Bolivia-Bonn, june, 2011
We refuse Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, so-called REDD and its versions REDD+ and REDD++, because it promotes the commodification of forests and affects the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Forests are continuously threatened by different issues, including processes of deforestation and degradation, which are the result of a historical process of colonial exploitation, extension of the capitalist system and the overconsumption of developed countries that have promoted the development of production chains, the advancement of the industrial agricultural frontier and intensive cattle-raising during the last years, in addition to standards of consumerist degradation, extractive model through mining activities, timber business, agrofuel and agrobusiness, mega dams and hydroelectric dams, exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon, infrastructure construction, etc. Forests are part of the function and processes of the planet's life, hence their importance in the processes of climate regulation and their vulnerability to climate change. Forests are centers of life, because they constitute spaces inhabited by a set of animal, vegetable and human beings, within which indigenous peoples have a central role.
Forests are an essential part of nature. In order to ensure the harmony between human kind and nature, it is necessary to recognize and defend the rights of Mother Earth, which include forests, jungle and all their components. Human beings are not the only ones who have the right to live and reproduce. Nature has also the right to live and regenerate, because without Mother Earth human beings would not be able to live.
Forests contribute to life, and one of their main functions is to participate in the water cycle ad regulate the river basins. Besides, they play an important role in the protection against other water related events, such as floods, erosions and natural disasters, hence the importance of this component of Mother Earth to ensure the right of our peoples to water. In order to develop an integrated and sustainable forest management, it is necessary to develop and protect these ecosystem functions in a holistic and comprehensive way.
We consider that it is necessary to preserve the forests and ensure the rights of indigenous peoples, but this cannot be achieved through a mechanism that aims to set a price to the environmental services provided by the forests, nor can it be achieved by issuing afterwards certificates of emission reduction to be sold in the carbon market that will benefit, above all, transnational corporations from Northern developed countries.
Northern developed countries and industries will breach their obligations to reduce emissions through the purchase of these emission reduction certificates. They will only have to show that they have acquired one of these certificates to justify their inability to reduce greenhouse gases emission in their territories.
We demand the economic compensation to countries that preserve the forests and to indigenous peoples, but this economic compensation must not be based on or come from market mechanisms. Instead, it should be established through a tax mechanism for financial transactions, which will allow the generation of funds without any kind of conditionality.
This view of nature commodification goes against the current view of indigenous people that we are the promoters of life and the ones who are more respectful towards nature, not considering nature as an object or a thing, but as our home, as a system, as the community in which we all live in and we all depend on.
The forest areas controlled by local communities, including indigenous peoples, who live and depend on them are very susceptible to deforestation and forest degradation. For this reason, the measures that promote sustainable and integrated management of forests must fully recognize, respect and promote the rights and indigenous peoples and local communities, including the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in their design and implementation, in full compliance with relevant international conventions and national applicable laws, inter alia, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the ILO Convention 169, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB) and other international instruments and relevant customary, national and international laws;
With regard to the Rio + 20 Conference, instead of promoting the commodification of nature through the so-called green economy, we need to take the path for the recognition of the rights of nature, because nature has also the right to exist and reproduce and the right to a healthy life.