PROTEST: United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

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PROTEST: United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Indigenous Peoples representatives and organizations held a protest at the May 2 2008 conclusion of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York. They were angered by the final report of the Permanent Forum, which ignored Indigenous Peoples stated concerns about carbon trading projects (REDD), Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and other so called” good practise” initiatives.

More info:

RED Climate Change and Forests.pdf:

RED Commodifying Forests.pdf:

Lessons learned from the CDM.pdf:

World Bank and the FCPF.pdf:

Kampar Peninsula.pdf:

No Carbon Market for Forests.pdf:

a poorly formatted/pasted text follows…

Communiqué from the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) on the matter of
the World Bank, REDDs’ issue resulting in the action on the last day of the
Permanent Forum.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Attached below are paragraphs 5 and 37, which 32 Indigenous organizations
and NGO’s participating in last weeks’ 7th Session of the Permanent Forum on
Indigenous Issues were opposed to. Despite a lot of lobbying of Permanent
Forum members, the language stayed in the final report. It must be known by
our Indigenous brothers and sisters to know that there were certain people
on the Permanent Forum that were advocating for support and implementation
of carbon market initiatives concerning climate change mitigation and the
protection of forest lands.

It was noted that during the first week of the Permanent Forum, there were
numerous statements made by Indigenous Peoples opposing the REDD [Reduced
Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries] initiative
<; that the
World Bank is initiating through a Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF)
project. When the Permanent Forum released a draft of its recommendations on
the theme of climate on Monday, April 28, 2008, it was discovered that the
draft recommendations (paragraph 37) strongly supported the World Bank
initiative and completely ignored the voices of Indigenous Peoples that
opposed the REDD initiative, as well as other carbon market solutions.
Indigenous participants felt completely ignored and marginalized. One
Indigenous brother from the Amazon basin region said, “I don’t even know why
I came to this Permanent Forum, it seems they already had their mind made up
on what they wanted to say.”

It was surprising to see language in the Permanent Forum recommendations
citing the consultations held by the World Bank to be recognized. Indigenous
Peoples from South America had noted the World Bank consultation in South
America resulted in Indigenous Peoples walking out. Walking out on this
so-called consultation does not interpret into support for the FCPF – REDD

Within paragraph 5, it was appalling to many Indigenous Peoples that the
Permanent Forum recommended the Kyoto Protocols’ Clean Development Mechanism
(CDM) and the World Bank’s Clean Energy Investment Framework as “good
examples” of partnerships. Please look at the Petition, for these two
initiatives are not good examples of partnerships and many CDM projects have
reports of human rights violations.

After the draft report of recommendations on the theme of climate was
released, concerned Indigenous peoples, especially the forested-peoples of
the global south, converged. After lobbying for language in paragraph 5 and
37 to be omitted, it seemed like swimming upstream. Many Permanent Forum
members were not fully knowledgeable on the REDDs initiative, nor fully
aware of carbon offset and carbon market regimes. A strategy to present a
unified presence was decided upon. A petition was prepared by IEN and signed
by 32 Indigenous organizations and submitted to the 16 independent experts
of the Permanent Forum. (8 of the members are nominated by governments and 8
are nominated directly by indigenous organizations in their regions. Members
of the Permanent Forum are listed at this web site:

The language of the draft recommendation that was released by the Permanent
Forum members on Monday, April 28, 2008, is provided below.

(UN document number: United Nations E/C.19/2008/L.2, Agenda item 3 of the
provisional agenda)

/5. The Permanent Forum notes that the clean development mechanism, the
Clean Energy Investment Framework, the N* <#_ftn1>airobi Framework, the
Nairobi Work Programme and the Global Environment Facility adaptation funds
are good examples of the kind of partnership that will become increasingly
important. These mechanisms respond to the needs of indigenous peoples and
include them as partners in designing and implementing programmes that are
responsive to local problems and to the goals and visions of indigenous
women and men./

/37. The Permanent Forum recommends that the recommendations and proposals
that emerged from the consultations of indigenous peoples and the World Bank
on the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and other carbon funds, such as
the BioCarbon Fund, be implemented by the Bank and other relevant agencies.
Indigenous peoples should be effectively involved in the design,
implementation and evaluation of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.
Displacement and exclusion of indigenous peoples from their forests which
may be triggered by projects funded by the Partnership Facility, should be
avoided at all costs. Indigenous peoples or their representatives should
have a voice in and a vote on the decision making body of the Partnership
Facility and of other climate change funds that will have impacts on them.
In the case of those who opt not to participate in reducing emissions from
deforestation and degradation or in the projects supported by the
Partnership Facility, their choice should be respected./

In response to these 2 paragraphs above, Indigenous organizations and
supporting organizations registered at the Permanent Forum presented the
following Petition to the Permanent Forum members.

Seventh Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

20 April 2008 – 2 May 2009

Petition to the Members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Concerning Paragraph 5 and 37 of the draft Climate report

Members of the Permanent Forum,

We would like to express our profound concern about the inclusion of our
forests in the carbon market through the mechanism known as “Reducing
Emissions from Deforestation and Destruction” (REDD). During this 7th
Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, many interventions were
made by Indigenous participants expressing opposition to the World Banks’
Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and its efforts to develop a framework
for implementing the REDD initiative.

We strongly urge the deletion of Paragraph 37 of the “Recommendations on the
special theme “Climate change, biocultural diversity and livelihoods: the
stewardship role of indigenous peoples and new challenges”
[E/C.19/2008/L.2]. The World Bank on the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility
(FCPF) and other carbon funds, such as the BioCarbon Fund are facing broad
resistance by indigenous peoples in developing countries and becoming very
contentious and the cause of conflicts and divisions in our communities. At
one of the World Bank consultations on the FCPF, there was even a walkout by
indigenous peoples. The Permanent Forum must _not_ put itself in the
position at this time of becoming an advocate for the World Banks’ FCPF and
its efforts to promote the REDD initiative.

Many adaptation and mitigation policies and projects promoted as solutions
to climate change such as emissions trading, agrofuels and the Clean
Development Mechanism devastate Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories
and cause human rights violations. The consensus statement of the Global
Indigenous Caucus presented on the 2^nd day of this session reflected this
view as well.

The vast majority of indigenous peoples feel that the 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 rights to our lands,
territories and resources; cause forced evictions; prevent access and
threaten indigenous agriculture practices; destroy biodiversity, cultural
diversity, traditional livelihoods and knowledge systems; and cause social
conflicts. Under REDD, States and carbon traders will take more control over
our forests.

We would like further to inform the Permanent Forum that steps are already
being taken in many countries, including India, to put in place legislation
and programmes that would enable dispossession of indigenous lands in favour
of corporate and international NGO control as conservation parks and
sanctuaries in anticipation of implementing REDD projects. These legal and
policy initiatives demonstrate clearly that REDD would result in
displacement of indigenous peoples and forest dwelling communities on a
massive scale.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was
adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 13 of
this year and consecrates fundamental rights of indigenous peoples which are
relevant to the REDD discussions, especially Articles* *10, 26, 27, 28, 29,
30, 32.

Given the threat to Indigenous Peoples’ Rights that REDD represents, we call
on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to recommend
strongly to the UNFCCC, the UN Forum of Forests, concerned UN agencies such
as UNEP, the World Bank, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples and nation states that REDD not
be considered as a strategy to combat Climate Change but, in fact, is in
violation of the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples. Moreover, we also
urge the Permanent Forum to recommend strongly to the Convention on
Biological Diversity that the implementation of the programme of work on
Forests and biodiversity prohibit REDD.

We also further urge that Paragraph 5 be amended to remove “clean
development mechanism, the Clean Energy Investment Framework, and the Global
Environment Facility”. These initiatives do not demonstrate good examples of
partnership with indigenous peoples. There are many CDM projects that have
human rights violations, lack of transparency and have failed to recognize
the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent. The Clean Energy
Investment Framework is a World Bank initiative developed in response to a
mandate from the G-8 summit in Gleneagles in 2005. It is suppose to increase
access to energy in developing countries, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in
the energy sector, and assist developing countries to adapt to climate
change. Friends of the Earth reported that instead of combating climate
change, the World Bank Investment Framework promotes coal-fired power,
nuclear power and large hydropower projects. The report, published by
international environment and development organizations, concluded that the
World Bank’s new Investment Framework on Clean Energy and Development will
not be effective at combating climate change and expanding energy access for
the poor. Indigenous peoples must be extremely cautious on who we partner with.

Organizations that Endorse this Statement :

Name of Organizations

1. Indigenous Environmental Network

2. CORE Manipur

3. Federation of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Asia (FITPA)

4. Na Koa Ikuiku Kalahui Hawaii
5. Indigenous World Association
6. CAPAJ- Parlamento del Pueblo Qollana
7. International Indian Treaty Council
8. Amazon Alliance
10. Instituto Indigena Brasileno para la Poropiedad Intelctual
11. The Haudenosaunee Delegation
12. Agence Kanak de Developpement
13. Mary Simat-MAWEED
14. Marcos Terena-Comite Intertribal-ITC-Brasil
15. Land is Life
16. ARPI-SC-Peru Amazonia
17. Asociaciones de Mujeres Waorani de la Amazonia AMWAE
18. Kus Kura S.C.
19. Indigenous Network on Economic and Trade
20. Aguomon FEINE
21. Friends of the Earth International
22. Amerindian Peoples Association
23. FIMI North America
24. L. Ole L. Lengai-Sinyati Youth Alliance
25. Beverly Longid-Cordillera Peoples Alliance Philippines
26. Red de Mujeres Indigenas sobre Biodiversidad de Abgatala
27. Fundacion para la Promocion de Conocimiento Indigena
28. Asociacion Indigena Ambiental
29. INTI-Intercambio Nativa Tradicional Internacional
30. Global Forest Coalition
31. Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu
32. Café ek

Representatives of Indigenous organizations lobbied various members of the
Permanent Forum on the importance of _not_ recommending implementation of
the World Banks’ Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and its REDD
initiative. It must be noted that a couple days later, the Asia Indigenous
Caucus drafted its own proposed language surrounding the World Bank REDD
initiative. This was in response to the Petition. While the Latin America
Indigenous peoples were largely opposed to the World Bank REDD issue,
members of the Asia Indigenous Caucus were split on the issue. The Asia
Indigenous Caucus supported paragraph 37 to stay, and lobbied for two
additional paragraphs. Their version is provided below:



Concerning Recommendations on the special theme, “Climate Change,
biocultural diversity and livelihoods : the stewardship role of indigenous
peoples and new challenges”

*/Insert Additional Paragraphs after paragraph 36 :/*

37. The Permanent Forum recommends to use the renewed political focus on
forests stimulated by current policy debates on Reduced Emissions from
Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) under the UNFCCC, towards securing the
rights of indigenous peoples living in forests, and* protecting *rewarding
their historical* guardianship *stewardship role and* *continuing
conservation and sustainable use of forests. Indigenous peoples must not be
excluded, and should be centrally involved in deciding forest policies and
programmes at all levels, that deliver on justice and equity, and contribute
to sustainable development, biodiversity protection and climate mitigation
and adaptation.**

38. The Permanent Forum has heard that the current framework for Reduced
Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is unacceptable for most
indigenous peoples. Existing REDD proposals, would reward deforesters and
polluters rather than indigenous peoples; reinforce centralized top-down
management of forests,* involve carbon offset regimes that violate
indigenous cosmovision and world view* and undermine indigenous peoples
rights. In order to benefit indigenous peoples, new proposals for avoided
deforestation or reduced emissions from deforestation must* include *address
the need for global and national policy reforms and be guided by *implement
*the UN Declaration on the* *Rights of Indigenous Peoples, respecting rights
to land, territories and resources; and the rights of self determination and
to the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the indigenous peoples concerned.* *

Despite all the efforts to try to lobby Permanent Forum members on the
issue, and numerous closed door meetings by the Permanent Forum members
discussing the issue, on the last day of the Permanent Forum, the final
recommendations were released. The final recommendations maintained
paragraph 37, and added the two additional paragraphs proposed by the Asia
Indigenous Caucus. Paragraph 5 stayed in the final report, as well.

This is when the Indigenous organizations demanded a voice on this issue.
The final day didn’t allow for interventions (statements) from Indigenous
groups (observers).


6 thoughts on “PROTEST: United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

    The fate of the big forest: a future for the Amazon? « colonos said:
    Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 01:51 (118)

    […] analysis, but whose belief in the effectiveness of such market based ploys as the REDD initiative (see the next entry) leaves much to be […]

    earthpeoples said:
    Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 08:21 (390)

    We would like to send you a press release in english and spanish, with pictures, could you send your direct e-mail contact?

    “UN Admits Its Climate Change Program Threatens Indigenous Peoples”

    Sept. 27, 2008 – On the third day of the General Assembly’s 63rd Session, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Prime Minister of Norway launched the United Nations REDD program, a collaboration of FAO, UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank.

    The inclusion of forests in the carbon market, or REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) has caused anxiety, protest and outrage throughout the world since it was created at the failed climate change negotiations in Bali and funded by the World Bank.

    An estimated 60 million indigenous peoples are completely dependent on forests and are considered the most threatened by REDD. Therefore, indigenous leaders are among its most prominent critics. The International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change declared that: ‘…REDD will steal our land… States and carbontraders will take control over our forests.’

    It is alarming that indigenous peoples’ fears and objectionshave now been confirmed by the UN-REDD Framework Document itself.

    On page 4 and 5 it blatantly states that the program could “deprive communities of their legitimate land-development aspirations, that hard-fought gains in forest management practices might be wasted, that it could cause the lock-up of forests by decoupling conservation from development, or erode culturally rooted not-for-profit conservation values.”

    It is further highlighted that “REDD benefits in some circumstances may have to be traded off against other social, economic orenvironmental benefits.”

    In carefully phrased UN language, the document further acknowledges that REDD could cause severe human rights violations and be disastrous for the poor because it could “marginalize the landless.and those with. communal use-rights”.

    This is tantamount to the UN recognizing that REDD could undermine indigenous peoples and local communities rights to the usage andownership of their lands.

    Could it be that the UN is paving the way for a massive land grab?

    colono responded:
    Monday, September 29, 2008 at 08:55 (413)

    “Could it be that the UN is paving the way for a massive land grab?” – of course it can, why would they not? They serve private, capital interest (mostly of white men and some women) and always have. No news there, business as usual.

    duaxolo said:
    Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 14:36 (650)

    I`am new girl on .Let’s gets acquainted!
    My name is Victoria.

    Saiguran said:
    Monday, December 8, 2008 at 20:26 (893)

    I think this gonna be worst than the present situation.
    Indigenouse peoples gonna a saffer forever.This is just anotehr way of land grabing.Aready the rich communities or liders benefiting from REDD.
    Our Ind. peoples still doesn’t understand what is this all about.
    We dont even get inough support to represent our communities to the UN forum.
    Can some one reaaly see this or sound it out to the UN bodies?
    From The United Republic Of Tanzania.

    reisibbof said:
    Friday, April 24, 2009 at 06:36 (317)

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

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