Representatives of 76 indigenous peoples said they reject market-based mechanisms as a false solution to the climate crisis at a recent international conference.
They said UN-backed carbon trading schemes such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), “are offered as solutions but have negative impacts and cause divisions among indigenous peoples, whose access and control of forest resources are eroded”.
The indigenous delegates criticised the negotiation process in the lead-up to the November 29 to December 10 UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico. The negotiations “have turned climate change into a trade issue and an opportunity for profit”.
The groups met at the International Conference on Indigenous Peoples Rights, Alternatives and Solutions to the Climate Crisis, which took place in Baguio City, The Philippines, over November 4-9.
Delegates from 15 countries in Australia, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and the Pacific took part in the conference, which was organised by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Land is Life, IBON International, the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network and the People’s Movement on Climate Change.
The conference declaration said: “We say no to all market-based mechanisms and false solutions to climate change and demand that indigenous peoples’ rights be respected worldwide in addressing the climate crisis.”
The delegates said they believe “the root cause of the enormous problems we face today is the neoliberal, global capitalist system, which puts profits before people and the planet.
“Central to this system is the expropriation and control of resources by multinational corporations, and dispossession and marginalisation of small producers, workers, peasants, women and indigenous peoples.
They called for a “genuinely sustainable and comprehensive solution to the climate crisis”.
This requires “a fundamental shift towards people’s sovereignty over our shared heritage” and “a thoroughgoing change from current production and consumption patterns, which promote mass consumerism and extravagance, to sustainable ways and standards of living.”