation under the guise of ‘conservation’ under REDD.

The Kenyan government insists on not distinguishing between the Sengwer People and a large group of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including those affected by the 2007-2008 post-election violence, and victims of landslides who have settled in the Embobut Forest area. The government’s refusal to make this distinction is an attempt to falsely label the Sengwer People as “squatters.”

REDD driving Land Grabs and Forced Relocation of Indigenous Peoples

We are alarmed at the obvious connection between these evictions and the World Bank’s funding of the Kenyan government’s REDD+ ‘readiness’ program in the Cherangany Hills through the bank’s Natural Resource Management project (NRMP). REDD is a highly controversial emissions reduction scheme that uses forests, plantations and lands in the Global South as carbon offsets and supposed sponges of the fossil fuel carbon emissions and pollution from the Global North.

The head of conservation at the Kenya Forest Service, Mr. Solomon Mibei, is on record stating that “REDD+ mechanism is a future option.” He also admitted that the KFS is doing carbon financing workshops with communities. “At the moment, the KFS is conducting workshops with communities living around the Embobut forest and the Kakamega forest to educate them on carbon financing.” Furthermore, the Kenya Forest service has been designated as the REDD+ focal point for the coordination of national REDD+ readiness activities.

REDD+ allows rich polluting countries to shirk their historical responsibilities for and contribution to the climate crisis we now face by enabling them to shift the burden to ‘developing’ countries like Kenya. Instead of reducing emissions at source, which is the only sustainable way to stop the climate catastrophe, such schemes allow them to pretend to reduce emissions elsewhere in the world. Unfortunately as the Sengwer case shows, it is the poorest and most marginalized in developing countries who not only suffer the most from climate change but also the negative effects of the false solutions to climate change like REDD. These false solutions, above all, enable global economic interests to benefit from massive land grabs and the abuse of human and environmental rights.

The World Bank project initially claimed to address land claims of the indigenous communities, as part of the process of ensuring the fair and effective management of the Cherangany Hills forest. This was welcomed by the Sengwer People who thought it would be a great opportunity to address decades of marginalization and loss of access to their ancestral lands which they had faced under the hands of successive Kenyan governments.

But this initiative was soon dropped by the Bank which claimed that it was ‘too complicated’ but at the same time continued to fund the Kenyan government’s REDD+ work in the Cherangany Hills, thereby further entrenching the marginalization of the Sengwer People[6].

In January 2013, members of the Sengwer People made a formal complaint to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, the organ tasked with the duty of reviewing the impacts of the projects funded by the World Bank[7]. The Inspection Panel visited Kenya in May 2013 to assess the eligibility of the complaint and members of the Sengwer People described the loss of access to much of their ancestral lands as well as their traditional right to protect the forests which they have always depended on for their survival[8]. The Inspection Panel found the complaint to be admissible and a full investigation was recommended, with the final outcome of the investigation expected by the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Unfortunately, the abuses against the Sengwer People are not an exception. The violent eviction of the Ogiek People from the Mau Forest for UNEP-funded REDD is another example of Indigenous Peoples in Kenya being evicted for REDD.[9]

The No REDD in Africa Network’s Maputo Declaration (2013)[10], declared that REDD-type projects are leading to the displacement of forest dependent communities, servitude, killings, repression and other human rights abuses, and the Sengwer Peoples’ plight is a clear example of what we condemn and why there must be no REDD in Africa.

The No REDD in Africa Network has repeatedly denounced that  REDD+ is not merely a false solution to climate change, but is emerging as a new form of colonialism, economic subjugation and a driver of land grabs so massive that they may constitute a continent grab.[11] We must defend the continent from carbon colonialism.

The forced relocation of the Sengwer People by the AK-47 touting Kenya Forest Service is reminiscent of the forced removals of rural communities by the then South African government during the apartheid era. We had hoped that this kind of history would not repeat itself in the continent.

Demands to Government of Kenya:

1. We demand that the government of Kenya immediately and definitively halt the evictions of the Sengwer Indigenous People, return their ancestral lands and provide full reparations and compensation and provide guarantees that they will not be attacked again.

2. We demand that the government of Kenya should issue a formal apology to the Sengwer, duly recognizing these law-abiding citizens of Kenya of as the owners and best custodians of their territory and forests in the Cherangany Hills.

Demands to Governments and the United Nations:

  1. We request that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Adviser on Genocide, the UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples,  the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-repetition, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples and the UN Expert Mechanism on Indigenous Peoples immediately coordinate, issue statements and take measures to halt the forced relocation and extinction of the Sengwer People, as well as propose concrete measures for the recovery of their territory, reparations, justice and guarantees of non-repetition.
  2. We demand that governments, companies, carbon traders, the World Bank and the United Nations including UN-REDD, UNEP, UNDP and others immediately cancel these harmful REDD and other carbon offset schemes.
  3. We request that the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Adviser on Genocide prepare a report on how REDD and carbon offsets are causing violations of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  4. We demand the creation of an International Truth Commission on the forced relocation of the Sengwer People and abuses associated with REDD, REDD-type projects, the Clean Development Mechanism and carbon trading and carbon offsets in the world; composed of Indigenous Peoples, local communities and experts on human rights, the environment and the climate.

Request to African Commission:

  1. We invite the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to prepare a report on the impact of REDD and carbon offsets on the Indigenous Peoples, local communities and land grabbing in Africa.

In closing, we cordially request that the Government of Kenya, the United Nations and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to respond to these demands and requests, and take the corresponding action.

For the No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN),

Signed by: Nnimmo Bassey & Anabela Lemos

 

Cc:

  • President – Uhuru Kenyatta
  • United Nations Secretary General – Ban Ki-Moon
  • President of the World Bank – Jim Yong Kim
  • UN High Commissioner on Human Rights – Navi Pillay
  • UN Special Adviser on prevention of genocide – Adama Dieng
  • UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples – James Anaya
  • UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-repetition – Pablo de Greiff
  • UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect – Jennifer Welsh
  • United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples
  • African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa
  • Coordinator of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Programme on Indigenous Peoples – Dr. Albert Barume
  • UN-REDD Programme Policy Board and Secretariat
  • UNEP, Executive Director Achim Steiner
  • UNDP, Administrator Helen Clark
  • Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR)

LIST OF SIGN-ONS

International and Regional level organisations

No REDD in African Network (NRAN)

African Biodiversity Network

Indigenous Environmental Network

Health of Mother Earth Foundation

The Rules

World Rainforest Movement

National-level organisations

Justiça Ambiental (Friends of the Earth Mozambique)

Timberwatch, South Africa

Rainforest Resource and Development Centre (RRDC), Nigeria



[2] Kenyan government forcing us into extinction’: evictions of Sengwer tribe escalate , Survival International, 24 January 2014  http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/9932

[4]World Bank Inspection Panel, Report and Recommendation KENYA: Natural Resource Management Project (P095050),  29 May ‘13, pg. 70, available on http://bit.ly/1jtGMMb

[5] Project Appraisal Document, World Bank, February 26, 2007, available on  http://bit.ly/1jtHtoK

[6]Kenya defies its own courts: torching homes and forcefully evicting the Sengwer from their ancestral lands, threatening their cultural survival.

Available on: http://bit.ly/1eCydMY

[7]How the World Bank is implicated in today’s Embobut Evictions, http://bit.ly/1eCydMY

[8] World Bank Inspection Panel, Report and Recommendation KENYA: Natural Resource Management Project (P095050),  May 29, 2013, page 70, http://bit.ly/1jtGMMb

Kenya preparing for REDD in the Embobut Forest and forcing Sengwer People “into extinction”

No-REDD-Africa-Newtork

 

 

January 31, 2014

Last year the Government of Kenya was getting “ready” for REDD in the Embobut Forest, now it is violently evicting the Sengwer People and forcing them “into extinction.” According to Survival International, “as many as a thousand homes have already been torched.”[i]

Sengwer spokesman Yator Kiptum denounced the “disaster” caused by combined force of the Kenya Forest Service and Administration Police, a paramilitary unit of the police, which is now evicting the Sengwer not just from the Embobut Forest but from the entirety of the Cherangany Hills, destroying property and burning homes. “The government of Kenya is forcing us into extinction,” he said.[ii]

The extension of the evictions to all other areas in the Cherangany Hills forest complex to include Kapolet and Lelan/Kamolokon “means the removal of the entire population of Sengwer indigenous people living in the Cherangany Hills from their ancestral lands.”[iii] Some13,500 Sengwer live in the Cherangany Hills in Kenya’s Northern Rift Valley, and are one of the few hunter-gatherer groups left in eastern Africa.[iv]

According to Forest Peoples Programme, the Sengwer are not squatters. “The Sengwer have their rights to their ancestral forest lands enshrined in the Constitution and international law.” [v] The Sengwer obtained court orders to prevent further evictions to no avail.

Inspector Stephene Chessa who works for the Kenya Forest Service and is in charge of the Embobut evictions, denied anyone had been evicted by force. According to Mr. Chessa, the presence of the security forces is to ensure that the process is smooth.[vi] Funders of the Kenya Forest Service include the World Bank and the government of Finland.[vii]

 

kenya-evictions-1

Forest guards arrive in Kenya’s Embobut Forest in preparation for the evictions. © FPP

Last year, the World Bank funded the Government of Kenya’s REDD+ Program exclusively through its $68.5 million dollar Natural Resources Management Program, in the Cherangany Hills.[viii]

According its Inspection Panel report No. 77959-KE, the World Bank was “financing REDD+ readiness activities” as part of this program. As of last May, activities started include: “Identification of Grazing Systems as a REDD+ Strategy Option [and] Development of a Methodology for Monitoring Community Engagement in Forest Management and REDD+.”[ix] REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is a carbon offset mechanism that uses forests and land as sponges for Northern pollution.[x]

Solomon Mibei, Head of Conservation at Kenya Forest Service (KFS), said that “At the moment, the KFS is conducting workshops with communities living around the Embobut forest and the Kakamega forest to educate them on carbon financing.”[xi]

kenya-evictions-2

Homes of the Sengwer People in Kenya’s Cherangany Hills torched by forest guards © Justin Kenrick/ Survival

However, according to Forest Peoples Programme, KFS does not have a good track record protecting forests. “…when the KFS is in control then indigenous forest is fast destroyed, as profit-making plantations and agriculture replace the biodiversity of the indigenous forest.”[xii]

Possible partners for eventually doing REDD in Kenya include the Africa Development Bank, which is already working with communities on “forest conservation” exchange programs through a programme known as Green Zones Development Support Project (GZDSP).[xiii] Toyota[xiv] and Coca-Cola[xv] may also be prospective partners.

Last year, Sengwer representatives denounced previous KFS evictions in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 as well as the alleged shooting of the Sengwer woman Mrs. Beatrice Chepkorir in The Cherangany Hills Project Operation area of the World Bank-funded Natural Resources Management Project.[xvi] The Sengwer representatives also demanded that the Bank suspend funding for REDD+ until these injustices are addressed.[xvii]

This is not the first time in Kenya that Indigenous People suffer violent evictions from their ancestral territory that is slated for REDD. “The Mau Forest was made “ready” for UNEP-funded REDD with violent evictions of the Indigenous Ogiek People,” which threaten their cultural survival.[xviii] A landmark ruling on these evictions is expected to be handed down by the African Court this year.

The evictions of the Sengwer join the growing roster of land grabs and grave human rights violations caused by REDD ‘readyness” initiatives and forest carbon projects, which also include persecution, imprisonment, and killing.[xix] The evictions of the Sengwer may also confirm Friends of the Earth International’s concern that REDD could “foster an ‘armed protection’ mentality that could lead to the displacement of millions of forest-dependent people, including by force.”[xx]

“A false solution to climate change, REDD+ is emerging as a new form of colonialism, economic subjugation and a driver of land grabs so massive that they may constitute a continent grab. We must defend the continent from carbon colonialism,” declares the No REDD in Africa Network.

Even the United Nations admits that REDD+ could result in the “lock-up of forests,” “loss of land,” “conflict over resources,” “new risks for the poor” and “marginalize the landless.”[xxi]

There has been some debate as to whether REDD could potentially cause cultural genocide.[xxii] The evictions of the Sengwer People indicate that it very well may.

###

 


[i] Kenyan government forcing us into extinction’: evictions of Sengwer tribe escalate , Survival International, 24 January 2014 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/9932
[ii] Ibid.[iii] Kenya Burns Indigenous People Out of Ancestral Lands, Environmental News Service, January 22, 2014 http://ens-newswire.com/2014/01/22/kenya-burns-indigenous-people-out-of-ancestral-lands/
[iv] Sengwer, Marakwet and other inhabitants of the Embobut Forest are being told to move by authorities, Survival International, March 2013. http://www.survivalinternational.org/news.rss
[v] Ibid. and Indigenous Peoples evicted and their homes set on fire; Embobut forest, Kenya, REDD Monitorhttp://www.redd-monitor.org/2014/01/24/indigenous-peoples-evicted-and-their-homes-set-on-fire-embobut-forest-kenya/#more-14794

[vi] Interview with Inspector Stephen Chessa, by Kenyan journalist Isaiah Esipisu. January 19, 2014.
[vii] Miti Mingi Maisha Bora (MMMB) – Support to the Forest Sector Reform in Kenya, Embassy of Finland in Kenya, “…while components 2 and 3 are primarily implemented by KFS;” Note promotion of “trade in bio-energy.” http://www.finland.or.ke/public/default.aspx?nodeid=46392&contentlan=2&culture=en-US
[viii] PROJECT APPRAISAL DOCUMENT ON A PROPOSED CREDIT IN THE AMOUNT OF SDR 46.0 MILLION (US$68.5 MILLION EQUIVALENT) TO THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA FOR A NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROJECT February 26, 2007 http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2007/03/12/000020953_20070312104941/Rendered/PDF/37982.pdf
[ix] World Bank Inspection Panel, Report and Recommendation KENYA: Natural Resource Management Project (P095050), May 29, 2013, page 70 http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2013/05/31/000442464_20130531104013/Rendered/PDF/779590IPR0P09500lPN0REQUEST0RQ01302.pdf
[x] See No REDD Papers, Volume 1 http://www.no-redd.com/ No REDD Reader, http://noredd.makenoise.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/REDDreaderEN.pdf
[xi] Interview with Solomon Mibei Head of Conservation Kenya Forest Services by Kenyan journalist Isaiah Esipisu, January 18, 2014.
[xii] Kenya Burns Indigenous People Out of Ancestral Lands http://ens-newswire.com/2014/01/22/kenya-burns-indigenous-people-out-of-ancestral-lands/
[xiii] Interview with Solomon Mibei Head of Conservation Kenya Forest Services by Kenyan journalist Isaiah Esipisu, January 18, 2014.
[xiv] Interview with Sayoko Morita, Assistant to Managing Director, and in charge of the Cooperate Social Responsibility – Toyota Kenya by Kenyan journalist Isaiah Esipisu,, January 2014;
Cherangany water tower gets new lease on life, The Standard, 11 may 2011, “We presented a proposal to Toyota and they agreed to fund part of the rehabilitation of this important water tower,” said Core Country Chairman Kiyoshi Kita.” https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000034623&pageNo=1
[xv] Introduction to PES and REDD, Nairobi, 2011, Coca Cola listed as a funder (slide 6): http://www.slideshare.net/ICRAF_PRESA/introduction-ot-pes-and-redd-namirembe “Kerio Valley Development Authority, Eldoret Water and Sanitation Company (Eldowas), Marakwet County Council and Coca Cola have also come together to save the forest.” The Standard, https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000034623&pageNo=1
[xvi] “Shooting of a woman in Kapolet forest – in 2009 when the forest guards entered Kapolet forest to arrest members of Sengwer families they used live bullets. During the shootings, Mrs. Beatrice Chepkorir a Sengwer indigenous woman was shot from the back and left for death.” page 28 REQUEST FOR INSPECTION PANEL REVIEW OF THE KENYA: NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROJECT (P095050) received by the Inspection Panel on January 14, 2013 and registered on January 30, 2013 (RQ13/02).(Annex 1) http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2013/05/31/000442464_20130531104013/Rendered/PDF/779590IPR0P09500lPN0REQUEST0RQ01302.pdf
World Bank The Inspection Panel http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTINSPECTIONPANEL/0,,contentMDK:23350855~pagePK:64129751~piPK:64128378~theSitePK:380794,00.html
[xvii] Ibid, page 30.

[xviii] The Worse REDD-type Projects in Africa: Continent Grab for Carbon Colonialism , No REDD in Africa Network, http://no-redd-africa.org/index.php/16-redd-players/84-the-worst-redd-type-projects-in-africa-continent-grab-for-carbon-colonialism
[xix] Ibid and A Dozen of the Worst REDD-type Projects, Carbon Trade Watch, http://www.ienearth.org/docs/REDD-A%20Dozen-of-the-Worst-REDD-type-projects.pdf
[xx] Friends of the Earth International, REDD: Critical questions and myths exposed,, Summary www.foei.org/publications
[xxi] UN-REDD Framework Document, http://www.undp.org/mdtf/UN-REDD/docs/Annex-A-Framework-Docoment.pdf , p. 4-5 A Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP) Policy Brief, Based on the report “Making REDD Work for the Poor”, (Peskett et al, 2008) http://www.povertyenvironment.net/pep/ PEP includes UNDP, UNEP, IUCN, OCI, SIDA, ADB, DFID, WCMC
[xxii] Launch of No REDD in Africa Network: “REDD could cause genocide.”
“In 1948, the United Nations approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which defines genocide as follows: ‘genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.’

Does this definition apply to REDD? Potentially, it does. REDD could involve a vast area of land (theoretically covering the area of forest land – including large areas of agricultural land – in the global south). The rights to the use of that land could be taken away from Indigenous Peoples who depend on their forests for their livelihoods. Destroying livelihoods on this scale could conform to the parts (a), (b), and (c) of the definition of genocide, above.”

REDD Monitor http://www.redd-monitor.org/2013/04/03/launch-of-no-redd-in-africa-network-redd-could-cause-genocide/

Without a doubt, the massive evictions and burning of their homes are causing the Sengwer People mental harm, and, thus, conforming to criteria (b) of genocide.

 

Kenya prepara para REDD en el bosque Embobut Forest y
fuerza al pueblo Sengwer “a la extinción”

31 Enero 2014
El año pasado, el Gobierno de Kenya estaba “preparándose” para REDD en el Bosque Embobut, ahora está  desalojando violentamente al Pueblo Sengwer y forzándoles “a la extinción.” Según la ONG Survival International, “nada menos que un millar de casas ya han sido incendiadas”.

El portavoz Sengwer, Yator Kiptum, denunció el “desastre” causado por la fuerza combinada del Servicio Forestal de Kenia y de la Administración de Policía, una unidad paramilitar de la policía, que ahora está desalojando la población Sengwer no sólo desde el Bosque Embobut sino de la totalidad de las Lomas de Cherangany, destruyendo sus propiedades y quemando casas  “El gobierno de Kenia nos está forzando a la extinción,” ha dicho.

La extensión de los desalojos a todas las otras áreas en el complejo forestal Lomas de Cherangany incluyendo a Kapolet y Lelan/Kamolokon significa la eliminación de toda la población del Pueblo Indígena Sengwer que viven en las Lomas de Cherangany desde sus ancestros. “Alrededor de 13,500 Sengwer viven en las Lomas de Cherangany al norte del Valle Rift de Kenia, y son uno de los pocos grupos de cazadores-recolectores que quedan en el este de África.

De acuerdo con el  Programa Forest Peoples, los Sengwer no son colonos ilegales. “El poblado Sengwer tienen sus derechos a sus tierras y bosques ancestrales consagrados en la Constitución y el derecho internacional.” Los Sengwer obtuvieron órdenes judiciales para evitar más desalojos  pero ha sido en vano.

El Inspector Stephene Chessa que trabaja para el Servicio Forestal de Kenia y está a cargo de los desalojos del Bosque Embobut, negó que nadie haya sido desalojado por la fuerza. Según el Sr. Chessa, la presencia de las fuerzas de seguridad es para asegurar que el proceso sea tranquilo”. Los financiadores del Servicio Forestal de Kenia  incluyen  el Banco Mundial y el gobierno de Finlandia.

Guardias forestales llegan al bosque Embobut para preparar los desalojos. © FPP

El año pasado, el Banco Mundial financió al Gobierno de Kenia con el Programa REDD+ de Kenia exclusivamente a través de sus 68.5 millones de dólares del Proyecto de los Recursos Naturales de Gestión, en las Lomas de Cherangany.

Según el informe del Panel de Inspección N º 77959-KE, el Banco Mundial estaba financiando REDD+ “actividades de preparación”. A partir del pasado mes de mayo, las actividades iniciadas incluyen: “Identificación de sistemas de pastoreo como una opción de estrategia REDD+ [y] Desarrollo de una Metodología para el Monitoreo de Participación de la Comunidad en la Gestión Forestal y REDD+.” REDD (Reducción de Emisiones provenientes de Deforestación y Degradación) es un mecanismo de carbono que utiliza los bosques y las tierras como esponjas para la contaminación de los países del norte.

Solomón Mibei, Jefe de Conservación en el Servicio Forestal de Kenia (KFS), dijo que “Por el momento, el KFS está llevando a cabo talleres con las comunidades que viven alrededor del bosque Embobut y el bosque Kakamega para educarles sobre la financiación del carbono.”

Casas del pueblo Sengwer People en Las Lomas de Cherangany de Kenia quemadas por los guardabosques. © Justin Kenrick

Sin embargo, de acuerdo con el Programa Forest Peoples, KFS no tiene un buen historial de protección de los bosques. “…Cuando el KFS está en el control, el bosque nativo se destruye rápidamente, ya que las plantaciones con fines de lucro y la agricultura reemplazan la biodiversidad del bosque nativo.”

Los posibles socios para hacer REDD en Kenia incluyen el Banco de Desarrollo de África, que ya está trabajando con las comunidades en los programas de intercambio de “conservación de bosques ” a través de un programa conocido como Proyecto de Apoyo a Espacios Verdes (GZDSP). Toyota y Coca-Cola también pueden ser posibles socios.

El año pasado, los representantes Sengwer denunciaron desalojos previos por KFS en 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 y 2011, así como el presunto asesinato de la mujer de la mujer  Sengwer  Beatrice Chepkorir en el área  de las Lomas de Cherangany del Proyecto de Manejo de Recursos Naturales, financiado por el Banco Mundial.  Los representantes Sengwer también exigieron que el Banco suspenda la financiación de REDD+ hasta que estas injusticias sean resueltas.

Esta no es la primera vez en Kenia que los pueblos indígenas sufren desalojos violentos de su territorio ancestral que está programado para REDD. “El bosque Mau ya fue “preparado” para REDD financiado por PNUMA con violentos desalojos del Pueblo Indígena Ogiek, los cuales amenazan su supervivencia cultural. Se espera un fallo histórico sobre los desalojos que se dicte por el Tribunal Africano de este año.

Los desalojos de los Sengwer se unen a la creciente lista de los despojos de tierras y las graves violaciones de los derechos humanos causadas por las iniciativas de REDD, la preparación para REDD y los proyectos de carbono forestal. Tales violaciones incluyen la persecución, el encarcelamiento y asesinatos. Los desalojos de los Sengwer también pueden confirmar la preocupación de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional que REDD puede causar “el desplazamiento de millones de personas que dependen de los bosques, incluso por la fuerza.”
“Una falsa solución al cambio climático, REDD+ está emergiendo como una nueva forma de colonialismo, subyugación económica e impulsa despojo de tierra tan masivo que puede constituir un despojo de todo el continente africano. Debemos defender el continente del colonialismo del carbono”, declara la Red contra  REDD en África.

Incluso las Naciones Unidas reconoce que REDD+ podría resultar en la “clausura de los bosques”, “pérdida de la tierra”, “conflictos por los recursos”, “nuevos riesgos para los pobres” y “marginar a los sin tierra.”

Ha habido un debate sobre si REDD podría potencialmente causar genocidio cultural. Los desalojos del Pueblo Sengwer indican que sin duda REDD puede causar genocidio.
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Red contra REDD en África  http://no-redd-africa.org/    Comuníquese: noreddinafrica@gmail.com

No REDD Rice Manifesto: No WTO! No REDD! No to using Rice for Carbon Markets!

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Print the: No REDD Rice Manifesto: No WTO! No REDD! No to using Rice for Carbon Markets! w/o signatory. (PDF)

No REDD Rice Signatories (PDF)

Published: 04 December 2013

December 6, 2013 ● Bali, Indonesia

We, the undersigned Indigenous Peoples, peasants, fisherfolks, immigrants, women, youth, cooks and civil society of the world gathered in Bali to protest the WTO, know that rice is a sacred staple crop which feeds billions of peoples worldwide. We, who courageously resist efforts to impose the use of genetically modified so-called “Golden Rice” of Monsanto, now unite to defend rice from being used as a part of capitalism of nature and carbon markets – “REDD Rice”.

Since 2007, the United Nations, World Bank and fossil fuel polluters like Shell and Chevron and mining company Rio Tinto, have been pushing a carbon trading regime called REDD1 (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). REDD uses agricultural land, soils, forests and tree plantations as sponges for greenhouse gas emissions. Now these climate polluters want to use rice as an offset for their pollution instead of reducing emissions at source. Market-based solutions for addressing the climate crisis are a false solution.

We do not want our rice paddies or rice beds to be excuses for more pollution which causes global warming and typhoons. For peasant farmers, REDD+ constitutes a worldwide counter-agrarian reform and perverts the task of growing food into “farming carbon.” The UN and northern industrialized countries have introduced other false solutions to climate change such as “Climate-Smart Agriculture”. In Africa, where climate-smart carbon credit projects are being promoted, peasant farmers are starting to resist the use of their lands and soil for carbon sequestration, which is a carbon market scheme of capitalism. These new soil carbon markets are opening the door for more GMO crops and land grabs.

“Climate-ready” seeds and other supposed GMO climate fixes like “REDD Rice” are just more attempts of the biotech industry and agribusiness to deform, patent and control our seeds, grab our fields, privatize our soils and turn us into landless, indentured servants of capitalism.

Slated for next spring 2014, California may include rice cultivation as carbon offsets in its climate change law known as California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32). The proposed rice cultivation offset protocol will pretend to reduce emissions through a cropland agricultural protocol using for the first time, a BIO- GEO-CHEMICAL model, which supposedly “emulates” soil processes. One of the methods for supposedly cutting emissions is to replace wet seedlings with dry seedlings. This will include growing GMO rice and the use of genetically modified “soil nutrients”.

China and California would be working with biotechnology companies that would privatize, patent and sell genes that supposedly allow rice plants to use less fertilizer. As part of economic globalization, this gene-knowledge and rice offsets would be sold to the highest bidder to meet their emissions reduction targets on the emerging global market for carbon credits.

If applied on a massive scale, genetically modified REDD Rice could contaminate rice farmers’ lands and seeds with enormous adverse environmental, social and cultural consequences.

· No to Privatization and Commodification of Rice!

· No WTO of our RICE!

· No WTO of Nature, Food and Life!

· NO REDD Rice!

Honoring our martyrs who have fallen for defending our land and territories, we commit to defend rice as Life and part of our movement for food sovereignty. We oppose using rice as part of the carbon market. We oppose the corporate genetic manipulation of our rice. We oppose the Green “Greed” Economy being pushed by the WTO that privatizes Nature as “environmental goods and services”. Defend our Mother Earth and say NO! to the trading of Life and the air that we breathe and the food that we eat.

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1 REDD is a global initiative to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests to compensate governments and companies or owners of forests in developing countries not to cut their carbon-rich forests or to reduce their rate of deforestation and forest degradation as a market mechanism to avoid GHG emissions. REDD+ (plus) expands REDD to develop methods for carbon sequestration through forest, wetlands, agricultural systems, soil, carbon stocks, “sustainable management of forests” (logging) and “enhancement of forest carbon stocks” in developing countries.

 

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