As indigenous peoples, we are extremely concerned that the principles agreed upon in the Cochabamba People’s Agreement have been unilaterally removed from the negotiating document [for the Cancun climate conference] that was released on November 24.
Equally alarming is the misrepresentation of the Copenhagen Accord as a legitimate path forward, despite its widespread denouncement by civil society and its tepid reception last December in Denmark, when the United Nations merely “took note of” it.
“Cochabamba emphasised human rights,” said Alberto Saldamando, legal council for the International Indian Treaty Council. “Copenhagen advocated avarice. In Cochabamba, global civil society condemned a market approach that does nothing to address climate change and only threatens the most vulnerable.
“The disappearance of the Cochabamba text from the current working document sends an unfortunate signal about what we can expect from this COP.”
Beyond the lack of transparency in the process, a key concern with the Copenhagen document is its blanket support for REDD (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation).
REDD, while it will allow industrial polluters to continue their practices virtually unabated, also threatens indigenous and land-based peoples with eviction and marginalisation.
It contains no safeguards, no guarantee of rights, and a disturbing array of potential governance challenges. Our interventions in this week’s climate negotiations will focus on these challenges.
The Indigenous Environmental Network will move forward advocating four principles of climate justice:
1. Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground
2. Real and Effective Solutions based in equity and justice
3. Industrialised Countries must take Responsibility
4. Living in a Good Way on the Earth
[Reprinted from Redroadcancun.com.]