1 Apr 2010

CLIMATE CHANGE: Native Peoples Reject Market Mechanisms

CLIMATE CHANGE: Native Peoples Reject Market Mechanisms
By Daniel Zueras

SAN JOSÉ, Apr 1, 2010 (IPS) - Solutions to global warming based on the logic of the market are a threat to the rights and way of life of indigenous peoples, the Latin American Indigenous Forum on Climate Change concluded this week in Costa Rica.

Proposals from governments and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as the Clean Development Mechanism and the UN-REDD Programme (United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries), "are new forms of economic geopolitics" that endanger indigenous rights enshrined in treaties, says the final declaration of the forum, which ended Wednesday.

These proposals allow states and transnational corporations to promote dams, agrofuels, oil exploration, tree plantations and monoculture crops, that cause expropriation and destruction of indigenous peoples' territories and the criminalisation, prosecution and even murder of native people, the document says.

The Forum, which opened Monday, included the Indigenous Council of Central America (CICA), the Meso-American Indigenous Council (CIMA), the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests, the Coordinating Body for the Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), the Indigenous Women's Biodiversity Network (IWBN), the South American region of the Continental Network of Indigenous Women (ECMIA), the Intercultural Indigenous University (UII) and the International Indigenous Women's Forum (IIWF).

Indigenous people and their organisations are putting forward holistic solutions that respect the rights of human beings and of Mother Earth, and that are not limited to Western scientific knowledge but include traditional wisdom, indigenous practices and innovations that have contributed to efforts to preserve ecosystems and biodiversity, the Forum declaration says.

There are some 400 different native groups in Latin America, totalling about 45 million people.

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