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Democracy in Reverse | Non-Profit Disaster Capitalism on the Gulf Coast

July 11, 2013

by Elizabeth Cook 

GulfOilSpill2

The most recent public meeting of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, held in Belle Chase on June 12, was an exercise in democracy in reverse.(1)

It is an undemocratic process that is largely for political theater, in my view, so I used it as such. I was as dramatic as possible in presenting the most important points, in my view, of the reality on the Gulf. People have only three minutes to speak. The funding is a long way off, so why not have round table discussions, that can go on all day, where people wander in and out depending on their schedule? No, in three minutes, you have to state all of your concerns about the gulf, BP, oil, the Corexit (2), bioremediation or the lack thereof in the marshes, the dying marshes (3), the culpability of the government in the use of Corexit (4), the fact that the Feds want to expand drilling to Florida (5) and the Corexit is being stockpiled all up and down the Gulf coast (6). If there another major oil well blowout in the Gulf and the Corexit is used in massive quantities again, then this restoration process will have to start all over. Common sense folks (yes, I did say that). 

FLASHBACK | Communique from COP

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December 12, 2011
by Quincy Saul

This pockmarked daybreak
Dawn gripped by night,
This is not that much-awaited light
For which friends set out filled with hope

– Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Many arrived in Durban with high hopes. They hoped that the sheer urgency of climate change, especially in Africa, would persuade world leaders and their representatives to take the necessary action to avert global catastrophe. They hoped that dissent inside the meetings would pressure the big polluters to atone for their sins. And they hoped that civil society on the outside would mobilize to change the course of history. Such hopes will haunt us all in the years to come, as we come to grips with the collective atrocity that was COP17.

Human Rights Watch in Democratic Republic of the Congo … Watchdog or Master Puppeteer?

The New Times | Rwanda’s First Daily

by Albert Rudatsimburwa

September 14, 2012

Anneke Van Woudenberg is a researcher for Human Rights Watch.

HERE we go again… Human Rights Watch, true to its mantra of “Hating Rwanda Much” has come up with yet another damning report accusing Rwanda, alongside the M23 mutineers, of a “horrific trail of new atrocities in Eastern Congo” defined as large-scale war crimes. This, of course, reeks of déjà vu… an ‘encore’ of some sort! We have indeed already witnessed the same methodology and media relays with the UN Group of Experts (GoE) report on the matter. Interestingly enough, the author of the HRW report and Senior Researcher in its Africa Division, Anneke Van Woudenberg, was omnipresent in mainstream media, vouching for a report she didn’t author… or did she? The similarities are too striking to ignore.

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words … | Haitians Want to Know: “Where’s the Money?”

Photo courtesy of Ezili Danto, Haitian News

FLASHBACK: The Missionary Position – NGOs and Development in Africa

 

Firoze Manji
Fahamu – learning for change
14 Standingford House, Oxford OX4 1BA
Carl O’Coill

Hull School of Architecture, University
of Lincoln, George Street, Hull HU1 3BW
Published in International Affairs 78 3 (2002) 567-83

 

NGOs face a stark choice. If they stand in favour of the emancipation of humankind (whether at home or abroad), then the focus of their work has inevitably to be in the political domain, supporting those social movements that seek to challenge a social system that benefits a few and impoverishes the many. The closing years of apartheid in Africa were illustrative of the choice that NGOs face today: either they supported the emerging popular movements (in South Africa and internationally) that supported the overthrow of a brutal system of exploitation, or they stayed silent and continued their philanthropic work, and became thereby complicit in the crimes of the system of apartheid.

 

Africa in the closing years of the 20th Century will be remembered for two historic events. One was the rise of the popular movements that led to the end of the colonial empire and the downfall of apartheid; the other, a human catastrophe of immense proportions involving the massacre of nearly a million people in Rwanda. If the one was achieved through the mobilisation of the majority for the goal of emancipation, the other was fuelled by pressures to comply with an externally defined agenda for social development. These events represent the
extremes of hope and despair that came to characterise much of the continent in the closing years of the millennium. Every country in the region contains, albeit to varying degrees, the mixture of factors that can lead to either outcome – a future built on respect for human dignity, or one torn apart by conflicts such as those seen in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Development, it seems, has failed. In many post-colonial countries real per capita GDP has fallen and welfare gains achieved since independence in areas like food consumption health and education have been reversed. The statistics are
disturbing. In Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole per-capita incomes dropped by 21% in real terms between 1981 and 1989.1 Madagascar and Mali now have per capita incomes of $799 and $753 down from $1,258 and $898 25 years ago. In 16 other Sub-Saharan countries per capita incomes were also lower in 1999 than in 1975.2 Nearly one quarter of the world’s population, but nearly 42% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa, live on less than $1 a day. Levels of inequality have also increased dramatically but worldwide. In 1960 the average income of the top 20% of the world’s population was 30 times that of the bottom 20%. By 1990 it was 60 times, and by 1997, 74 times that of the lowest fifth. Today “the assets of the top three billionaires are more than the combined GNP of all least developed countries and their 600 million people”.3

This has been the context in which there has been an explosive growth in the presence of Western as well as local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Africa. NGOs today form a prominent part of the “development machine”, a vast institutional and disciplinary nexus of official agencies, practitioners, consultants, scholars, and other miscellaneous experts producing and consuming knowledge about the “developing world”.4 According to recent estimates, there are as many as three thousand development NGOs in OECD countries as a whole.5 In Britain alone, there are well over one hundred voluntary groups claiming some specialism in the field.

The New Forests Company | Oxfam: British Corporation Mass Murdering Ugandans in UN Sanctioned Land Grab

British Corporation Mass Murdering Ugandans in UN Sanctioned Land Grab

September 26, 2011

Beneath fraud, media spin, & UN stamps of approval, awaits an unfolding nightmare for the people of Africa and the world.

by Tony Cartalucci

The New York Times recently reported in an article titled, “In Scramble for Land, Group Says, Company Pushed Ugandans Out,” that the British “New Forests Company” has evicted over 20,000 people from their land in Uganda to make way for tree plantations. Homes were burnt, people, including women and children, were brutalized and murdered during the long eviction process. However, the New York Times states that in this case “the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.”

 

The “group” the New York Times is referring to is Oxfam, which published a report titled, “The New Forests Company and its Uganda plantations,” detailing the activities of New Forests in Uganda and the evictions the New York Times gingerly describes in its article.

Who is The New Forests Company?

Meet “New Forests,” a UK-based firm that claims to be a “sustainable and socially responsible forestry company with established, rapidly growing plantations and the prospect of a diversified product base for local and regional export markets which will deliver both attractive returns to investors and significant social and environmental benefits.” Their corporate website is not short of the color green, nor of African people smiling and prospering, so apparently, we are left to believe, New Forests has made good on their mission statement.


Image: Taken from New Forests’ website, they proudly display the swath of destruction their company is responsible for, of course, instead of depicting the displacements, murders, and thuggery they are committing against the people of Africa, they place images of thriving trees.
….

Meet Robert Deveruex, chairman of New Forests, one of the founding shareholders of The Virgin Group and former chairman of Soho House Group. He has spent a great deal of time and energy making what his corporation is doing in Africa appear to have a philanthropic spin. In an August 2010 Guardian article titled, “Robert Devereux donates £4m of art collection to set up African charity,” Devereux claims of his New Forests company that it “has a huge community development programme. It’s not philanthropy. We go to the community and we say, ‘We want to co-invest with you. If you provide what labour and materials you can, we’ll provide money for things that you can’t get.'” Devereux, however, never mentioned what happens if the community says, “no thanks.”


Photo: Robert Devereux, a long time investor, a long time con-artist spinning his company’s despoiling of Africa as some sort of cutting-edge investment strategy that makes money and “helps” people. Even as Devereux made his disingenuous statements in 2010 regarding New Forests, the villagers in Uganda he was “helping” had already filed a court case a year earlier protesting the British company’s encroachment on their land.

Meet New Forests executive director and CEO Julian Ozanne, who previously worked for the Financial Times, advised US and European investment banks on business and political risk in Africa and worked for the global corporate-fascists nexus, the World Economic Forum. Also serving as a New Forest director is Jonathan Aisbitt, chairman of the investment firm, The Man Group, and previously a partner and managing director at the now notorious Goldman Sachs.

There is also Avril Stassen, who is not only a director at New Forests but is also currently a principal at Agri-Vie Investment Advisers, which claims to be “focused on food and agribusiness in Sub-Sahara Africa with a mission to generate an above average investment return, as well as demonstrable socio-economic development impacts through its equity investments in food and agribusinesses.” In other words, buying up land in African nations people depend on to live, to instead broaden foreign investors’ portfolios and profits, all under the cover of feel good rhetoric and pictures of smiling Africans pasted all over their website and annual reports. A good website that seems to be keeping watch on Agri-Vie is Farmlandgrab.org, which in one short URL explains exactly the game Agri-Vie is playing.

And finally, meet Sajjad Sabur, also a director at New Forests, as well as a managing director at HSBC, heading the mega-bank’s “Principal Investments Africa” branch which targets African businesses with management buyouts, growth capital and recapitalization “opportunities.” Sabur’s HSBC investment arm has actually invested in New Forests.

Quite clearly, this looks more like the profile of a Wall Street-London corporate-fascist hit team than anything at all involving humanitarian, environmental, or social concerns. And judging by Oxfam’s report and the subsequent attempt by the New York Times to mitigate the gravity of what the largest banks in the world are doing to Africa, it seems like a corporate-fascist hit is just what is unfolding in Uganda at New Forests’ hands.

Globalization is Modern Day Imperialism by Anglo-American Bankers

Backtracking to New Forests’ mission statement, apparently “social responsibility” equates to murdering or displacing tens of thousands of Ugandans in their own nation, and “attractive returns” equates to the extraction and exportation of Ugandan resources for a corporation’s shareholders 4,000 miles away. What we are told is of significant “benefit” to society and the environment looks more like a textbook case of imperialism, perpetrated by British, surely new to being socially and environmentally responsible, but certainly not to imperialism nor gimmicks used to mask it behind noble causes.

The New York Times reveals that the World Bank is also an investor in New Forests along with HSBC, and that the true nature of the scam goes beyond merely displacing tens of thousands to grow trees, but that the trees are being used for the purpose of selling contrived carbon credits, not even to provide tangible resources for economic activity. The New York Times also implicates the United Nations, which granted New Forests permission to “trade” with the Ugandan government regarding its 50-year lease to grow trees in the landlocked nation.

The government of Uganda, led by President-for-life Yoweri Museveni for the last 25 years, was the result of a protracted civil war led by Museveni himself. After seizing power, he was immediately lauded by the West, embraced the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s plans for restructuring his newly conquered nation, and has been running it as a dictator ever since. It is no surprise that Museveni is now selling his own people out, no doubt in exchange for his perpetual, unhindered rule, transiting a vast corporate media black hole enjoyed by regimes servile to Wall Street and London worldwide.

The globalist New York Times has a long tradition of apologizing not just for Anglo-American bankers as they defile the planet, but defending their accomplices, Museveni apparently one of them. In a 1997 New York Times article titled, “Uganda Leader Stands Tall in New African Order,” Museveni is praised for his extraterritorial meddling throughout neighboring African states. The New York Times claims, “not only has Mr. Museveni resurrected his own impoverished nation from two decades of brutal dictatorship and near economic collapse, but he is also widely seen as the covert patron of rebel movements like the one that has just toppled Mobutu Sese Seko, the longtime dictator of Zaire.” The article then brushes off accusations that Museveni is dictator of a single party system of governance by providing Museveni’s own defense, that Uganda is pre-industrial and not ready for multiparty democracy.

How resurrected Uganda is from poverty is a matter of debate, and certainly, the concept of poverty has taken on all new dimensions for over 20,000 Ugandans forced from their land by Anglo-American bankers and their willing accomplices in the Ugandan government. How Museveni plans on bringing Uganda past its “pre-industrial” state by handing over land to foreigners to grow trees on for the next 50 years, leaving his own people homeless, jobless, and destitute for an entire generation is also a profound mystery.

What we are watching in Africa is the grotesque reality that is globalization peaking through the thick layer of lies, propaganda, spin, liberal ideologies, and imagery used to dupe the Western world, and increasingly many in the developing world. It is a reality that entails theft on a massive scale, human exploitation, mass-murder, collective punishment, and intimidation. For those that think Uganda is an isolated anomaly and are somehow able to dismiss the backgrounds of New Forests which represents an entire network designed specifically to exploit and strip mine all of Africa, one need look no further than Southeast Asia’s Cambodia. There, half way around the world from Uganda, another Western backed dictator-for-life, Hun Sen, has literally sold half his country to foreign investors, displacing hundreds of thousands at gunpoint in a nearly identical Wall Street-London land-grab.

Globalization is a multi-billion dollar packaged update of the British Empire’s “spreading of civilization.” Designs of dominion and exploitation have historically always been accompanied by excuses seen as palatable for the masses who were expected to support and carry these designs to fruition for the ruling elite. While it is no longer fashionable to kill black and brown people while accusing them of being “savages,” it is still quite fashionable to consider them “undemocratic,” “backwards,” “overpopulating,” “terrorists,” and above all, “detriments to our environment.” At least, New Forests and New York Times seem to think so.

Once again, the choice we the people have, upon learning of this, is to either detach in cowardice and apathy, or identify the corporations, banks, and institutions leading this “globalization,” expose them, boycott them, and ultimately replace them. Those of New Forests guilty of displacing, even murdering people simply for profit in a foreign nation, thousands of miles from their shores, don’t belong in business anymore.

The darkest villains we face on earth today are not cave dwelling Islamic fundamentalists, Libyan colonels, or Americans selling sliver coins, instead, the most dangerous, degenerate, and detrimental members of the human race reside on Wall Street and in London’s financial institutions.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/09/british-corporation-mass-murdering.html

Who Really Leads on the Environment? The “Movement” Versus Evo Morales Who Really Leads on the Environment? The “Movement” Versus Evo Morales Who Really Leads on the Environment? The “Movement” Versus Evo Morales


The Environmental “Movement” Versus the Bolivian Morales Government

September 30th, 2011

by Cory Morningstar

Evo Morales is Bolivia’s first-ever Indigenous president. In his January 2006 inaugural speech, Morales’s focus was the years of discrimination against Indians, and he compared Bolivia to apartheid-era South Africa. Morales hailed the election as the end of the Colonial and Neo-Liberal Era. In October 2009, Morales was named “World Hero of Mother Earth” by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

In December 2009, the Morales government proved the most progressive of all states (in alliance with ALBA and the G77 nations) at the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen. This union, led by Bolivia, aggressively pursued the scientific targets necessary in order for the world to avoid complete ecological collapse and a global genocide of unparalleled proportions. Ironically (and most revealing), these progressive states led leaps and bounds ahead of the environmental movement itself.

The institutionalized environmental “movement” was united under an umbrella organization/campaign titled TckTckTck, a social media giant, contrived by some of the world’s most powerful corporations and marketing executives. [1] One such TckTckTck partner (there are 280 partners made public) was the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change consisting of corporations such as Shell, RBF and Coca-Cola. (When this information was uncovered and made public, TckTckTck removed them from their website and scrambled to recover from the PR nightmare.) The Bolivian government’s leadership was so incredibly dignified and courageous that it even put the more legitimate Climate Justice movement to shame.

To get a sense of exactly who the corporate greens really represent (hint – it is not you), consider this: Bolivia, ALBA and the G77 demanded that states not exceed a 1ºC global temperature rise. In stark contrast, the NGOs “demanded” that temperatures not exceed a +2ºC and further “demanded” that world emissions peak by 2019 (meaning that emissions would continue to increase, business as usual, until 2019 at which point we would begin an effort to decrease). TckTckTck includes over 200 international partners including Avaaz, Conservation International, Greenpeace International, World Wildlife Fund (and many more pro-REDD advocates and profiteers) as well as Climate Action Network International [2] who represents (and speaks on behalf of) over 700 NGOs.

Regarding the issue of human rights, the hundreds of corporate NGOs – by campaigning to get the public to accept the global average temperature further rising up to a 2ºC limit – thereby sanctioned/sanctions most all species on this planet to an unprecedented annihilation within decades. [Note: Consider that at under +1ºC, we are already committed to a minimum +2.4ºC not including feedbacks: Ramanathan and Feng 2008 paper. Further, note climate scientist James Hansen’s warning that even 1ºC now looks like an unacceptably high risk.]

Considering that the corporate NGOs are leading us to certain species eradication, one must consider what constitutes criminal negligence. In the United States, the definition of criminal negligence is compelling: “Crimes Committed Negligently (Article 33.1) A crime shall be deemed to be committed with clear intent, if the man or woman was conscious of the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility or the inevitability of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, and willed such consequences to ensue.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed with indirect intent, if the man or woman realized the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, did not wish, but consciously allowed these consequences or treated them with indifference.” “A Crime Committed by Negligence (Article 33.1): A criminal deed committed thoughtlessly or due to negligence shall be recognized as a crime committed by negligence.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed thoughtlessly, if the man or woman has foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), but expected without valid reasons that these consequences would be prevented.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed due to negligence if the man or woman has not foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), although he or she could and should have foreseen these consequences with reasonable.”

After the massive failure/corruption of COP15 in 2009, in 2010 Bolivia organized and hosted the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which produced The Cochabamba Accord (April 2010), specifically rejecting REDD: “We condemn market mechanisms such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and its versions + and + +, which are violating the sovereignty of peoples and their right to prior, free and informed consent as well as the sovereignty of national States, the customs of Peoples, and the Rights of Nature.”

The ‘buen vivir‘ (“good life”) ideology, also enshrined into Bolivia’s constitution, was yet another visionary philosophy that secured Bolivia as the conscience of the world on climate change and moral principles. The buen vivir philosophy was presented by the Bolivia delegation at the United Nations in April 2010. In December 2010, the revolutionary “Law of the Rights of Mother Earth” (“Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra”) was passed by Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly. Bolivia’s ideas, positions and beliefs under the leadership of Morales, were in fact, so advanced both intellectually and philosophically – that most often Bolivia stood alone in the International arena while those lacking courage, ethics, or both, were left behind within the flocks of sheep. In a world where compromise of human life has become status quo – Bolivia, under Morales,  has consistently refused to abandon their principled positions. This from a country that emits approximately one quarter of the CO2 emissions than that of green-house gas leading obstructionist states such as United States and Canada.

History repeated itself in 2010 when, at the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16), which took place in Cancún, Mexico, Bolivia again stood alone in the International arena as the only one of the UN’s 192 member countries to vote against a deal which effectively sanctioned a global suicide pact. The suffering and devastation that will result from the greatest heist in history is unparalleled desperation, starvation and death on a massive scale.

Compare the Morales Leadership to NGO Avaaz, Which has Launched an International Campaign Against Morales

Avaaz is a member of The Climate Group.

The Climate Group is pushing REDD: http://www.theclimategroup.org/_assets/files/Reducing-Emissions-from-Deforestation.pdf

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund also acts as an incubator for in-house projects that later evolve into free-standing institutions – a case in point being The Climate Group, launched in London in 2004. The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, including big polluters such as energy giants BP and Duke Energy, as well as several partner organizations, such as NGO Avaaz. The Climate Group are advocates of unproven carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), nuclear power and biomass as crucial technologies for a low-carbon economy. The Climate Group works closely with other business lobby groups, including the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), which works consistently to sabotage climate action. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard, a new global standard for voluntary offset projects. One marketing strategist company labeled the Climate Group’s campaign “Together” as “the best inoculation against greenwash.” The Climate Group has operations in Australia, China, Europe, India, and North America. It was a partner to the Copenhagen Climate Council.

http://www.theclimategroup.org/about-us/our-partners/

The U.S. backed Avaaz NGO (Soros funding) has never endorsed the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba. Neither has any other corporate green group.

The Environmental movement? It’s a movement, alright. A movement to protect the world’s wealthiest families and corporations who fund the movement via tax-exempt foundations.

Morales Position on REDD

Morales produced a statement on REDD (September 2010) explaining in more detail his opposition to REDD (available here in Spanish, pdf file – 734.6 kB).

NATURE, FORESTS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE NOT FOR SALE


Indigenous brothers of the world:

 

I am deeply concerned because some pretend to use leaders and indigenous groups to promote the commoditization of nature and in particular of forest through the establishment of the REDD mechanism (Reduction Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) and its versions REDD+ REDD++.

 

Every day an extension of forests and rainforest equivalent to 36,000 football fields disappears in the world. Each year 13 million hectares of forest and rain forest are lost. At this rate, the forests will disappear by the end of the century.

 

The forests and rainforest are the largest source of biodiversity. If deforestation continues, thousands of species, animals and plants will be lost forever. More than three quarters of accessible fresh water zones come from uptake zones in forests, hence the worsening of water quality when the forest condition deteriorates. Forests provide protection from flooding, erosion and natural disasters. They provide non-timber goods as well as timber goods. Forests are a source of natural medicines and healing elements not yet discovered. Forests and the rainforest are the lungs of the atmosphere. 18% of all emissions of greenhouse gases occurring in the world are caused by deforestation.

 

It is essential to stop the destruction of our Mother Earth.

 

Currently, during climate change negotiations everyone recognizes that it is essential to avoid the deforestation and degradation of the forest. However, to achieve this, some propose to commoditize forests on the false argument that only what has a price and owner is worth taking care of.

 

Their proposal is to consider only one of the functions of forests, which is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and issue “certificates”, “credits” or “Carbon rights” to be commercialized in a carbon market. This way, companies of the North have the choice of reducing their emissions or buy “REDD certificates” in the South according to their economic convenience. For example, if a company has to invest USD40 or USD50 to reduce the emission of one ton of C02 in a “developed country”, they would prefer to buy a “REDD certificate” for USD10 or USD20 in a “developing country”, so they can they say they have fulfilled to reduce the emissions of the mentioned ton of CO2.

 

Through this mechanism, developed countries will have handed their obligation to reduce their emissions to developing countries, and the South will once again fund the North and that same northern company will have saved a lot of money by buying “certified” carbon from the Southern forests. However, they will not only have cheated their commitments to reduce emissions, but they will have also begun the commoditization of nature, with the forests

 

The forests will start to be priced by the CO2 tonnage they are able to absorb. The “credit” or “carbon right” which certifies that absorptive capacity will be bought and sold like any commodity worldwide. To ensure that no one affects the ownership of “REDD certificates” buyers, a series of restrictions will be put into place, which will eventually affect the sovereign right of countries and indigenous peoples over their forests and rainforests. So begins a new stage of privatization of nature never seen before which will extend to water, biodiversity and what they call “environmental services”.

 

While we assert that capitalism is the cause of global warming and the destruction of forests, rainforests and Mother Earth, they seek to expand capitalism to the commoditization of nature with the word “green economy”.

 

To get support for this proposal of commoditization of nature, some financial institutions, governments, NGOs, foundations, “experts” and trading companies are offering a percentage of the “benefits” of this commoditization of nature to indigenous peoples and communities living in native forests and the rainforest.

 

Nature, forests and indigenous peoples are not for sale.

 

For centuries, Indigenous peoples have lived conserving and preserving natural forests and rainforest. For us the forest and rainforest are not objects, are not things you can price and privatize. We do not accept that native forests and rainforest be reduced to a simple measurable quantity of carbon. Nor do we accept that native forests be confused with simple plantations of a single or two tree species. The forest is our home, a big house where plants, animals, water, soil, pure air and human beings coexist.

 

It is essential that all countries of the world work together to prevent forest and rainforest deforestation and degradation. It is an obligation of developed countries, and it is part of its climate and environmental debt, to contribute financially to the preservation of forests, but NOT through its commoditization. There are many ways of supporting and financing developing countries, indigenous peoples and local communities that contribute to the preservation of forests.

 

Developed countries spend tens of times more public resources on defense, security and war than in climate change. Even during the financial crisis many have maintained and increased their military spending. It is inadmissible that by using the needs communities have and the ambitions of some leaders and indigenous “experts”, indigenous peoples are expected to be involved with the commoditization of nature.

 

All forests and rainforests protection mechanisms should guarantee indigenous rights and participation, but not because indigenous participation is achieved in REDD, we can accept that a price for forests and rainforests is set and negotiated in a global carbon market.

 

Indigenous brothers, let us not be confused. Some tell us that the carbon market mechanism in REDD will be voluntary. That is to say that whoever wants to sell and buy, will be able, and whoever does not want to, will be able to stand aside. We cannot accept that, with our consent, a mechanism is created where one voluntarily sells Mother Earth while others look crossed handed

 

Faced with the reductionist views of forests and rainforest commoditization, indigenous peoples with peasants and social movements of the world must fight for the proposals that emerged of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth:

 

1. Integrated management of native forests and rainforest not only considering its mitigation function as CO2 sink but all its functions and potentiality, whilst avoiding confusing them with simple plantations.

 

2. Respect the sovereignty of developing countries in their integral management of forests.

 

3. Full compliance with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established by the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Convention No. 169 of the ILO and other international instruments; recognition and respect to their territories; revalorization and implementation of indigenous knowledge for the preservation of forests; indigenous peoples participation and indigenous management of forest and rainforest.

 

4. Funding of developed countries to developing countries and indigenous peoples for integral management of forest as part of their climate and environmental debt. No establishment of any mechanism of carbon markets or “incentives” that may lead to the commoditization of forests and rainforest.

 

5. Recognition of the rights of Mother Earth, which includes forests, rainforest and all its components. In order to restore harmony with Mother Earth, putting a price on nature is not the way but to recognize that not only human beings have the right to life and to reproduce, but nature also has a right to life and to regenerate, and that without Mother Earth Humans cannot live.

 

Indigenous brothers, together with our peasant brothers and social movements of the world, we must mobilize so that the conclusions of Cochabamba are assumed in Cancun and to impulse a mechanism of RELATED ACTIONS TO THE FORESTS based on these five principles, while always maintaining high the unity of indigenous peoples and the principles of respect for Mother Earth, which for centuries we have preserved and inherited from our ancestors.

 

EVO MORALES AYMA
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

 

+++

WHAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND NGOs ARE NOT REPORTING

VIDEO: Sept. 30th, 2011: TIPNIS: Indigenous of Western Bolivia support Government (english subs)

“… political opportunists who have infiltrated this mobilization … they took advantage of it in order to discriminate and criticize the changing process … we will tell these political rascals in their presence … here is the people! Here are the real ones who have struggled to defend the changing process! … 20 or 30 years from now … Bolivia will be truly independent … without the intrusion of neo-liberal parties …”


From the article: Bolivia: Amazon protest — development before environment? by Fred Fuentes:

US interference

As the uprising against neoliberalism grew in strength, overthrowing a neoliberal president in 2003, US imperialism sought to use money to increase divisions within the indigenous movements.

In late 2005, investigative journalist Reed Lindsay published an article in NACLA that used declassified US documents to expose how US government-funded agency USAID was used to this effect.

USAID was already planning by 2002 to “help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors”.

The downfall in 2003 of president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada triggered a step-up in this subversive activity.

A particular target was CIDOB.

The group was in a crisis after Fabricano was accused of profiting from illegal logging and he accepted the post of vice-minister of Indigenous Affairs under Sanchez de Lozada.

Through USAID funding to the Brecha Foundation, an NGO established by CIDOB leaders, the US hoped to further mould the organisation to its own ends.

Referring to comments made by Brecha director Victor Hugo Vela, Lindsay notes that during this time, “CIDOB leaders allied with Fabricano have condemned the cultivation of coca, helped the business elite in the department of Santa Cruz to push for region autonomy and opposed a proposal to require petroleum companies to consult with indigenous communities before drilling on their lands”.

The CSUTCB (divided between followers of Morales and radical Aymara leader Felipe Quispe), CSCB, FNMCB-BS and organisations such as the neighbourhood councils of El Alto (Fejuve), and to a less extent worker and miner organisations, were at the forefront of constant street battles and insurrections.

CIDOB, however, took an approach marked by negotiation and moderation.

It was not until July 2005 that CIDOB renewed its leadership, in turn breaking relations with Brecha.

CIDOB was not the only target for infiltration.

With close to $200,000 in US government funds, the Land and Liberty Movement (MTL) was set up in 2004 by Walter Reynaga.

As well as splitting the Movement of Landless Peasant’s (MST), one wing of which operated out of his La Paz office, Lindsay said Reynaga, like Vega, tried to win control of the “MAS-aligned” CONAMAQ.

Demands

And it is also true that the demands of the Sub Central of TIPNIS, and in particular CIDOB, are far removed from any notion of communitarianism.

Although initially focused on opposition to the highway, protesters presented the government with an original list of 13 demands, then extended to 16, on the day the march began.

Among those were calls for indigenous peoples to be able to directly receive compensation payment for offsetting carbon emissions.

This policy, know as REDD+, has been denounced as the privatisation of the forests by many environmental activists and the Peoples’ Summit of Climate Change organised in Bolivia in 2010.

It has also been promoted as a mechanism to allow developed countries to continue to pollute while undermining the right underdeveloped to develop their economies.

Another demand calls for the replacement of functionaries within the Authority for Control and Monitoring of Forests and Lands (ABT).

This demand dovetails with the allegations made by Morales against CIDOB leaders, and never refuted, that they want to control this state institution.

Much focus has been made of the potential environmental destruction caused by a highway that would open the path to future “coloniser” settlements.

But these arguments have only focused on one side of the equation.

Much has been made of a study by Bolivian Strategic Research Program that concluded that 64.5% of TIPNIS would be lost to deforestation by 2030 as a result of the highway.

Few, though, have noted that the same study found that even without the highway 43% of TIPNIS would be lost if the current rate of deforestation continues.

The biggest cause of this is the illegal logging that continues to occur, in some cases with the complicity of some local indigenous leaders and communities.

An environmental impact studies by the Bolivian Highway Authority have found the direct impact of the highway on TIPNIS to be 0.03%.

But this has to weighed up with the fact that the highway would provide the state with access to areas currently out of its reach.

This would enable not only access to services, but a greater ability to tackle illegal logging and potential narcotrafficking in the area.

At the same time, the government has asked the indigenous communities of TIPNIS to help in drafting legislation that would impose jail terms of 10 to 20 years on those found to be illegally settling, growing coca or logging in TIPNIS.

+++

The manipulation by NGOs and corporations is clear in this interview (below) with Pirakuma Yawalapiti, the Xingu spokesperson speaking on the issue of carbon trading. This dialogue was filmed by Rebecca Sommer of EARTHPEOPLES, a global network for and by Indigenous Peoples. The interview is just one of hundreds that give documented testament to the deliberate manipulation of the threatened people most vulnerable to climate change. To view more videos and further understand the exploitation of Indigenous Peoples in pursuit of the profits behind REDD, please visit  SommerFilms.

 

[In the interview, the NGOs/agencies who Yawalapiti speaks of (that are pressuring the Indigenous communities of Alto Xingu to agree to REDD projects they do not want) are FUNAI – National Indian Foundation Brazil / Fundação Nacional do Índio and IBAMA – Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources / Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis.]

 

 

[1] The following companies who have already come on board as partners includes Galeries Lafayette, Virgin Group, Yahoo! Music, iTunes, Google, Pernod Ricard, EDF, Microsoft, Zune, YouTube, USA Today, National Magazines, HSBC, M&S, Uniqlo, Lloyds Bank, MySpace, MTV, Bo Concept Japan K.K., Volvo, Kipa Turkey, Claro Argentina, Peugeot, NTV, Universal, Tesco, Sina.com, GDF Suez, Centrica, Oxfam, New Zealand Wine Company, 350.org, Handbag.com, Avaaz.org, Lesinrockuptibles, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, EMap, Greenpeace, Commensal, The Atlantic, Fast Company, News Limited, Tesla, Wired Magazine, and RFM Radio.

 

[2] The founding of the Climate Action Network (CAN) in 1988 can be traced back to the early players in the ENGO community, including Michael Oppenheimer of the corporate NGO, Environmental Defense Fund. CAN is a global network of over 700 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The stated goal of CAN is to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. This goal is severely problematic in (at minimum) 2 fundamental ways: 1) There is no such thing as “ecologically sustainable levels” of climate change, and 2) as opposed to states having to respond to approximately 300 groups demanding action on climate change, states instead bask in the comfort of having to deal with only one (that of CAN), which essentially demands little to nothing. CAN has seven regional coordinating offices that coordinate these efforts in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Members include organizations from around the globe, including the largest corporate greens such as World Wildlife Fund [WWF], Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.


The Environmental “Movement” Versus the Bolivian Morales Government

September 30th, 2011

by Cory Morningstar

Evo Morales is Bolivia’s first-ever Indigenous president. In his January 2006 inaugural speech, Morales’s focus was the years of discrimination against Indians, and he compared Bolivia to apartheid-era South Africa. Morales hailed the election as the end of the Colonial and Neo-Liberal Era. In October 2009, Morales was named “World Hero of Mother Earth” by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

In December 2009, the Morales government proved the most progressive of all states (in alliance with ALBA and the G77 nations) at the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen. This union, led by Bolivia, aggressively pursued the scientific targets necessary in order for the world to avoid complete ecological collapse and a global genocide of unparalleled proportions. Ironically (and most revealing), these progressive states led leaps and bounds ahead of the environmental movement itself.

The institutionalized environmental “movement” was united under an umbrella organization/campaign titled TckTckTck, a social media giant, contrived by some of the world’s most powerful corporations and marketing executives. [1] One such TckTckTck partner (there are 280 partners made public) was the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change consisting of corporations such as Shell, RBF and Coca-Cola. (When this information was uncovered and made public, TckTckTck removed them from their website and scrambled to recover from the PR nightmare.) The Bolivian government’s leadership was so incredibly dignified and courageous that it even put the more legitimate Climate Justice movement to shame.

To get a sense of exactly who the corporate greens really represent (hint – it is not you), consider this: Bolivia, ALBA and the G77 demanded that states not exceed a 1ºC global temperature rise. In stark contrast, the NGOs “demanded” that temperatures not exceed a +2ºC and further “demanded” that world emissions peak by 2019 (meaning that emissions would continue to increase, business as usual, until 2019 at which point we would begin an effort to decrease). TckTckTck includes over 200 international partners including Avaaz, Conservation International, Greenpeace International, World Wildlife Fund (and many more pro-REDD advocates and profiteers) as well as Climate Action Network International [2] who represents (and speaks on behalf of) over 700 NGOs.

Regarding the issue of human rights, the hundreds of corporate NGOs – by campaigning to get the public to accept the global average temperature further rising up to a 2ºC limit – thereby sanctioned/sanctions most all species on this planet to an unprecedented annihilation within decades. [Note: Consider that at under +1ºC, we are already committed to a minimum +2.4ºC not including feedbacks: Ramanathan and Feng 2008 paper. Further, note climate scientist James Hansen’s warning that even 1ºC now looks like an unacceptably high risk.]

Considering that the corporate NGOs are leading us to certain species eradication, one must consider what constitutes criminal negligence. In the United States, the definition of criminal negligence is compelling: “Crimes Committed Negligently (Article 33.1) A crime shall be deemed to be committed with clear intent, if the man or woman was conscious of the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility or the inevitability of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, and willed such consequences to ensue.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed with indirect intent, if the man or woman realized the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, did not wish, but consciously allowed these consequences or treated them with indifference.” “A Crime Committed by Negligence (Article 33.1): A criminal deed committed thoughtlessly or due to negligence shall be recognized as a crime committed by negligence.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed thoughtlessly, if the man or woman has foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), but expected without valid reasons that these consequences would be prevented.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed due to negligence if the man or woman has not foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), although he or she could and should have foreseen these consequences with reasonable.”

After the massive failure/corruption of COP15 in 2009, in 2010 Bolivia organized and hosted the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which produced The Cochabamba Accord (April 2010), specifically rejecting REDD: “We condemn market mechanisms such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and its versions + and + +, which are violating the sovereignty of peoples and their right to prior, free and informed consent as well as the sovereignty of national States, the customs of Peoples, and the Rights of Nature.”

The ‘buen vivir‘ (“good life”) ideology, also enshrined into Bolivia’s constitution, was yet another visionary philosophy that secured Bolivia as the conscience of the world on climate change and moral principles. The buen vivir philosophy was presented by the Bolivia delegation at the United Nations in April 2010. In December 2010, the revolutionary “Law of the Rights of Mother Earth” (“Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra”) was passed by Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly. Bolivia’s ideas, positions and beliefs under the leadership of Morales, were in fact, so advanced both intellectually and philosophically – that most often Bolivia stood alone in the International arena while those lacking courage, ethics, or both, were left behind within the flocks of sheep. In a world where compromise of human life has become status quo – Bolivia, under Morales,  has consistently refused to abandon their principled positions. This from a country that emits approximately one quarter of the CO2 emissions than that of green-house gas leading obstructionist states such as United States and Canada.

History repeated itself in 2010 when, at the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16), which took place in Cancún, Mexico, Bolivia again stood alone in the International arena as the only one of the UN’s 192 member countries to vote against a deal which effectively sanctioned a global suicide pact. The suffering and devastation that will result from the greatest heist in history is unparalleled desperation, starvation and death on a massive scale.

Compare the Morales Leadership to NGO Avaaz, Which has Launched an International Campaign Against Morales

Avaaz is a member of The Climate Group.

The Climate Group is pushing REDD: http://www.theclimategroup.org/_assets/files/Reducing-Emissions-from-Deforestation.pdf

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund also acts as an incubator for in-house projects that later evolve into free-standing institutions – a case in point being The Climate Group, launched in London in 2004. The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, including big polluters such as energy giants BP and Duke Energy, as well as several partner organizations, such as NGO Avaaz. The Climate Group are advocates of unproven carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), nuclear power and biomass as crucial technologies for a low-carbon economy. The Climate Group works closely with other business lobby groups, including the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), which works consistently to sabotage climate action. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard, a new global standard for voluntary offset projects. One marketing strategist company labeled the Climate Group’s campaign “Together” as “the best inoculation against greenwash.” The Climate Group has operations in Australia, China, Europe, India, and North America. It was a partner to the Copenhagen Climate Council.

http://www.theclimategroup.org/about-us/our-partners/

The U.S. backed Avaaz NGO (Soros funding) has never endorsed the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba. Neither has any other corporate green group.

The Environmental movement? It’s a movement, alright. A movement to protect the world’s wealthiest families and corporations who fund the movement via tax-exempt foundations.

Morales Position on REDD

Morales produced a statement on REDD (September 2010) explaining in more detail his opposition to REDD (available here in Spanish, pdf file – 734.6 kB).

NATURE, FORESTS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE NOT FOR SALE


Indigenous brothers of the world:

I am deeply concerned because some pretend to use leaders and indigenous groups to promote the commoditization of nature and in particular of forest through the establishment of the REDD mechanism (Reduction Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) and its versions REDD+ REDD++.

Every day an extension of forests and rainforest equivalent to 36,000 football fields disappears in the world. Each year 13 million hectares of forest and rain forest are lost. At this rate, the forests will disappear by the end of the century.

The forests and rainforest are the largest source of biodiversity. If deforestation continues, thousands of species, animals and plants will be lost forever. More than three quarters of accessible fresh water zones come from uptake zones in forests, hence the worsening of water quality when the forest condition deteriorates. Forests provide protection from flooding, erosion and natural disasters. They provide non-timber goods as well as timber goods. Forests are a source of natural medicines and healing elements not yet discovered. Forests and the rainforest are the lungs of the atmosphere. 18% of all emissions of greenhouse gases occurring in the world are caused by deforestation.

It is essential to stop the destruction of our Mother Earth.

Currently, during climate change negotiations everyone recognizes that it is essential to avoid the deforestation and degradation of the forest. However, to achieve this, some propose to commoditize forests on the false argument that only what has a price and owner is worth taking care of.

Their proposal is to consider only one of the functions of forests, which is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and issue “certificates”, “credits” or “Carbon rights” to be commercialized in a carbon market. This way, companies of the North have the choice of reducing their emissions or buy “REDD certificates” in the South according to their economic convenience. For example, if a company has to invest USD40 or USD50 to reduce the emission of one ton of C02 in a “developed country”, they would prefer to buy a “REDD certificate” for USD10 or USD20 in a “developing country”, so they can they say they have fulfilled to reduce the emissions of the mentioned ton of CO2.

Through this mechanism, developed countries will have handed their obligation to reduce their emissions to developing countries, and the South will once again fund the North and that same northern company will have saved a lot of money by buying “certified” carbon from the Southern forests. However, they will not only have cheated their commitments to reduce emissions, but they will have also begun the commoditization of nature, with the forests

The forests will start to be priced by the CO2 tonnage they are able to absorb. The “credit” or “carbon right” which certifies that absorptive capacity will be bought and sold like any commodity worldwide. To ensure that no one affects the ownership of “REDD certificates” buyers, a series of restrictions will be put into place, which will eventually affect the sovereign right of countries and indigenous peoples over their forests and rainforests. So begins a new stage of privatization of nature never seen before which will extend to water, biodiversity and what they call “environmental services”.

While we assert that capitalism is the cause of global warming and the destruction of forests, rainforests and Mother Earth, they seek to expand capitalism to the commoditization of nature with the word “green economy”.

To get support for this proposal of commoditization of nature, some financial institutions, governments, NGOs, foundations, “experts” and trading companies are offering a percentage of the “benefits” of this commoditization of nature to indigenous peoples and communities living in native forests and the rainforest.

Nature, forests and indigenous peoples are not for sale.

For centuries, Indigenous peoples have lived conserving and preserving natural forests and rainforest. For us the forest and rainforest are not objects, are not things you can price and privatize. We do not accept that native forests and rainforest be reduced to a simple measurable quantity of carbon. Nor do we accept that native forests be confused with simple plantations of a single or two tree species. The forest is our home, a big house where plants, animals, water, soil, pure air and human beings coexist.

It is essential that all countries of the world work together to prevent forest and rainforest deforestation and degradation. It is an obligation of developed countries, and it is part of its climate and environmental debt, to contribute financially to the preservation of forests, but NOT through its commoditization. There are many ways of supporting and financing developing countries, indigenous peoples and local communities that contribute to the preservation of forests.

Developed countries spend tens of times more public resources on defense, security and war than in climate change. Even during the financial crisis many have maintained and increased their military spending. It is inadmissible that by using the needs communities have and the ambitions of some leaders and indigenous “experts”, indigenous peoples are expected to be involved with the commoditization of nature.

All forests and rainforests protection mechanisms should guarantee indigenous rights and participation, but not because indigenous participation is achieved in REDD, we can accept that a price for forests and rainforests is set and negotiated in a global carbon market.

Indigenous brothers, let us not be confused. Some tell us that the carbon market mechanism in REDD will be voluntary. That is to say that whoever wants to sell and buy, will be able, and whoever does not want to, will be able to stand aside. We cannot accept that, with our consent, a mechanism is created where one voluntarily sells Mother Earth while others look crossed handed

Faced with the reductionist views of forests and rainforest commoditization, indigenous peoples with peasants and social movements of the world must fight for the proposals that emerged of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth:

1. Integrated management of native forests and rainforest not only considering its mitigation function as CO2 sink but all its functions and potentiality, whilst avoiding confusing them with simple plantations.

2. Respect the sovereignty of developing countries in their integral management of forests.

3. Full compliance with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established by the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Convention No. 169 of the ILO and other international instruments; recognition and respect to their territories; revalorization and implementation of indigenous knowledge for the preservation of forests; indigenous peoples participation and indigenous management of forest and rainforest.

4. Funding of developed countries to developing countries and indigenous peoples for integral management of forest as part of their climate and environmental debt. No establishment of any mechanism of carbon markets or “incentives” that may lead to the commoditization of forests and rainforest.

5. Recognition of the rights of Mother Earth, which includes forests, rainforest and all its components. In order to restore harmony with Mother Earth, putting a price on nature is not the way but to recognize that not only human beings have the right to life and to reproduce, but nature also has a right to life and to regenerate, and that without Mother Earth Humans cannot live.

Indigenous brothers, together with our peasant brothers and social movements of the world, we must mobilize so that the conclusions of Cochabamba are assumed in Cancun and to impulse a mechanism of RELATED ACTIONS TO THE FORESTS based on these five principles, while always maintaining high the unity of indigenous peoples and the principles of respect for Mother Earth, which for centuries we have preserved and inherited from our ancestors.

EVO MORALES AYMA
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

+++

WHAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND NGOs ARE NOT REPORTING

VIDEO: Sept. 30th, 2011: TIPNIS: Indigenous of Western Bolivia support Government (english subs)

“… political opportunists who have infiltrated this mobilization … they took advantage of it in order to discriminate and criticize the changing process … we will tell these political rascals in their presence … here is the people! Here are the real ones who have struggled to defend the changing process! … 20 or 30 years from now … Bolivia will be truly independent … without the intrusion of neo-liberal parties …”


From the article: Bolivia: Amazon protest — development before environment? by Fred Fuentes:

US interference

As the uprising against neoliberalism grew in strength, overthrowing a neoliberal president in 2003, US imperialism sought to use money to increase divisions within the indigenous movements.

In late 2005, investigative journalist Reed Lindsay published an article in NACLA that used declassified US documents to expose how US government-funded agency USAID was used to this effect.

USAID was already planning by 2002 to “help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors”.

The downfall in 2003 of president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada triggered a step-up in this subversive activity.

A particular target was CIDOB.

The group was in a crisis after Fabricano was accused of profiting from illegal logging and he accepted the post of vice-minister of Indigenous Affairs under Sanchez de Lozada.

Through USAID funding to the Brecha Foundation, an NGO established by CIDOB leaders, the US hoped to further mould the organisation to its own ends.

Referring to comments made by Brecha director Victor Hugo Vela, Lindsay notes that during this time, “CIDOB leaders allied with Fabricano have condemned the cultivation of coca, helped the business elite in the department of Santa Cruz to push for region autonomy and opposed a proposal to require petroleum companies to consult with indigenous communities before drilling on their lands”.

The CSUTCB (divided between followers of Morales and radical Aymara leader Felipe Quispe), CSCB, FNMCB-BS and organisations such as the neighbourhood councils of El Alto (Fejuve), and to a less extent worker and miner organisations, were at the forefront of constant street battles and insurrections.

CIDOB, however, took an approach marked by negotiation and moderation.

It was not until July 2005 that CIDOB renewed its leadership, in turn breaking relations with Brecha.

CIDOB was not the only target for infiltration.

With close to $200,000 in US government funds, the Land and Liberty Movement (MTL) was set up in 2004 by Walter Reynaga.

As well as splitting the Movement of Landless Peasant’s (MST), one wing of which operated out of his La Paz office, Lindsay said Reynaga, like Vega, tried to win control of the “MAS-aligned” CONAMAQ.

Demands

And it is also true that the demands of the Sub Central of TIPNIS, and in particular CIDOB, are far removed from any notion of communitarianism.

Although initially focused on opposition to the highway, protesters presented the government with an original list of 13 demands, then extended to 16, on the day the march began.

Among those were calls for indigenous peoples to be able to directly receive compensation payment for offsetting carbon emissions.

This policy, know as REDD+, has been denounced as the privatisation of the forests by many environmental activists and the Peoples’ Summit of Climate Change organised in Bolivia in 2010.

It has also been promoted as a mechanism to allow developed countries to continue to pollute while undermining the right underdeveloped to develop their economies.

Another demand calls for the replacement of functionaries within the Authority for Control and Monitoring of Forests and Lands (ABT).

This demand dovetails with the allegations made by Morales against CIDOB leaders, and never refuted, that they want to control this state institution.

Much focus has been made of the potential environmental destruction caused by a highway that would open the path to future “coloniser” settlements.

But these arguments have only focused on one side of the equation.

Much has been made of a study by Bolivian Strategic Research Program that concluded that 64.5% of TIPNIS would be lost to deforestation by 2030 as a result of the highway.

Few, though, have noted that the same study found that even without the highway 43% of TIPNIS would be lost if the current rate of deforestation continues.

The biggest cause of this is the illegal logging that continues to occur, in some cases with the complicity of some local indigenous leaders and communities.

An environmental impact studies by the Bolivian Highway Authority have found the direct impact of the highway on TIPNIS to be 0.03%.

But this has to weighed up with the fact that the highway would provide the state with access to areas currently out of its reach.

This would enable not only access to services, but a greater ability to tackle illegal logging and potential narcotrafficking in the area.

At the same time, the government has asked the indigenous communities of TIPNIS to help in drafting legislation that would impose jail terms of 10 to 20 years on those found to be illegally settling, growing coca or logging in TIPNIS.

+++

The manipulation by NGOs and corporations is clear in this interview (below) with Pirakuma Yawalapiti, the Xingu spokesperson speaking on the issue of carbon trading. This dialogue was filmed by Rebecca Sommer of EARTHPEOPLES, a global network for and by Indigenous Peoples. The interview is just one of hundreds that give documented testament to the deliberate manipulation of the threatened people most vulnerable to climate change. To view more videos and further understand the exploitation of Indigenous Peoples in pursuit of the profits behind REDD, please visit  SommerFilms.

[In the interview, the NGOs/agencies who Yawalapiti speaks of (that are pressuring the Indigenous communities of Alto Xingu to agree to REDD projects they do not want) are FUNAI – National Indian Foundation Brazil / Fundação Nacional do Índio and IBAMA – Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources / Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis.]
Environmental Defense Fund. CAN is a global network of over 700 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The stated goal of CAN is to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. This goal is severely problematic in (at minimum) 2 fundamental ways: 1) There is no such thing as “ecologically sustainable levels” of climate change, and 2) as opposed to states having to respond to approximately 300 groups demanding action on climate change, states instead bask in the comfort of having to deal with only one (that of CAN), which essentially demands little to nothing. CAN has seven regional coordinating offices that coordinate these efforts in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Members include organizations from around the globe, including the largest corporate greens such as World Wildlife Fund [WWF], Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.


The Environmental “Movement” Versus the Bolivian Morales Government

September 30th, 2011

by Cory Morningstar

Evo Morales is Bolivia’s first-ever Indigenous president. In his January 2006 inaugural speech, Morales’s focus was the years of discrimination against Indians, and he compared Bolivia to apartheid-era South Africa. Morales hailed the election as the end of the Colonial and Neo-Liberal Era. In October 2009, Morales was named “World Hero of Mother Earth” by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

In December 2009, the Morales government proved the most progressive of all states (in alliance with ALBA and the G77 nations) at the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen. This union, led by Bolivia, aggressively pursued the scientific targets necessary in order for the world to avoid complete ecological collapse and a global genocide of unparalleled proportions. Ironically (and most revealing), these progressive states led leaps and bounds ahead of the environmental movement itself.

The institutionalized environmental “movement” was united under an umbrella organization/campaign titled TckTckTck, a social media giant, contrived by some of the world’s most powerful corporations and marketing executives. [1] One such TckTckTck partner (there are 280 partners made public) was the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change consisting of corporations such as Shell, RBF and Coca-Cola. (When this information was uncovered and made public, TckTckTck removed them from their website and scrambled to recover from the PR nightmare.) The Bolivian government’s leadership was so incredibly dignified and courageous that it even put the more legitimate Climate Justice movement to shame.

To get a sense of exactly who the corporate greens really represent (hint – it is not you), consider this: Bolivia, ALBA and the G77 demanded that states not exceed a 1ºC global temperature rise. In stark contrast, the NGOs “demanded” that temperatures not exceed a +2ºC and further “demanded” that world emissions peak by 2019 (meaning that emissions would continue to increase, business as usual, until 2019 at which point we would begin an effort to decrease). TckTckTck includes over 200 international partners including Avaaz, Conservation International, Greenpeace International, World Wildlife Fund (and many more pro-REDD advocates and profiteers) as well as Climate Action Network International [2] who represents (and speaks on behalf of) over 700 NGOs.

Regarding the issue of human rights, the hundreds of corporate NGOs – by campaigning to get the public to accept the global average temperature further rising up to a 2ºC limit – thereby sanctioned/sanctions most all species on this planet to an unprecedented annihilation within decades. [Note: Consider that at under +1ºC, we are already committed to a minimum +2.4ºC not including feedbacks: Ramanathan and Feng 2008 paper. Further, note climate scientist James Hansen’s warning that even 1ºC now looks like an unacceptably high risk.]

Considering that the corporate NGOs are leading us to certain species eradication, one must consider what constitutes criminal negligence. In the United States, the definition of criminal negligence is compelling: “Crimes Committed Negligently (Article 33.1) A crime shall be deemed to be committed with clear intent, if the man or woman was conscious of the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility or the inevitability of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, and willed such consequences to ensue.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed with indirect intent, if the man or woman realized the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, did not wish, but consciously allowed these consequences or treated them with indifference.” “A Crime Committed by Negligence (Article 33.1): A criminal deed committed thoughtlessly or due to negligence shall be recognized as a crime committed by negligence.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed thoughtlessly, if the man or woman has foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), but expected without valid reasons that these consequences would be prevented.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed due to negligence if the man or woman has not foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), although he or she could and should have foreseen these consequences with reasonable.”

After the massive failure/corruption of COP15 in 2009, in 2010 Bolivia organized and hosted the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which produced The Cochabamba Accord (April 2010), specifically rejecting REDD: “We condemn market mechanisms such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and its versions + and + +, which are violating the sovereignty of peoples and their right to prior, free and informed consent as well as the sovereignty of national States, the customs of Peoples, and the Rights of Nature.”

The ‘buen vivir‘ (“good life”) ideology, also enshrined into Bolivia’s constitution, was yet another visionary philosophy that secured Bolivia as the conscience of the world on climate change and moral principles. The buen vivir philosophy was presented by the Bolivia delegation at the United Nations in April 2010. In December 2010, the revolutionary “Law of the Rights of Mother Earth” (“Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra”) was passed by Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly. Bolivia’s ideas, positions and beliefs under the leadership of Morales, were in fact, so advanced both intellectually and philosophically – that most often Bolivia stood alone in the International arena while those lacking courage, ethics, or both, were left behind within the flocks of sheep. In a world where compromise of human life has become status quo – Bolivia, under Morales,  has consistently refused to abandon their principled positions. This from a country that emits approximately one quarter of the CO2 emissions than that of green-house gas leading obstructionist states such as United States and Canada.

History repeated itself in 2010 when, at the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16), which took place in Cancún, Mexico, Bolivia again stood alone in the International arena as the only one of the UN’s 192 member countries to vote against a deal which effectively sanctioned a global suicide pact. The suffering and devastation that will result from the greatest heist in history is unparalleled desperation, starvation and death on a massive scale.

Compare the Morales Leadership to NGO Avaaz, Which has Launched an International Campaign Against Morales

Avaaz is a member of The Climate Group.

The Climate Group is pushing REDD: http://www.theclimategroup.org/_assets/files/Reducing-Emissions-from-Deforestation.pdf

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund also acts as an incubator for in-house projects that later evolve into free-standing institutions – a case in point being The Climate Group, launched in London in 2004. The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, including big polluters such as energy giants BP and Duke Energy, as well as several partner organizations, such as NGO Avaaz. The Climate Group are advocates of unproven carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), nuclear power and biomass as crucial technologies for a low-carbon economy. The Climate Group works closely with other business lobby groups, including the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), which works consistently to sabotage climate action. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard, a new global standard for voluntary offset projects. One marketing strategist company labeled the Climate Group’s campaign “Together” as “the best inoculation against greenwash.” The Climate Group has operations in Australia, China, Europe, India, and North America. It was a partner to the Copenhagen Climate Council.

http://www.theclimategroup.org/about-us/our-partners/

The U.S. backed Avaaz NGO (Soros funding) has never endorsed the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba. Neither has any other corporate green group.

The Environmental movement? It’s a movement, alright. A movement to protect the world’s wealthiest families and corporations who fund the movement via tax-exempt foundations.

Morales Position on REDD

Morales produced a statement on REDD (September 2010) explaining in more detail his opposition to REDD (available here in Spanish, pdf file – 734.6 kB).

NATURE, FORESTS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE NOT FOR SALE


Indigenous brothers of the world:

 

I am deeply concerned because some pretend to use leaders and indigenous groups to promote the commoditization of nature and in particular of forest through the establishment of the REDD mechanism (Reduction Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) and its versions REDD+ REDD++.

 

Every day an extension of forests and rainforest equivalent to 36,000 football fields disappears in the world. Each year 13 million hectares of forest and rain forest are lost. At this rate, the forests will disappear by the end of the century.

 

The forests and rainforest are the largest source of biodiversity. If deforestation continues, thousands of species, animals and plants will be lost forever. More than three quarters of accessible fresh water zones come from uptake zones in forests, hence the worsening of water quality when the forest condition deteriorates. Forests provide protection from flooding, erosion and natural disasters. They provide non-timber goods as well as timber goods. Forests are a source of natural medicines and healing elements not yet discovered. Forests and the rainforest are the lungs of the atmosphere. 18% of all emissions of greenhouse gases occurring in the world are caused by deforestation.

 

It is essential to stop the destruction of our Mother Earth.

 

Currently, during climate change negotiations everyone recognizes that it is essential to avoid the deforestation and degradation of the forest. However, to achieve this, some propose to commoditize forests on the false argument that only what has a price and owner is worth taking care of.

 

Their proposal is to consider only one of the functions of forests, which is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and issue “certificates”, “credits” or “Carbon rights” to be commercialized in a carbon market. This way, companies of the North have the choice of reducing their emissions or buy “REDD certificates” in the South according to their economic convenience. For example, if a company has to invest USD40 or USD50 to reduce the emission of one ton of C02 in a “developed country”, they would prefer to buy a “REDD certificate” for USD10 or USD20 in a “developing country”, so they can they say they have fulfilled to reduce the emissions of the mentioned ton of CO2.

 

Through this mechanism, developed countries will have handed their obligation to reduce their emissions to developing countries, and the South will once again fund the North and that same northern company will have saved a lot of money by buying “certified” carbon from the Southern forests. However, they will not only have cheated their commitments to reduce emissions, but they will have also begun the commoditization of nature, with the forests

 

The forests will start to be priced by the CO2 tonnage they are able to absorb. The “credit” or “carbon right” which certifies that absorptive capacity will be bought and sold like any commodity worldwide. To ensure that no one affects the ownership of “REDD certificates” buyers, a series of restrictions will be put into place, which will eventually affect the sovereign right of countries and indigenous peoples over their forests and rainforests. So begins a new stage of privatization of nature never seen before which will extend to water, biodiversity and what they call “environmental services”.

 

While we assert that capitalism is the cause of global warming and the destruction of forests, rainforests and Mother Earth, they seek to expand capitalism to the commoditization of nature with the word “green economy”.

 

To get support for this proposal of commoditization of nature, some financial institutions, governments, NGOs, foundations, “experts” and trading companies are offering a percentage of the “benefits” of this commoditization of nature to indigenous peoples and communities living in native forests and the rainforest.

 

Nature, forests and indigenous peoples are not for sale.

 

For centuries, Indigenous peoples have lived conserving and preserving natural forests and rainforest. For us the forest and rainforest are not objects, are not things you can price and privatize. We do not accept that native forests and rainforest be reduced to a simple measurable quantity of carbon. Nor do we accept that native forests be confused with simple plantations of a single or two tree species. The forest is our home, a big house where plants, animals, water, soil, pure air and human beings coexist.

 

It is essential that all countries of the world work together to prevent forest and rainforest deforestation and degradation. It is an obligation of developed countries, and it is part of its climate and environmental debt, to contribute financially to the preservation of forests, but NOT through its commoditization. There are many ways of supporting and financing developing countries, indigenous peoples and local communities that contribute to the preservation of forests.

 

Developed countries spend tens of times more public resources on defense, security and war than in climate change. Even during the financial crisis many have maintained and increased their military spending. It is inadmissible that by using the needs communities have and the ambitions of some leaders and indigenous “experts”, indigenous peoples are expected to be involved with the commoditization of nature.

 

All forests and rainforests protection mechanisms should guarantee indigenous rights and participation, but not because indigenous participation is achieved in REDD, we can accept that a price for forests and rainforests is set and negotiated in a global carbon market.

 

Indigenous brothers, let us not be confused. Some tell us that the carbon market mechanism in REDD will be voluntary. That is to say that whoever wants to sell and buy, will be able, and whoever does not want to, will be able to stand aside. We cannot accept that, with our consent, a mechanism is created where one voluntarily sells Mother Earth while others look crossed handed

 

Faced with the reductionist views of forests and rainforest commoditization, indigenous peoples with peasants and social movements of the world must fight for the proposals that emerged of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth:

 

1. Integrated management of native forests and rainforest not only considering its mitigation function as CO2 sink but all its functions and potentiality, whilst avoiding confusing them with simple plantations.

 

2. Respect the sovereignty of developing countries in their integral management of forests.

 

3. Full compliance with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established by the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Convention No. 169 of the ILO and other international instruments; recognition and respect to their territories; revalorization and implementation of indigenous knowledge for the preservation of forests; indigenous peoples participation and indigenous management of forest and rainforest.

 

4. Funding of developed countries to developing countries and indigenous peoples for integral management of forest as part of their climate and environmental debt. No establishment of any mechanism of carbon markets or “incentives” that may lead to the commoditization of forests and rainforest.

 

5. Recognition of the rights of Mother Earth, which includes forests, rainforest and all its components. In order to restore harmony with Mother Earth, putting a price on nature is not the way but to recognize that not only human beings have the right to life and to reproduce, but nature also has a right to life and to regenerate, and that without Mother Earth Humans cannot live.

 

Indigenous brothers, together with our peasant brothers and social movements of the world, we must mobilize so that the conclusions of Cochabamba are assumed in Cancun and to impulse a mechanism of RELATED ACTIONS TO THE FORESTS based on these five principles, while always maintaining high the unity of indigenous peoples and the principles of respect for Mother Earth, which for centuries we have preserved and inherited from our ancestors.

 

EVO MORALES AYMA
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

 

+++

WHAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND NGOs ARE NOT REPORTING

VIDEO: Sept. 30th, 2011: TIPNIS: Indigenous of Western Bolivia support Government (english subs)

“… political opportunists who have infiltrated this mobilization … they took advantage of it in order to discriminate and criticize the changing process … we will tell these political rascals in their presence … here is the people! Here are the real ones who have struggled to defend the changing process! … 20 or 30 years from now … Bolivia will be truly independent … without the intrusion of neo-liberal parties …”


From the article: Bolivia: Amazon protest — development before environment? by Fred Fuentes:

US interference

As the uprising against neoliberalism grew in strength, overthrowing a neoliberal president in 2003, US imperialism sought to use money to increase divisions within the indigenous movements.

In late 2005, investigative journalist Reed Lindsay published an article in NACLA that used declassified US documents to expose how US government-funded agency USAID was used to this effect.

USAID was already planning by 2002 to “help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors”.

The downfall in 2003 of president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada triggered a step-up in this subversive activity.

A particular target was CIDOB.

The group was in a crisis after Fabricano was accused of profiting from illegal logging and he accepted the post of vice-minister of Indigenous Affairs under Sanchez de Lozada.

Through USAID funding to the Brecha Foundation, an NGO established by CIDOB leaders, the US hoped to further mould the organisation to its own ends.

Referring to comments made by Brecha director Victor Hugo Vela, Lindsay notes that during this time, “CIDOB leaders allied with Fabricano have condemned the cultivation of coca, helped the business elite in the department of Santa Cruz to push for region autonomy and opposed a proposal to require petroleum companies to consult with indigenous communities before drilling on their lands”.

The CSUTCB (divided between followers of Morales and radical Aymara leader Felipe Quispe), CSCB, FNMCB-BS and organisations such as the neighbourhood councils of El Alto (Fejuve), and to a less extent worker and miner organisations, were at the forefront of constant street battles and insurrections.

CIDOB, however, took an approach marked by negotiation and moderation.

It was not until July 2005 that CIDOB renewed its leadership, in turn breaking relations with Brecha.

CIDOB was not the only target for infiltration.

With close to $200,000 in US government funds, the Land and Liberty Movement (MTL) was set up in 2004 by Walter Reynaga.

As well as splitting the Movement of Landless Peasant’s (MST), one wing of which operated out of his La Paz office, Lindsay said Reynaga, like Vega, tried to win control of the “MAS-aligned” CONAMAQ.

Demands

And it is also true that the demands of the Sub Central of TIPNIS, and in particular CIDOB, are far removed from any notion of communitarianism.

Although initially focused on opposition to the highway, protesters presented the government with an original list of 13 demands, then extended to 16, on the day the march began.

Among those were calls for indigenous peoples to be able to directly receive compensation payment for offsetting carbon emissions.

This policy, know as REDD+, has been denounced as the privatisation of the forests by many environmental activists and the Peoples’ Summit of Climate Change organised in Bolivia in 2010.

It has also been promoted as a mechanism to allow developed countries to continue to pollute while undermining the right underdeveloped to develop their economies.

Another demand calls for the replacement of functionaries within the Authority for Control and Monitoring of Forests and Lands (ABT).

This demand dovetails with the allegations made by Morales against CIDOB leaders, and never refuted, that they want to control this state institution.

Much focus has been made of the potential environmental destruction caused by a highway that would open the path to future “coloniser” settlements.

But these arguments have only focused on one side of the equation.

Much has been made of a study by Bolivian Strategic Research Program that concluded that 64.5% of TIPNIS would be lost to deforestation by 2030 as a result of the highway.

Few, though, have noted that the same study found that even without the highway 43% of TIPNIS would be lost if the current rate of deforestation continues.

The biggest cause of this is the illegal logging that continues to occur, in some cases with the complicity of some local indigenous leaders and communities.

An environmental impact studies by the Bolivian Highway Authority have found the direct impact of the highway on TIPNIS to be 0.03%.

But this has to weighed up with the fact that the highway would provide the state with access to areas currently out of its reach.

This would enable not only access to services, but a greater ability to tackle illegal logging and potential narcotrafficking in the area.

At the same time, the government has asked the indigenous communities of TIPNIS to help in drafting legislation that would impose jail terms of 10 to 20 years on those found to be illegally settling, growing coca or logging in TIPNIS.

+++

The manipulation by NGOs and corporations is clear in this interview (below) with Pirakuma Yawalapiti, the Xingu spokesperson speaking on the issue of carbon trading. This dialogue was filmed by Rebecca Sommer of EARTHPEOPLES, a global network for and by Indigenous Peoples. The interview is just one of hundreds that give documented testament to the deliberate manipulation of the threatened people most vulnerable to climate change. To view more videos and further understand the exploitation of Indigenous Peoples in pursuit of the profits behind REDD, please visit  SommerFilms.

 

[In the interview, the NGOs/agencies who Yawalapiti speaks of (that are pressuring the Indigenous communities of Alto Xingu to agree to REDD projects they do not want) are FUNAI – National Indian Foundation Brazil / Fundação Nacional do Índio and IBAMA – Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources / Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis.]

 

 

[1] The following companies who have already come on board as partners includes Galeries Lafayette, Virgin Group, Yahoo! Music, iTunes, Google, Pernod Ricard, EDF, Microsoft, Zune, YouTube, USA Today, National Magazines, HSBC, M&S, Uniqlo, Lloyds Bank, MySpace, MTV, Bo Concept Japan K.K., Volvo, Kipa Turkey, Claro Argentina, Peugeot, NTV, Universal, Tesco, Sina.com, GDF Suez, Centrica, Oxfam, New Zealand Wine Company, 350.org, Handbag.com, Avaaz.org, Lesinrockuptibles, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, EMap, Greenpeace, Commensal, The Atlantic, Fast Company, News Limited, Tesla, Wired Magazine, and RFM Radio.

 

[2] The founding of the Climate Action Network (CAN) in 1988 can be traced back to the early players in the ENGO community, including Michael Oppenheimer of the corporate NGO, Environmental Defense Fund. CAN is a global network of over 700 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The stated goal of CAN is to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. This goal is severely problematic in (at minimum) 2 fundamental ways: 1) There is no such thing as “ecologically sustainable levels” of climate change, and 2) as opposed to states having to respond to approximately 300 groups demanding action on climate change, states instead bask in the comfort of having to deal with only one (that of CAN), which essentially demands little to nothing. CAN has seven regional coordinating offices that coordinate these efforts in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Members include organizations from around the globe, including the largest corporate greens such as World Wildlife Fund [WWF], Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

Somalia & Disaster Aid | A Multi-Million Dollar INDUSTRY

 

Image from the article Somalia: the Real Causes of Famine

Famine in Somalia – The story you’re unlikely to hear any time soon

By Rasna Warah

2011-08-03

cc Oxfam In the absence of a well-functioning central government, Somalia is in effect being ‘managed and controlled by aid agencies’, writes Rasna Warah. But it’s a story that is unlikely to be told by either the global news networks or the ‘aid workers whose livelihoods depend on donor money that will soon flow into Somalia via Kenya.’

I knew the real story about the famine in northern Kenya and Somalia would probably never be told when I watched a young foreign aid worker “reporting” the famine for CNN in Dadaab camp.

The young white woman, clearly coached to use the opportunity of her CNN appearance to publicise her organisation, wore a T-shirt that had the word OXFAM emblazoned on it.

The look of self-righteous, politically-correct compassion was evident on her face as she talked of starving children and emaciated mothers walking for miles in search of food.

Predictably, CNN viewers saw images of skeletal children and exhausted women with shrivelled breasts, images that have launched a multi-million dollar fund-raising campaign by the UN and donor agencies.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has asked donors to raise $1.6 billion to assist Somalia alone.

Meanwhile, dozens of humanitarian agencies are clamouring to make an appearance in Dadaab in order to raise funds for their own organisations. Dutch journalist Linda Polman calls it “The Crisis Caravan”.

In her book by the same name, Polman says that an entire industry has grown around humanitarian aid, “with cavalcades of organisations following the flow of money and competing with each other in one humanitarian territory after another for the biggest achievable share of billions.”

According to Polman, disasters like the one in Somalia attract an average 1,000 national and international aid organisations. This doesn’t include “briefcase” charities that collect funds through churches, clubs and bake-sales.

Much of the money raised goes to administrative and logistical costs of aid agencies, including the salaries of bright-eyed aid workers, such as the one described above, who drive big cars and live in nice houses, but tell people back home they live in hardship areas where they help starving Africans.

Are people starving? Yes. Should they be helped? Of course. But how much of the food that is supposed to be distributed will most likely be stolen by militia or find its way to shops where it will be sold?

Also obscured in the media hype is the real cause of famine in places such as Somalia. In a recent article, Michel Chossudovsky, professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and founder of the Centre for Research on Globalisation, argues that in the 1980s, agriculture in Somalia was severely affected by economic reforms imposed by the IMF and the World Bank. Somalia remained self-sufficient in food until the late 1970s despite recurrent droughts, he writes.

The economic reforms, which included austerity measures and privatisation of essential services, destabilised the economy and destroyed agriculture.

Wages in the public sector were drastically reduced, urban purchasing power declined dramatically and the cost of fuel, fertiliser and farm inputs shot up. This set the stage for the civil war in 1991, from which Somalia has yet to recover.

Famine and food aid became the norm, as hundreds of aid agencies set up shop to handle a crisis that was of their own making.

In short, Somalia became a “business opportunity” that provided jobs to hundreds, if not thousands of (mostly Western) aid agency employees.

Nicholas Stockton, a former Oxfam executive director, once called this phenomenon “the moral economy”.

Michael Maren, whose book, The Road to Hell, should be required reading for those who want to understand the politics and economy of food aid, shows how this aid suppressed local food production in Somalia, fuelled civil war and created a permanent food crisis.

This crisis and the lack of a strong, well-functioning central government have also resulted in a situation where aid agencies are zipping in and out of Somalia without any vetting by the government.

In effect, Somalia is being managed and controlled by aid agencies — the government is there in name only.

Unfortunately, this story is unlikely to be told on CNN, BBC, Sky TV or other global news networks that dominate the international news agenda.

And it will certainly not be told by the aid workers whose livelihoods depend on donor money that will soon flow into Somalia via Kenya.

Nor will the Somali people be given an opportunity to explain to viewers what impact food aid and foreign intervention have had on their lives.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Rasna Warah is writer and journalist based in Nairobi.

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/75419

ADVERTENCIA- ¿INTRODUCE OXFAM EL REDD PLUS EN MÉXICO? (English Translation Follows)

ADVERTENCIA- ¿INTRODUCE OXFAM EL REDD PLUS EN MÉXICO?

Miguel Valencia
ECOMUNIDADES
Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México
¡DESCRECIMIENTO O BARBARIE!
Acción inmediata frente al Pico del Petróleo y al Cambio Climático
Textos recientes en http://red-ecomunidades.blogspot.com/

Con respecto al comunicado de prensa de OXFAM que abajo viene, quisiera advertir que este comunicado parece esconder la promoción de una de las propuestas más rechazadas, mas denunciadas en la COP-16 de Cancun, por las organizaciones indígenas, la Vía Campesina y la red internacional Climate Justice Now!; me refiero a la propuesta denominada REDD plus  (Reduction Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation), impulsada por el Banco Mundial, los gobiernos poderosos del mundo (EUA, UE, Japon, etc), las transnacionales y el gobierno mexicano, e impuesta a los paises del Sur en las recientes cumbres del clima, por medio de presiones, chantaje, y sobornos..

Esta propuesta REDD+ involucra, como lo dice la Indigenous Environmenal Network, IEN, “el más grande robo de tierras de la historia”, la destrucción de la biodiversidad y un engaño, una Falsa Solución al cambio climático. La participación de las “grandes verdes” o big greens (WWF,  OXFAM, Greenpeace) en la aprobación de este nefasto programa, tanto en Copenhague, como en Cancun, les ha generado  una reprobación mundial a estas organizaciones. El Klimaforum10 ha manifestado su gran inconformidad con la actuación de estas grandes ONGs verdes en estas cumbres, en su Informe y Valuación del Klimaforum10.
En este comunicado de prensa podemos observar como se pretendería introducir en México este turbio programa climático, por medio de una Red Mexicana de Esfuerzos (RIOD-Mexico) que habría que someterla a una rigurosa observación social, ya que hay involucrado un dineral en estas campañas y al parecer estas “grandes verdes” están muy interesadas en sacar una buena tajada del gran negocio que representan las Falsas Soluciones al cambio climáticio, aprobadas en las COP de las Naciones Unidas.  La Unión Europea ha estado muy activa en la promoción de estos programas en los países del Sur. El gobernador Sabines de Chiapas, ya se ha lanzado con estos proyectos REDD plus y, por lo que percibimos en este comunicado, ya empezarían estas organizaciones ambientalistas a involucrar a muchas organizaciones locales en un negocio sucio con el cambio climático.

Quienes deseen contar con mayor información sobre estos programas para reducir la deforestación y degradación de los bosques, se las podemos proporcionar con todo gusto, pues, la organización del Klimaforum10 en Cancun, tuvo tambien como proposito conocer de primera mano los arreglos sobre estos temas que se realizan en estas cumbres del clima.

Saludos

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

La Unión Europea, Oxfam y RIOD-Mex se unen en contra de la desertificación en tierras de Mesoamérica

Anuncian la realización del proyecto “Conservación y manejo sustentable de tierras secas en Mesoamérica” para fortalecer la resilencia y sustentabilidad de comunidades rurales de la región sur de México y el corredor seco de Guatemala ante el cambio climático.
México, D.F. a 16 de junio de 2011-  En el marco de la celebración del Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación y la Sequía, el día de hoy fue dado a conocer el proyecto “Conservación y manejo sustentable de tierras secas en Mesoamérica”  promovido por la Unión Europea, Oxfam México, Oxfam Gran Bretaña y la Red Mexicana de Esfuerzos contra la Desertificación y la Degradación de los Recursos Naturales (RIOD-Mex) como una acción dirigida a enfrentar los efectos del cambio climático.

Con una aportación conjunta de 900 mil euros, el proyecto será implementado en México y en el corredor seco de Guatemala dentro de comunidades marginadas que están experimentando los efectos del cambio climático, con énfasis en la atención de grupos de mujeres campesinas, indígenas y jóvenes.

Para su instrumentación, el proyecto realizará acciones en localidades de los estados de Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla y Veracruz en México, y el Departamento de Baja Verapaz en Guatemala.

En su metodología, el proyecto considera potenciar y privilegiar los procesos locales de producción agrícola y profundizar sobre conocimientos técnicos y empíricos de las comunidades en cuanto al manejo sustentable de tierras, energía y agua en las actividades productivas y de conservación.

El modelo incluye la transferencia de tecnología, la adopción de mejores prácticas agropecuarias, la gestión técnica y el desarrollo de mecanismos innovadores de financiamiento para la seguridad alimentaria y el impulso de economías regionales como estrategias de mitigación y adaptación ante el cambio climático.

El proyecto tendrá una duración de tres años, periodo en el que se espera se consoliden modelos de Manejo Sustentables de Tierras (MST) entre los primeros 500 productoras y productores rurales que a su vez serán replicadores de sus experiencias para generalizar las prácticas sustentables en ambas naciones.

Este esfuerzo involucrará a las autoridades forestales, agropecuarias y de medio ambiente locales y federales con la intención de que las experiencias recabadas confluyan en políticas públicas para México y Guatemala y en la construcción de una Agenda Mesoamericana.

En México, como parte de las actividades de este proyecto Oxfam y RIOD-Mex han iniciado la firma de acuerdos interinstitucionales con organizaciones sociales como la Unión de Comunidades y Ejidos Forestales de las Cordilleras de los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca, A.C. y Silvícola Ocote Real, S.C. de R.L. de C.V. Estas dos organizaciones se están incorporando con actividades en 30 municipios de los estados de Oaxaca y Puebla.

En 1994, la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas designó al 17 de junio como “Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación y la Sequía” como resultado de las negociaciones de la Cumbre de la Tierra de Río de Janeiro celebrada en 1992.
–oo0oo—

Sobre la Unión Europea

La Unión Europea está formada por 27 Estados miembros que han decidido unir de forma progresiva sus conocimientos prácticos, sus recursos y sus destinos. A lo largo de un período de ampliación de 50 años, juntos han constituido una zona de estabilidad, democracia y desarrollo sostenible, además de preservar la diversidad cultural, la tolerancia y las libertades individuales.

La Unión Europea tiene el compromiso de compartir sus logros y valores con países y pueblos que se encuentren más allá de sus fronteras.

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/mexico/index_es.htm

Sobre Oxfam México

Oxfam México es una asociación civil independiente de cooperación internacional y ayuda humanitaria que promueve la organización de las comunidades para mejorar sus condiciones de vida. Trabaja conforme al principio universal de la Equidad Social, a partir de tres causas: Justicia Económica, Construcción de Ciudadanía y Democracia, y Ayuda Humanitaria.
Su operación se financia con las aportaciones económicas de empresas, fundaciones, gobiernos, organismos internacionales y donaciones individuales, que son asignadas a diversas organizaciones de la sociedad civil para auspiciar proyectos de desarrollo sustentable.

http://www.oxfammexico.org/
——————————————————————————–

Contacto para medios Oxfam:

La Bola de Papel, Comunicación

Sara Castellanos R.

2454-0400/ 2454/0404

scastellanos@laboladepapel.com

Spanish to English translation (Google Translation)

Does it introduce OXFAM WARNING-PLUS THE REDD IN MEXICO?

Miguel Valencia
ECOMUNIDADES
Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México
¡DESCRECIMIENTO O BARBARIE!
Acción inmediata frente al Pico del Petróleo y al Cambio Climático
Textos recientes en http://red-ecomunidades.blogspot.com/

With respect to OXFAM press release that comes down, I realize that this statement seems to hide the promotion of one of the rejected proposals, but reported in the COP-16 in Cancun, indigenous organizations, Via Campesina and the network International Climate Justice Now!, I mean plus the proposal called REDD (Reduction Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation), promoted by the World Bank, the powerful governments of the world (U.S., EU, Japan, etc.), transnational corporations and the Mexican government , and imposed on the countries of the South in the recent climate summit by means of pressure, blackmail and bribes ..

This proposal involves REDD, as stated in the Indigenous Network Environmenal, IEN, “the greatest land theft in history”, the destruction of biodiversity and a delusion, a false solution to climate change. The involvement of “big green” or big greens (WWF, Oxfam, Greenpeace) the approval of this nefarious program, both in Copenhagen and in Cancun, it has generated a global condemnation of these organizations. The Klimaforum10 has expressed great dissatisfaction with the performance of these great green NGOs in these summits, in its Report and Valuation Klimaforum10.

This press release can be seen as an attempt would be introduced in Mexico this cloudy climate program, by a Mexican Network of Efforts (RIOD-Mexico) would have to undergo rigorous social observation, as there are a lot of money involved in these campaigns and apparently these “big green” are very interested in getting a good slice of the big business that represent false solutions to climáticio change, adopted at the United Nations COP. The European Union has been very active in promoting these programs in the South. Governor Sabines in Chiapas, has already launched these projects REDD plus, and what we perceive in this release, and these environmental organizations to begin to involve many local organizations in a dirty business to climate change.

Those wishing to have more information on these programs to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, they can provide you with great pleasure, then, the organization Klimaforum10 in Cancun, was also intended to see first hand the arrangements on these issues are made at these summits climate.
Regards

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PRESS RELEASE

The European Union, Oxfam and RIOD-Mex unite against land desertification in Mesoamerica

Announce the project “Conservation and sustainable management of drylands in Mesoamerica” ??to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of rural communities in southern Mexico and Guatemala dry corridor to climate change.

Mexico, D.F. to June 16, 2011 – As part of the celebration of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, today was released the project “Conservation and sustainable management of drylands in Mesoamerica” ??promoted by the Union Europe, Mexico Oxfam, Oxfam Great Britain and the Mexican Network of Efforts to Combat Desertification and Degradation of Natural Resources (RIOD-Mex) as an action to address the effects of climate change.

With a joint contribution of 900 000 euros, the project will be implemented in Mexico and Guatemala dry corridor within marginalized communities are experiencing the effects of climate change, with emphasis on the care of groups of rural, indigenous and youth.

For its implementation, the project will conduct activities in locations in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla and Veracruz in Mexico, and the Department of Baja Verapaz in Guatemala.

In its methodology, the project considers the processes promoting and privileging local agricultural production and strengthen technical and empirical knowledge of the communities in sustainable management of land, energy and water in the productive and conservation activities.

The model includes the transfer of technology, adoption of improved farming practices, technical management and development of innovative financing mechanisms for food security and boosting regional economies as mitigation strategies and adaptation to climate change.

The project will last three years, a period which is expected to consolidate models of sustainable land management (SLM) in the top 500 producers and farmers to turn their experiences will be replicated for widespread sustainable practices in both nations.

This effort will involve the authorities forestry, agricultural and local and federal environment with the intention of that experience to come together in public policies for Mexico and Guatemala and construction of a Mesoamerican calendar.

In Mexico, as part of the project activities and RIOD-Mex Oxfam have initiated the signing of interagency agreements with organizations such as the Union of forest ejidos and the Cordilleras of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, AC Real Ocote and Forestry S.C. of R.L. de CV These two organizations are joining with activities in 30 municipalities in the states of Oaxaca and Puebla.

In 1994, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated June 17 as “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” as a result of negotiations at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

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About the EU
The European Union comprises 27 Member States have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Over a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms.
The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and values ??with countries and peoples that are beyond their borders.
http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/mexico/index_es.htm

About Oxfam Mexico
Oxfam is a private Mexico independent international cooperation and humanitarian aid that promotes the organization of communities to improve their living conditions. Work under the universal principle of Social Equity, from three causes: Economic Justice, Citizenship and Democracy Building and Humanitarian Aid.
Its operation is funded by financial contributions from corporations, foundations, governments, international organizations and individual donations, which are assigned to various civil society organizations to sponsor sustainable development projects.
http://www.oxfammexico.org/

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Oxfam Media Contact:
The Ball of Paper, Communication
Sara Castellanos R.
2454-0400 / 2454/0404
scastellanos@laboladepapel.com

Miguel Valencia
ECOMUNIDADES
Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México
¡DESCRECIMIENTO O BARBARIE!
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