Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change against REDD and for Life
NO REDD+! in RIO+20 - A Declaration to Decolonize the Earth and the Sky
Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change against REDD+
After more than 500
years of resistance, we, Indigenous Peoples, local communities, peasant
farmers, fisherfolk and civil society are not fooled by the so-called
Green Economy and REDD+ because 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. Rio+20's Green
Economy and REDD+ constitute a thinly-veiled, wicked, colonialist planet
grab that we oppose, denounce and resist. Rio+20 is not an Earth
Summit, it is the WTO of Life. 
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 the Green
Economy and REDD+ are inventing similarly dishonest premises to justify
this new wave of colonialization and privatization of nature.
Indigenous Peoples and peasants are being killed, forcibly 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
But what exactly is
the Green Economy and REDD+? The Green Economy is nothing more than
capitalism of nature; a perverse attempt by corporations, extractive
industries and 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.
REDD+, like carbon
trading and the Clean Development Mechanism, is a false solution to
climate change promoted by the United Nations, the World Bank and
climate criminals such as Shell and Rio Tinto, which allows polluters to
continue to burn fossil fuels and not reduce their emissions at source.
Officially, REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and
forest Degradation. But, REDD+ really means Reaping profits from
Evictions, land grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of biodiversity.
REDD+ constitutes a worldwide land grab and gigantesque carbon offset
just included forests and plantations, but its scope has been expanded
to include GMO trees, soils and agriculture. Ultimately, REDD+ may try
to include and expropriate the entire surface of the Earth including
most of the forests, soils, fields, grasslands, deserts, wetlands,
mangroves, marine algae and oceans to use them as sponges for
industrialized countries' pollution. REDD+ is also the pillar of the
Green Economy and has been blasphemously heralded as "the spiritual
core" of the "business plan" that the governments of the world are
writing for the planet. REDD+ turns the sources of life on Earth into
carbon garbage dumps; it turns the planet's wombs into tombs. But we are
not going to let this happen!
Maybe the Green
Economy is called green because that is the color of the dollar and
maybe REDD+ was so dubbed in anticipation of its bloody consequences.
Ask Olivia Mukamperezida, mother of Friday, an eight-year-old boy from
Uganda who, according to The New York Times, was killed when his home
was burned to the ground as over 22,000 small farmers with land deeds
were violently evicted for a carbon offset plantation. Ask farmer
Antonio Alves who was persecuted, arrested at gun point and thrown in jail for 11 days by Força Verde, the armed guards of Chevron's REDD+ project in Brazil, for cutting down a tree to repair his mother's leaky roof.
Ask Chief Daniel Jiménez of the Matsés People of the Peruvian Amazon
who had criminal charges brought against him for defending his people
against an exploitive REDD+ contract in a foreign language that gave the
carbon trader total control over the Matsés' rainforest and way of
Ask the Batwa Pygmy
People who have suffered servitude on the World Bank's Ibi-BatékéForest
Carbon Plantation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ask the Ngaju
Dayak People of Indonesia who have denounced the Kalimantan REDD+ project because it generates conflict and violates their right to free, prior, informed consent enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
These examples help
us all see through the shameful lies and crass propaganda that try to
hide the truth about REDD+. We know that REDD+ is not about saving the
climate or protecting forests or eradicating poverty or distributing
"benefits" or empowering women. Even the United Nations itself 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
In fact, all the
negative impacts of REDD+ that the UN foresaw are already happening. For
example, in Africa, REDD+, carbon credits, agrofuels and export crops,
are driving huge land grabs. Furthermore, since REDD+ now includes
plantations and agriculture, already existing plantations, agrofuels and
export crops could soon become carbon offset projects as well. Experts
are warning that three-quarters of Africa's population and two-thirds of
its land are at risk and that REDD+ may create "generations of landless
people." In Africa, 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.
on climate change, masked by false solutions like REDD, is allowing the
Earth's temperature to rise 2 degrees or more, which effectively melts
the Artic, incinerates Africa and drowns the Pacific. Nine countries are
disappearing under the waves as the sea level rises in the Pacific
where 90% of the population is indigenous. This constitutes climate
racism and cultural genocide on an unprecedented scale.
affects all regions of the world and all social sectors. For peasant
farmers, REDD+ constitutes a worldwide counter-agrarian reform and
perverts the task of growing food into "farming carbon." "Climate Smart
Agriculture" is not smart, it is dumb. Moreover, "climate-ready" seeds
and other supposed GMO climate fixes are just more attempts of Monsanto,
the biotech industry and agribusiness to deform, patent and control our
seeds, grab our fields and turn us into landless, indentured peons.
Applying a gender
analysis to REDD+, it is clear that REDD+ also constitutes a new form of
violence against women because it limits or prohibits women's access to
the land where we farm, gather food and draw water to feed and quench
our families. Similarly, for Indigenous Peoples, REDD+ threatens our
cultural survival and is potentially genocidal since REDD+ proponents
want to expropriate and control the majority of the forests and 80% of
the world's biodiversity, which is found in our lands and territories.
For fisherfolk and coastal communities, Blue REDD, that is doing REDD+
in the oceans and the waterways, could profoundly limit our fishing,
thus undermining our sustenance and way of life. As for workers, we know
that the jobs created by REDD+-type plantation projects tend to be
fewer than promised, the wages and labor conditions poor, the right to
unionize often violated and the exposure to carcinogenic pesticides
But REDD+ is not
just destructive for adults. For children, youth and future generations,
REDD+ and other false solutions to climate change, like large
hydroelectric dams such as Belo Monte, agrofuels, "clean" coal, nuclear
power, natural gas, hydraulic fracturing, nanotechnology, synthetic
biology, bioenergy, biomass, biochar and geo-engineering, endanger the
future and life as we know it. Instead of helping to reduce global
warming, they poison and destroy the environment and let the climate
crisis spiral exponentially, which may render the planet almost
We cannot allow
false solutions to climate change like REDD+ and the Green Economy to
destroy the Earth's balance, assassinate the seasons, unleash severe
weather havoc, privatize life and threaten the very survival of
humanity. REDD+ and the Green Economy are crimes against humanity and
the Earth. However, we refuse to be the damned of the Earth and let the
Earth be damned.
Heeding the wisdom
of our elders and the prophecies of our ancestors, we launch this call
for No REDD+! in Rio+20 and invite you to join us in planting this seed
in the consciousness of the peoples of the world. Mother Earth, wounded
and racked by pollution-induced fevers, is imploring us to change
paradigms. Only a path which:
Rejects REDD+ and the Green Economy as Privatization of Nature;
Decolonizes life, land and the sky;
Defends life and liberty;
Respects human rights;
Guarantees Indigenous Peoples' rights;
Honors Mother Earth and
Protects the Sacred,
will save the world and allow us to live well and create the "future that we want."
Footnotes with all references available on request.