September 10, 2018
Ramaytush and Ohlone Territory (San Francisco, California)

First peoples and indigenous nations of the world gathered in the Ramaytush and Ohlone territory in California supported by the ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (1989) and the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples (2007) to protest the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) organized by Governor Jerry Brown and the Governors' Task Force for Climate and Forests (GFC). The GCAS and GCF must not put a market value on the carbon sequestration capacity of our forests in the South and in the North.

The Sacred cannot be commodified – we reject these market solutions to climate change and projects such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), because they are false solutions that further destroy our rights, our ability to live in our forests, our sovereignty and our self-determination. False solutions to climate change and the climate crisis destroy our material and spiritual relationship to Mother Earth. The GCF does not represent us and they have no authority over our peoples or our territories.

There is an intrinsic relationship between our forests and our peoples in the North and South. All Creation is alive and interrelated. The air we breathe is alive and gives life to everything and cannot be bought, sold or traded. As our Sarayaku brothers and sisters say, KAWSAK SACHA, the jungle is alive. The spirits of our ancestors reside in these living jungles, the tundra, the plains, the deserts, the mountains, and the oceans. We are children of the same mother, Mother Earth. Our relationship with our forests compels us to follow the original instructions of Mother Earth.

It has been proven that carbon markets never reduce emissions. However, our communities and territories are under increasing pressure, manipulation and coercion to accept the sale of forests and air as carbon offsets. Furthermore, REDD and extractivism are two sides of the same coin. Like fossil fuels, REDD+ by any name displaces our people from our lands and territories, dispossesses vast tracts of our land, violently and forcibly displaces our people, restricts our lives and livelihoods, and violates our human rights. REDD+ and extractivism result in intimidation, the militarization of our communities, arrests, criminalization and even murder.

Most of the world's forests are found in the territories of indigenous peoples. It is well known that forests survive and regenerate under indigenous governance. The real drivers of deforestation and climate change are states, multinational companies and others who build roads in our forests, promote settlers, legal and illegal logging, agribusiness and large-scale industries, monocultures, oil and natural gas exploitation. and other imposed megaprojects. These threaten our ways of life, our rivers and streams, food sovereignty, wildlife and biodiversity and contribute to the exacerbation of climate change.

We are here thanks to the support of small indigenous and non-indigenous NGOs and civil society. We know that other organizations are here financed by millionaire NGOs that support carbon markets or leave the door open for them. The consultations when they happen in many cases are nothing more than meetings in which state agencies, wealthy NGOs and others seek economic benefits, drown out our voices, and undermine our right to self-determination. To ensure the acceptance of these false solutions, false promises are often made to title and protect our forests and deliver meager economic benefits that lead some to accept REDD+.

It hurts us and makes us angry to see how every day our Mother Earth gets sicker and sicker. This happens because the management of our forests has been left in their hands and their decisions that affect our territories have failed. It is not us but you who have led to deforestation and destruction of ecosystems. The forest is our home, it belongs to us by inherent right, We will protect what we have left.

To monopolize our territory, they invent forms of state property such as “conservation areas” or “sustainable development areas. They invent more forms of compensation such as smart agriculture, “biodiversity offsets” and even “butterfly offsets” that harm our lives, food sovereignty, forests, biodiversity and sovereignty. We will never accept the “ecological area of sustainable development” in the province of Pastaza and anywhere else in the 37 provinces 10 countries and a third of the forests [that the GFC intends to dispossess.] Our forests are not carbon dumps, they are our homes.

After centuries of hurting other human beings and Mother Earth, governments now behave as if it is time to save and protect humanity. Yet for decades, the UN has come together only to find ways to profit from the privatization of the air in the name of responding to climate change. Mother Earth will only be saved if you respect and love her. Mother Earth will only be made whole by stopping the extraction and burning of fossil fuels – we must keep the fuels in the ground.

We affirm this so that our future generations may be free like the rivers, mountains, lakes and birds that flood us with their songs. We affirm this on behalf of our ancestors who reside in these forests, mountains, rivers and lakes. We affirm this in honor of our struggle that has always demanded respect and dignity. We have the right to choose how we want to live, how we want to feel, and how we want to breathe. The rights of Mother Earth and the rights of indigenous peoples must not be violated. That is essential if we really want to live in harmony and preserve humanity.

The Sacred cannot be commodified or marketed. We reject the Climate and Forests Task Force and demand its cancellation. We affirm this on behalf of our future generations so that they have the possibility of living free like our forests and the eagle of the Amazon. We demand respect for our right to choose how we want to live, feel and breathe.

No carbon colonialism! Not REDD+! No commodification of the air! 

Not land grabs! No carbon price!
Mother Earth and Father Sky are not for sale! 

Let us be Protectors of Heaven!

Firms

indigenous organizations, Nations or Peoples

 

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