Archive for April, 2010

CLIMATE CHANGE: Forests Not for Absorbing Carbon, Say Activists

April 28, 2010

By Franz Chávez* – Tierramérica

COCHABAMBA, Bolivia, Apr 27 (IPS) – The UN-led global initiative to use forest conservation as a way to offset greenhouse gas emissions heated things up at the people’s summit against climate change in Bolivia. In the end, the participants reached a consensus – and rejected the plan. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) has quickly risen to the top of the discrepancies between the environmentalists and social activists on one hand, and the wealthy countries on the other, with the latter wanting to pay to preserve forests in developing countries as a way to offset their climate-changing carbon emissions at home.

The battle of words was especially loud at the Forest Workshop of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held Apr. 19-22 in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba.

In the end, a sign underscored the resounding “No to the REDD” as a slogan of the indigenous peoples, who fear that they will lose territory or that the land that is their living space will be plundered as a result of the United Nations initiative.

Tom Goldtooth, native Dakota and Navajo, and director of the Indigenous Environmental Network in the United States, with his austere bearing was a strong presence in the protest.

The activist called on Bolivia’s President Evo Morales to “categorically reject” and cancel all mechanisms of REDD, which began in Bolivia with the Climate Action Project in the Noel Kempff National Park, located in the eastern department of Santa Cruz.

In 1997, the Bolivian government, the energy companies American Electric Power, BP and PacifiCorp, and environmental groups The Nature Conservancy and the Bolivian Friends of Nature Foundation (FAN) paid 1.6 million dollars to release some 800,000 hectares from timber rights, with the aim of selling the carbon emissions rights associated with forest preservation.

In a Mar. 9 letter from Goldtooth to Morales, himself indigenous Aymara, the activists states that the fact that the only country in the world with an indigenous head of states is hosting the Noel Kempff climate project – considered a star example – is being used by carbon credit traders to justify and promote REDD.

“We haven’t had a response yet” to the letter, Goldtooth told Tierramérica during a break in the Cochabamba debates.

He explained that the Network opposes the project because it lacks guarantees for respecting indigenous lands and because the communities can end up renting their lands and renouncing their property.

According to Goldtooth, if indigenous peoples sell carbon credits to the same governments and multinational corporations that are destroying the atmosphere and the ecosystems that we all rely on to survive, they become accomplices in their own destruction.

In the opening speech of the conference, President Morales declared open war on capitalism, which he blames for the destruction of the planet.

However, his government just recently set up an agreement for the UN-REDD Bolivia programme, a plan to “strengthen institutional capacities,” to be executed from May of this year to April 2013, with 4.4 million dollars in UN financing and support from the World Bank and German international cooperation.

UN-REDD is defined in the project document as a collaborative UN programme for reducing carbon emissions resulting from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

Tierramérica twice attempted to consult Bolivia’s deputy environment minister Juan Pablo Ramos about the agreement and about preserving the Noel Kempff National Park, but he declined to respond, citing his obligations in organising the Cochabamba conference.

The agreement indicates cooperation to “increase the capacity of the national governmental organisations” in order to enter the next phase, known as “REDD+”, which in addition to forest conservation calls for expansion of its capacity to absorb carbon.

“Who will be the owners of the trees? Who will benefit? The issue becomes a debate on private property,” says Goldtooth.

Costa Rican Isaac Rojas, coordinator of Friends of the Earth International’s forest and biodiversity programme, told Tierramérica, “there is a capitalist ideology behind REDD… Across Latin America they are introducing projects like this and they become hooks for taking advantage of the poverty of the communities.”

“The Noel Kempff project has been criticised because it does not fulfil the emissions mitigation planned. In Colombia, human rights have been violated, and the only consensus of the Forest Workshop has been that the mitigation mechanisms should not be market-based,” he added.

Camila Moreno, one of the heads of the Forest Workshop and member of Friends of the Earth-Brazil, described REDD as “a Trojan horse that announces a threat of monopolising land and territory” in the forests inhabited by indigenous peoples.

“It’s hard to believe that the mechanisms conceived in multilateral bodies like the World Bank can benefit the peoples,” she said.

Moreno believes that the system of credits was created to permit the entry of international agencies and to monitor people’s lives, and then to create a financial mechanism for negotiating rights, with speculative ends.

“Life is not for sale,” she said. “We have to fight to reject this mechanism and to preserve what is sacred in the forest.”

REDD, as an instrument of flexibilisation, “applies the market approach, but does not contribute to reducing the carbon dioxide emissions in the countries that generate them,” Rafael Rebolledo, of the engineering institute of Venezuela’s Ministry of Science, but speaking for himself, told Tierramérica.

Source: Reuters

Bolivian president apologizes to Spanish gay and lesbian organizations

April 28, 2010

Bolivian president Evo Morales sent a letter to gay and lesbian organizations in Spain expressing respect for sexual diversity, according to the Executive’s press office and spokesperson Ivan Canelas.

Morales linked “hormone injected” chicken to homosexuality and baldness

Under no way did it ever cross the mind of president Morales to attack the rights of homosexuals” when he linked hormones and genetically modified crops and its alleged consequences with a diet based on chicken, said Canelas to the La Paz press corps.

“The chicken we eat is full of feminine hormones and that is why when men eat these chickens they undergo deviations from their masculine being”, said Morales last week during the inauguration of an international grass roots alternative climate change forum held in Cochabamba.

Canelas said that President Morales had written a letter to an organization in Spain that brings together lesbians and gays. “We respect their sexual freedom and ratify our respect for what is established in the Bolivian constitution”.

The Spanish federation of lesbians, gays, transsexuals and bisexuals, FELGTB had expressed its deepest disappointment with President Morales statements in a protest letter addressed to the Bolivian embassy in Madrid.

In the letter FELGTB also emphasized their surprise particularly coming from a leader “who considers himself progressive left and defender of the weaker, excluded groups of society”.

Canelas deplored what the described as “an enormous speculation over the whole issue”, and invited journalists to listen again to the taped speech of President Morales underlining there was “an inadequate misinterpretation of what was said”.

“You well know that sometimes things said in a speech are exaggerated or interpreted as wanted”, argued Canales.

Evo Morales also said that European men are mostly bald because of the diet “rich in feminine hormones” and forecasted that in fifty years time all Europeans would be bald.

Source: Mecropress

Bolivia to hold 2015 Copa America, says President Morales

April 28, 2010

Photo

LA PAZ (Reuters) – Bolivia will stage the 2015 Copa America if Brazil opt against doing so because they are hosting the World Cup and Olympic Games the years before and after, Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Tuesday.

Morales’s remark at a sports event in his country contradicts a recent agreement that Chile would stage the world’s oldest championship for national teams if Brazil, whose turn it is, opted out.

“In the next three or four years we (in South America) will receive international events, the Olympics … the World Cup and the Copa America championship which will be in Bolivia in 2015,” Morales said.

A spokesman for the South American Football Confederation (CSF), however, told Reuters they had received no formal request from the Bolivian federation.

“There is no official request to the ‘Conmebol’ (CSF) on the part of the Bolivian federation,” CSF executive secretary Francisco Figueredo said.

The CSF will meet this week at its Paraguayan headquarters in Asuncion to establish whether Brazil will remain the Copa America host nation in 2015.

“Any association can make their request at the meeting but so far there is none,” the spokesman added.

Brazil had looked favourably on Chile as a replacement before a massive earthquake on Feb. 27, which devastated large areas of southern and central regions and killed nearly 500 people, cast doubts on the idea.

The South American championship, now more commonly known by the name of its trophy, has been rotated around the 10 member countries since 1987 starting with Argentina whose turn comes around again next year.

Brazil last staged the tournament in 1989, Chile in 1991 and Bolivia in 1997. The most recent was in 2007 in Venezuela where Brazil beat Argentina in the final.

Source: Reuters

Bolivia climate conference: The poor take charge of battle for the planet

April 28, 2010

by Jonathan Neale reports from Cochabamba, Bolivia

There are now two sides in global climate politics – theirs and ours.

In December, Barack Obama forced world leaders to accept the “Copenhagen Accord” – an agreement to do nothing about climate change.

At the end of the conference in Bolivia last week, 30,000 people met in the Cochabamba football stadium.

They were mostly Bolivian, mostly workers, and mostly “indigenous”. In Bolivia a majority still speak the “native” languages they spoke when Columbus invaded.

But there were people from over 100 countries there too.

Our “Cochabamba Accord” was read to the crowd. We had passed it in a reasonably democratic process over the last three days.

It’s an astonishing document. It calls for radical cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, no market solutions, and an end to capitalism.

In the stadium, I stood in front of two circles of indigenous mountain peasants, mostly middle aged.

They were well into their coca ritual, blessing and chewing the leaves, when Hugo Chavez of Venezuela began to speak.

They listened to every word, the women leading the clapping when they approved – for instance when Chavez mentioned Lenin.

Horn

At the big moments, when he attacked American imperialism, shouted “revolution”, or thundered “Che!”, the older men blew deep rumbling notes on their cow horn trumpets.

This was a stadium full of politically organised communities.

Bolivian president Evo Morales spoke, saying, “On to Cancun”. The UN climate talks in November are in that US tourist-dominated, concrete hell in Mexico.

We will pit our Cochabamba Accord against their Copenhagen Accord. These are the two sides.

We need to be clear about Morales and Chavez. Both preside over a deep contradiction.

They speak of socialism and revolution. Yet capitalist bosses still control most companies.

Evo’s Movement To Socialism party paints “Dignity” and “Respect” on slum and village walls.

These words are real and lived. But they do not feed the children. The majority in that stadium were workers, but the leaders spoke of them as peasants and indigenous people.

All this weakens and limits the governments. Many NGO activists are looking for things in the Accord to criticise. They may, or may not, be right in the details.

But most NGOs cannot support the Accord because it attacks imperialism and capitalism, by name, and calls for socialism and revolution.

Support

In any argument about the Accord, we must start with support.

We also need to be realistic about the climate movement in Britain. Most of it is not ready for these ideas. But for many thousands this will be electric.

The global centre of the climate movement has shifted from the NGOs and the middle classes to organised farmers and workers in a poor country.

The Native Americans, so long persecuted, marginalised and impoverished, are now the global leaders of an organised fight to save the Earth.

We have hope now. On to Cancun.

Source: SocialistWorker

Pan American files for arbitration against Bolivia

April 28, 2010

LA PAZ, April 27 (Reuters) – Argentine-based energy firm Pan American Energy has filed a case for arbitration against Bolivia at a World Bank tribunal over the nationalization of its subsidiary in the Andean nation last year.

The World Bank International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, ICSID, said on its website on Tuesday that it had accepted a case for arbitration proceedings filed by Pan American against Bolivia, but gave no further details.

Officials at Bolivia’s Nationalizations Ministry said they could not comment on the ICSID announcement.

Bolivia is likely to argue the tribunal has no jurisdiction because the government pulled out of the ICSID in 2007, accusing the tribunal of favoring big corporations in its rulings.

Bolivia’s government seized control of natural gas producer Chaco from Pan American Energy in January 2009 after talks over a share transfer broke down.

Leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales wanted Pan American to transfer some of its shares in Chaco to state-run energy company YPFB, which at the time had a 49 percent stake.

Pan American Energy, an Argentina-focused oil and gas producer, is 60 percent-controlled by BP Plc, , while Argentina’s Bridas Holdings holds the remaining 40 percent.

Chinese oil firm CNOOC’s (0883.HK: Quote, Profile, Research) purchased a stake in Bridas last month gaining a foothold in reserve-rich Latin America. [ID:nTOE62E03K]

Pan American has output of around 220,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, equally split between oil and gas.

Several companies including Swiss commodity trader Glencore and Euro Telecom International (TLIT.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) have sought arbitration by international tribunals over the state takeover of their assets by Bolivia in recent years.

Morales has nationalized energy, mining and telecommunication companies since first taking office in January 2006. He was inaugurated for a second term in January.

Source: Reuters

Bolivia Climate Summit Conclusions to UN

April 28, 2010

Imagen activa

La Paz, Apr 27 (Prensa Latina) Bolivia handed in the conclusions of the recently held Climate Summit to the UN to analyze them in the forthcoming meeting that will take place in Cancun, Coordinator of the event Rene Orellana reported. The authority said a political delegation headed by Bolivian President Evo Morales and a technical group will travel to the United Nations (UN) headquarters to work on meetings prior to the Cancun event in December.

The American proposal failed in the Copenhagen meeting, which took place in 2009, but Barack Obama’s administration has carried out a strenuous world campaign to promote its acceptance ever since.

However, as the Bolivian, Venezuelan and Cuban delegations denounced, the US proposal neither provides specific solutions to the environmental problem nor attacks the causes of the climate change.

On the contrary, the Peoples’ Agreement takes into account those elements and also proposes creating a Court of Climate Justice to try the polluting countries and carrying out a referendum on the issue, among other actions.

Source: Prensa Latina

New Suspects of Terorism in Bolivia

April 28, 2010

Imagen activa

La Paz, Apr 27 (Prensa Latina) The Bolivian Attorney General’s Office summoned for Tuesday new suspects to give evidence in the case of the terrorist network neutralized in April 2009 in the eastern Santa Cruz department. According to Attorney Marcelo Soza, who is leading the probe, former soldier Zoilo Salces, and Juan Carlos Suarez, representative of the Stockbreeder Federation in the region of Beni, should state about their links with members of the extremist gangs.

Josue Shiriqui, brother of the mayor-elect in Trinidad, capital city of Beni, and the city’s Mayor Moises Shiriqui, are expected to appear in court.

Carlos Dellien, director of Beni’s Emergency Operation Center and Hans Melgar, lawyer and brother of Alberto Melgar, former civic leader in Beni, were also called to appear in court on April 29.

The Executive confiscated a weapon and munition depot in Santa Cruz on April 12, and will investigate its relation with the paramilitary group, led by Bolivian-Croatian Eduardo Rozsa Flores, shot dead during the police operation.

According to Soza, rifles, large-bore projectiles (mauser, M16, 9 milimeters) and shotguns found last week belong to the house of Alfredo Asbun, who along with two other people were tried in the United States for armaments trafficking to Bolivia.

Soza also informed about the raid carried out at the house of Ronald Castedo, former president of the main telephone company in Santa Cruz, and a place for meetings of the “Caballeros del Oriente” lodge that he said to be related to extremists.

On April 16, 2009, a group of agents from a Bolivian police unit burst into “Las Americas” Hotel in Santa Cruz, and took a paramilitary commando group by surprise.

Along with Rozsa Flores, Irish Michael Dwyer and Hungarian-Croatian Arpad Magyarosi were killed in the police operation.

Two other members of the terrorist cell: Bolivian-Croatian Mario Tadic and Hungarian Elod Toaso were also arrested two days later and are still prisoners in La Paz.

Source: Prensa Latina

Bolivia: State Most Important

April 27, 2010
The most important actor in the economy is the state, Bolivia’s Minister of Economy & Public Finance says.

BY RICHARD BURNS

NEW YORK — Bolivia made the trip into the Heart of American Capitalism last week, with the maiden trip to New York of Luis Arce Catacora in his capacity as Minister of Economy and Public Finance.  One of President Evo Morales’ first cabinet selections following his election in 2005, Arce was visiting New York for the first time since that appointment.

At an event here organized by the Americas Society, and co-sponsored by The World Bank, the architect of Bolivia’s economic model said he was eager to show the results of Bolivia’s economic progress and that his government “was not trying to kick the private sector out of Bolivia.”

While calling for private investment in key investment areas identified by the government, Arce was clear in his view that “we don’t believe in efficient markets and we do believe in intervention. The state is not only an actor but will be an investor, benefactor and banker to do what it needs to fix the economy from the free market.” From the outset in his presentation, Minister Arce contrasted what he termed the “neoliberal” model and the one adopted in Bolivia: “The Economic Social Communitarian and Productive Model.”

“We don’t want to nationalize everything”, he continued, “just strategic areas – those areas that belonged to the state before the neoliberals came to Bolivia.” He was not, he said, interested in nationalizing assets like houses or cars. However, “the most important actor in the economy is the state.”

Bolivia’s economic results have been impressive, as per his presentation:

  • GDP growth in 2009 was 3.4 percent. (The International Monetary Fund says it was 3.3 percent, but that would still be the second-highest in Latin America, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis).
  • GDP per capita has risen from U.S. $1,010 just before the election to U.S.$1,683 last year.
  • Foreign exchange reserves have risen to $8.5 billion, a figure that represents almost half of Bolivia’s GDP.  

Meanwhile, inflation was under one percent for the past two years, Arce said. Bolivian authorities measure inflation by year-end figures, which stood at 0.26 percent. However, the average inflation was 3.5 percent, according to the IMF.

The country’s macro-economic stability implied by these statistics he saw as a “social asset” now, and was particularly keen to point out that the stimulation of domestic demand had driven growth, not just export-led growth. He pointed to the elections held in Bolivia last year where the Morales regime, he claimed, that received almost two-thirds of the vote, indicating the government’s popularity.

Outlining the government’s five year economic objectives from 2010 – 2015, Arce described an “aggressive” investment program particularly focused on:

  • Hydrocarbons sector
  • Mining (especially lithium of which Bolivia is believed to carry nearly a half of the world’s known reserves)
  • Hydroelectric energy projects
  • Road construction, railways and riverways for national and regional integration
  • Agribusiness  

Arce conceded that in addition to government funding, multilateral support and bond issuance, Bolivia would still need foreign direct investment to reach its growth goals. He repeated that the country’s Constitution talked to “freedom of enterprise” and protection of the private investor. However, in the key areas of hydrocarbons, mining and electricity generation, where income and employment were critical to Bolivia, “the State has to redistribute assets and income.”

He said he believe strongly that Bolivia needed to develop value-added industries to leverage off its natural resources: for example, developing hydrocarbon products.

Perhaps more controversially in the agribusiness sector, Arce said he was highly in favor of industrializing coca production. Of the fourteen major properties of coca, he claimed, only one was present in cocaine. The others needed exploiting and there was already promising research that coca could help in the fight against tooth decay.

Source: Latin Business Chronicle

Thoughts on Bolivia’s alternative climate conference

April 27, 2010

Bolivian president Evo Morales; photo by kk+ (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

In terms of development and environment, global capitalism can be compared to a dinner where a rich few eat all the food and leave the bill with their poor, unwilling hosts after tossing a stingy tip and some dinner notes onto the table.

The colonized, indigenous and poorest peoples of the world are the ones who suffer most from climate change, do the least to cause it and hold the least power to stop it.

The UNFCCC in Copenhagen last December may have called attention to the lower tier of the developing world, but it did not give them much of a say in the drafting of the accord. Copenhagen was largely considered a bitter disappointment for environmental groups and poor nations alike.

The World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (WPCCC) which took place last week in Cochabamba, Bolivia, highlighted indigenous rights in relation to the climate crisis. The non UN-sanctioned talks were an alternative forum, unencumbered by the positions of the US and China that dominated Copenhagen. Despite distractions of football matches and strange comments by President Evo Morales about chicken causing baldness, the conference in Bolivia was a platform for voices that were barely included in Copenhagen’s ‘big boy’ talks.

The main points: a limit of one degree Celsius temperature rise, facilitated by a 50% cut in 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by industrialized nations by 2020. These nations caused climate change and should therefore be required to pay a debt to for polluting the Earth’s atmosphere.

From an IPS article:

Among other proposals are the creation of a multilateral organisation to manage environmental issues, international recognition of the rights of Mother Earth, a ban on privatising knowledge, protection for climate migrants and the fullest respect for the rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples.

Here are quotes from two recommended opinion pieces concerning the conference in Bolivia.

Naomi Klein writes in the Nation:

Bolivia’s climate summit has had moments of joy, levity and absurdity. Yet underneath it all, you can feel the emotion that provoked this gathering: rage against helplessness. It’s little wonder. Bolivia is in the midst of a dramatic political transformation, one that has nationalized key industries and elevated the voices of indigenous peoples as never before. But when it comes to Bolivia’s most pressing, existential crisis–the fact that its glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, threatening the water supply in two major cities–Bolivians are powerless to do anything to change their fate on their own.

Joseph Huff-Hannon writes in the Guardian

“Including forests in the carbon market, it’s a terrible idea. They want to offset emissions by planting or protecting trees,” Jihan Gearon told me, an organiser with the Indigenous Environment Network, from Navajo country in the Southwest. “So corporations say, ‘Great! we’ll expand our emissions, but offset it by planting trees in the Amazon’. But in our network, which encompasses North and South America, we are seeing indigenous people displaced from their homes to ‘protect’ the land.”

I was amazed at the amount of negative comments about this conference following Joseph Huff-Hannon’s Guardian piece. Understandably, people don’t like to be blamed or lumped together due to the sins of their (maybe) ancestors. But I think a sense of entitlement sometimes runs even deeper. At the risk of making things a bit too black and white, never mind whose fault it is: inequality and injustice either bother you or they don’t. Climate change either worries you or it doesn’t. Plainly, platitudes about ’sharing the Earth’ don’t fit well with ideas of social Darwinism and Manifest Destiny, but those – obviously not yet outmoded – ideas are being put to the test by climate change. In other words, time to pay the bloody bill.

by Graham Land

Source: Green Fudge.org

‘Mother Earth can live without us but we can’t live without her’: Indigneous People’s Declaration from Cochabamba

April 27, 2010

Just got this historic document from Ben Powless who is secretary of this group and writing from Cochabamba

WORLD PEOPLES’ CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE RIGHTS OF MOTHER EARTH
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DECLARATION

Mother Earth can live without us, but we can’t live without her.

We, the Indigenous Peoples, nations and organizations from all over the world, gathered at the World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, from April 19th to 22nd, 2010 in Tiquipaya, Cochabamba, Bolivia, after extensive discussions, express the following:

We Indigenous Peoples are sons and daughters of Mother Earth, or “Pachamama” in Quechua. Mother Earth is a living being in the universe that concentrates energy and life, while giving shelter and life to all without asking anything in return, she is the past, present and future; this is our relationship with Mother Earth. We have lived in coexistence with her for thousands of years, with our wisdom and cosmic spirituality

linked to nature. However, the economic models promoted and forced by industrialized countries that promote exploitation and wealth accumulation have radically transformed our relationship with Mother Earth. We must assert that climate change is one of the consequences of this irrational logic of life that we must change.

The aggression towards Mother Earth and the repeated assaults and violations against our soils, air, forests, rivers, lakes, biodiversity, and the cosmos are assaults against us. Before, we used to ask for permission for everything. Now, coming from developed countries, it is presumed that Mother Earth must ask us for permission. Our territories are not respected, particularly those of peoples in voluntary isolation or initial contact, and we suffer the most terrible aggression since colonization only to facilitate the entry of markets and extractive industries.

We recognize that Indigenous Peoples and the rest of the world live in a general age of crises: environmental, energy, food, financial, ethical, among others, as a consequence of policies and attitudes from racist and exclusionary states. We want to convey that at the Copenhagen Climate Conference, the peoples of the world demanded fair treatment, but were repressed. Meanwhile the states responsible for the climate crisis were able to weaken even more any possible outcome of negotiations and evade signing onto any binding agreement. They limited themselves to
simply supporting the Copenhagen Accord, an accord that proposes unacceptable and insufficient goals as far as climate change action and financing to the most affected countries and peoples.

We affirm that international negotiation spaces have systematically excluded the participation of Indigenous Peoples. As a result, we as Indigenous Peoples are making ourselves visible in these spaces, because as Mother Earth has been hurt and plundered, with negative activities taking place on our lands, territories and natural resources, we have also been hurt. This is why as Indigenous Peoples we will not keep
silent, but instead we propose to mobilize all our peoples to arrive at COP16 in Mexico and other spaces well prepared and united to defend our proposals, particularly the “living well” and plurinational state proposals.

We, Indigenous Peoples, do not want to live “better”, but instead we believe that everyone must live well. This is a proposal to achieve balance and start to construct a new society. The search for common objectives, as history shows us, will only be completed with the union of Indigenous Peoples of the World. The ancestral and indigenous roots shared by the whole world must be one of the bonds that unite us to achieve one unique objective.

Therefore we propose, require and demand:
1. The recovery, revalidation and strengthening of our civilizations, identities, cultures and cosmovisions based on ancient and ancestral Indigenous knowledge and wisdom for the construction of alternative ways of life to the current “development model”, as a way to confront climate change.
2. To rescue and strengthen the Indigenous proposal of “living well”, while also recognizing Mother Earth as a living being with whom we have an indivisible and interdependent relationship, based on principles and mechanisms that assure the respect, harmony, and balance between people and nature, and supporting a society based on social and environmental justice, which sees life as its purpose. All this must be done to confront the plundering capitalist model and guarantee the
protection of life as a whole, through the search for inclusive global agreements.
3. We demand States to recognize, respect and guarantee the application of international standards of human rights and Indigenous Peoples’ rights (i.e., The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ILO Convention 169) in the framework of negotiations, policies, and measures to confront climate change.
4. We demand States to legally recognize the preexistence of our right to the lands, territories, and natural resources that we have traditionally held as Indigenous Peoples and Nations, as well as restitution and restoration of natural goods, water,forests and jungles, lakes, oceans, sacred places, lands, and territories that have been dispossessed and seized. This is needed to strengthen and make possible our traditional way of living while contributing effectively to climate change solutions.
Inasmuch, we call for the consolidation of indigenous territories in exercise of our self-determination and autonomy, in conformity with systems of rules and regulations. At the same time we demand that states respect the territorial rights of Indigenous Peoples in voluntary isolation or in initial contact, as an effective way to preserve their integrity and combat the adverse effects of climate change towards those
peoples.
5. We call on States not to promote commercial monoculture practices, nor to introduce or promote genetically-modified and exotic crops, because according to our people’s wisdom, these species aggravate the degradation of jungles, forests and soils, contributing to the increase in global warming. Likewise, megaprojects under the search for alternative energy sources that affect Indigenous Peoples’ lands, territories, and natural habitats should not be implemented, including nuclear,
bio-engineering, hydroelectric, wind-power and others.
6. We demand changes to forestry and environmental laws, as well as the application of pertinent international instruments to effectively protect forests and jungles, as well as their biological and cultural diversity, guaranteeing Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including their participation and their Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.
7. We propose that, in the framework of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, states establish a policy that Protected Natural Areas must be managed, administered and controlled directly by Indigenous Peoples, taking into account the demonstrated traditional experience and knowledge towards the sustainable management of the biodiversity in our forests and jungles.
8. We demand a review, or if the case warrants, a moratorium, to every polluting activity that affects Mother Earth, and the withdrawal of multinational corporations and megaprojects from Indigenous territories.
9. We urge that states recognize water as a fundamental human right, avoiding its privatization and commodification.
10. We demand the application of consultations, participation, and the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples and affected populations in the design and implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures and any other intervening actions on Indigenous territories.
11. States must promote mechanisms to guarantee that funding for climate change action arrives directly and effectively to Indigenous Peoples, as part of the compensation for the historical and ecological debt owed. This funding must support and strengthen our own visions and cosmovisions towards “living well”.
12. We call for the recovery, revalidation and strengthening of Indigenous Peoples’ technologies and knowledge, and for their incorporation into the research, design and implementation of climate change policies. This should compliment Western knowledge and technology, ensuring that technology transfer processes do not weaken indigenous knowledge and technologies.
13. We propose the recovery, development and diffusion of indigenous knowledge and technology through the implementation of educational policies and programs, including the modification and incorporation of such knowledge and ancestral wisdom in curricula and teaching methods.
14. We urge States and international bodies that are making decisions about climate change, especially the UNFCCC, to establish formal structures and mechanisms that include the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples. They must also include local communities and vulnerable groups, including women, without discrimination, as a key element to obtain a fair and equitable result from climate change negotiations.
15. We join in the demand to create a Climate Justice Tribunal that would be able to pass judgement and establish penalties for non-compliance of agreements, and other environmental crimes by developed countries, which are primarily responsible for climate change. This institution must consider the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, and their principles of justice.
16. We propose the organization and coordination of Indigenous Peoples worldwide, through our local, national, regional, and international governments, organizations, and other mechanisms of legitimate representation, in order to participate in all climate change related processes. With that in mind, we call for an organizational space to be created that will contribute to the global search for effective solutions to
climate change, with the special participation of Elders.
17. We propose to fight in all spaces available to defend life and Mother Earth, particularly in COP16, and so we propose a 2nd Peoples’ Conference to strengthen the process of reflection and action.
18. The ratification of the global campaign to organize the World March in defense of Mother Earth and her peoples, against the commodification of life, pollution, and the criminalization of Indigenous and social movements.
Created in unity in Tiquipaya, Cochabamba, Bolivia, the 21st day of April, 2010.

Source: Rabble.Ca