Pages tagged "Frontline Communities"


The Human Cost of Forest Fabrics

Behind the shiny exteriors and glossy magazine advertisements of American fashion brands hides some disturbing truths. Communities like those in Pandumaan-Sipituhuta in Northern Sumatra, featured in the short film below by Handcrafted Films, are being harmed by the production of clothing sold by big name companies like Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, and other companies in RAN’s ‘Fashion 15.’

The clothing we buy is driving the destruction of the forests of Pandumaan-Sipituhuta, and decimating the way the communities there have supported themselves for 17 generations.

Here’s how the destruction of benzoin forests in Indonesia becomes part of our clothing:

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We need to tell fashion companies that this sort of destruction is totally unacceptable. Some companies have already stepped up as leaders; H&M, Zara, Stella McCartney and others have already taken action and publically committed to eliminating rainforest destruction from their fabrics.

The Out of Fashion campaign is working for change on the ground in Pandumaan-Sipithuta, and to change the whole system. We need to tell fashion companies that they are responsible for their supply chains, and they must demand change at every level. For our Fashion 15, this means demanding changes from Toba Pulp Lestari (the producer), Sateri (the processor), and Royal Golden Eagle (the company that owns Sateri).

Click here to sign our petition, and to take the first step in ensuring that the clothing you buy isn’t destroying forests and communities  in Pandumaan- Sipithuta.


Brutal Murder in APP Plantation

Underlines the need to understand and address severe land conflicts and the disconnect between policy commitments and real change on the ground.

Last Friday afternoon, February 27th, Indra Pelani, a 22 year-old from Lubuk Mandarsah village, Nick Karim from Simpang Niam village, and a member of WALHI, a Indonesian environmental group, attempted to pass through a gated checkpoint on a road which cuts through an Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) acacia plantation in the district of Tebo, Jambi Province, on the island of Sumatra. Indra and Karim were on their way to to join a rice harvest and festival.

According to witnesses, several company security guards set on Indra, a prominent farmers’ union member, beat him brutally about the head and ignored pleas from others to stop. According to witnesses, while Nick ran to get help and call the police, Indra was abducted by the guards. By the time Karim returned with roughly 30 villagers a short time later, Indra was missing and the security officer on duty denied knowing anything about the incident.

Police in Tebo district were alerted and conducted a search Friday evening. Indra's body was discovered the next day in a swamp, roughly 400 meters from the road. Indra's feet and hands were bound with rope and his mouth stuffed with a t-shirt. His body showed signs of severe beating. After his body was taken to a hospital, a preliminary examination showed that Indra had been further brutalized and stabbed and is presumed to have died from the injuries.

This tragic incident occurred on the eve of a planned meeting of stakeholders with APP in Jakarta. The meeting was to review APP’s implementation of its public commitments to obtain Free, Prior and Informed Consent from local communities for new plantation developments, resolve land conflicts and provide remedy for past land and human rights violations. Given the current situation, Forest People’s Programme, RAN, Greenpeace, and other civil society representatives have suspended participation in APP’s stakeholder meetings until this case has been satisfactorily investigated and addressed. As of now, APP has responded by publicly condemning the murder and suspending employment of all suspects, pending further investigation.

APP is a company with a long track record of driving deforestation and social conflict through its expansion of pulp plantations across Indonesia. Under growing international pressure, in 2013 the company committed to reform itself through the adoption of new policies to uphold human rights and to halt further deforestation in its operations. Since the announcement of its new policies, APP has begun presenting itself as a global leader in social and environmental responsibility. This incident tragically underscores the disconnect between good intentions reflected by APP’s policy pronouncements and the realities of how communities are treated at the hands ofthe company and its contractors on the ground. It is now clearer than ever that in order to break the link between commodity production and human rights violations it will take much more than a new policy in order to transform the company culture.

Land conflict and human rights violations are widespread across not only APP’s concessions, but those of its competitor APRIL, and indeed many if not most pulp and oil palm plantations. This is due in large part to failures in government policy and poor forest governance as well as corruption and irresponsible action by the private sector. APP must not only work with authorities to secure justice for Indra Pelani and his family, it must prioritize changing the culture and behavior of the company, its suppliers and contractors at the field level and improve and scale up its efforts to resolve conflicts, meaningfully involving affected communities, civil society and government. Addressing the broader legacy of land conflict in Indonesia and preventing conflict in the future is going to require widespread reforms by both government and the private sector and robust engagement with and leadership by communities and civil society.

Customer and investors linked to conflict commodities have a vital role to play not only by prioritizing human rights and establishing and implementing safeguards, but also by actively engaging directly with the companies with whom they have relationships on these issues, requiring changes on the ground as a condition of business and by encouraging government reform and action. This tragic incident is a wake up call for paper and palm customers and investors about the importance of including strong human rights safeguards and reform expectations in their purchasing requirements, verification efforts and discussions with governments.

On March 9 2015 APP took a tangible first step in addressing its role in Indra Pelani’s murder. The company is suspending operations in the area and is disengaging with the security contractor involved in the case.


Death of Community Member in Sumatra Places Asia Pulp and Paper’s Social Responsibility Commitments in Question

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Indra's burial site. Photo by Walhi

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has recently learned of the tragic news that on Friday, February 27, 2015, Mr Indra Pelani, a resident of Lubuk Mandarsah village in Tebo district, Jambi Provine, Sumatra and a member of the Sakato Jaya Farmers’ Association, was found dead. According to local civil society groups and newspaper reports,  the security forces of Asia Pulp and Paper are reported to have resorted to the brutal beating, abduction and extra-judicial killing of Mr Indra Pelani a leader in the local farmers’ union. 

RAN mourns the loss of Pak. Indra, an effective advocate for farmer and community land rights, and stands in solidarity with his family and community that have suffered this tragic loss. RAN condemns those that took part in this reprehensible act of violence, and  the long-standing history of disproportionate and unjustifiable force used by APP’s security forces. We call on APP to fully collaborate in an immediate, impartial and inclusive investigation which should include the local government, local community, NGOs, the National Forest Council (DKN) and the  National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM). Furthermore APP must give every assistance to local authorities to ensure the criminal prosecution of all persons accused of these crimes. In addition, APP should suspend all staff from the security units implicated in this case and take steps to ensure they do not collude in destroying or fabricating evidence.

While we are encouraged that APP has suspended the security guards implicated in this case, Pak Indra’s tragic killing bolsters doubts about the seriousness of APP’s commitment to respect human rights and resolve social conflict and underscores the urgent need for APP to work with communities, civil society and government to improve and scale up how it is addressing the pervasive social and land conflicts found across its concessions.

A more detailed report of the event is available, here.

 

Information about the conflict in Lubuk Mandarsah and APP’s performance in meeting its social responsiblity commitments are included in the following report, located here.


New Report Finds Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) Lagging on Social Responsibility Commitments; Provides Recommendations for Improvement

On-the-ground interviews with 17 affected Indonesian communities reveal policy implementation problems while hundreds of unresolved land conflicts remain

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Laurel Sutherlin, 415 246 0161, laurel@ran.org 

San Francisco, CA – A field-based survey to investigate Asia Pulp and Paper’s (APP) performance, provide input into an evaluation of APP’s progress on fulfilling its social responsibility commitments, and make recommendations to the company finds little on-the-ground evidence to date that APP is taking sufficient action to resolve land conflict issues.

With the exception of progress in two communities where it is piloting conflict resolution approaches, there has been little change for communities embroiled in land disputes with the company. Hundreds of land conflicts remain and APP has been failing to involve affected communities and other key stakeholders in the identification, analysis and resolution of these conflicts.

The study, which was initiated by a coalition of Indonesian and International NGOs and community-based organizations, conducted interviews with village leaders and community members from 17 communities impacted by APP and its affiliates. Communities were visited in the Indonesian provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan between May and September 2014, including visits to  three APP concessions where the company has initiated conflict resolution pilot projects.

APP’s 30-year legacy of adverse social and environmental impacts from its widespread deforestation and pulp plantation expansion across Indonesia is well documented.  Following decades of public criticism, community opposition and pressure from its customers and investors, in February 2013 APP announced a much-welcomed new Forest Conservation Policy, which sets out the companies commitments to reform its forestry practices and to address its legacy of land grabs and human rights violations, climate pollution, deforestation, and wildlife habitat destruction across its 2.6 million hectares of concessions.

The study is a contribution towards ongoing independent monitoring of the company’s performance. The study was submitted to an evaluation of APP’s progress against its Forest Conservation Policy Commitments being conducted by the Rainforest Alliance. 

Commenting on the coalition’s findings, Patrick Anderson from Forest Peoples Programme said:

“APP still has a tremendous amount of work to do before we can say that their commitments are yielding satisfactory remedies to conflicts on the ground. We’re very concerned that at least one of the the two land conflict agreements that have been reached did not follow all the requirements in APP's policy on respecting community rights and that there are many hundreds of conflicts with communities remaining to be resolved. APP is still failing to effectively involve communities and other key stakeholders in developing action plans and efforts to scale up its conflict resolution. If the situation doesn't change, we’re concerned that the company’s efforts will not secure durable and equitable agreements  at scale.”

Aidil Fitri, campaign director at Wahana Bumi Hijau stated that “our research on APP’s implementation of its Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) commitment relating to the new Oki Pulp Mill, one of the world’s largest, finds that the company has not gotten FPIC from at least one rights holding community and that the company has started construction of Oki Pulp Mill before the FPIC process was completed. We see this as a clear violation of FPIC and the company’s own policy.”

“If APP wants to regain the trust and business of customers and investors, it must improve transparency, work more effectively with stakeholders and prove that it has sufficiently implemented its commitments to a  point where it can demonstrate widespread and positive impacts on the ground,” said Lafcadio Cortesi of Rainforest Action Network. “Because the company’s implementation is still at an early stage, there is a clear need for continued independent monitoring and verification of the company’s performance. In order for APP to scale up  conflict resolution and prevent further deforestation in the remaining natural forests in their concessions, the company will need to give back more of the land it is currently using for pulp wood plantations to meet community livelihood needs and land claims.” 

“Our report provides detailed recommendations for how APP can address current problems and how it can ensure that the foundation that it has established leads to positive outcomes for communities and forests and delivers the results it has promised. The study suggests to buyers and others that it’s still too soon to tell whether APP’s promises will become a reality,” Cortesi said.

The full report, available to download here: http://www.ran.org/app_performance_2015, includes a table outlining the research findings from each community, and the executive summary and recommendations, available to download here: http://www.ran.org/app_performance_2015_summary, provides an overview of the full report’s findings and detailed recommendations of improvements APP can make.

For a Bahasa Indonesia translated version of this press release, download one here: 

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Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit:www.ran.org






Constant Conflict? Unresolved Land Disputes Still Haunt Asia Pulp and Paper

On-the-ground interviews with 17 affected Indonesian communities reveal policy implementation problems while hundreds of unresolved land conflicts remain

Nearly two years after Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) made groundbreaking commitments to transform its notoriously destructive business practices, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has partnered with one international and nine local Indonesian allies to produce a report that documents the company’s performance in meeting its social responsibility promises. Recent on-the-ground research in 17 Indonesian communities affected by APP reveal significant APP policy implementation problems, and hundreds of unresolved land conflicts remaining in APP’s concessions.

APP’s OKI Mill, one of the largest mills in the world, under construction before community Free, Prior and Informed Consent obtained:

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Asia Pulp and Paper is recognized as one of the world’s foremost forest destroyers due to its 30-year legacy of egregious  social and environmental impacts resulting from its insatiable acquisition of land and conversion of diverse rainforests to monoculture pulp plantations across Indonesia.

Following decades of public campaigning by RAN and allies, widespread community opposition and pressure from its customers and investors, in February 2013 APP announced a much-welcomed new Forest Conservation Policy. The policy sets out the companies commitments to reform its forestry practices and to address its long history of land grabs and human rights violations, climate pollution, deforestation, and wildlife habitat destruction across its 2.6 million hectares of concessions.

Our study is a contribution to ongoing independent monitoring of the company’s performance. The study was submitted as input into an evaluation of APP’s progress against its Forest Conservation Policy commitments being conducted by the Rainforest Alliance.

The community based research at the core of this report were part of a field based survey to investigate Asia Pulp and Paper’s (APP) performance, provide input into the evaluation of APP’s progress on fulfilling its social responsibility commitments, and  recommendations to the company. The study finds little on-the-ground evidence to date that APP is taking sufficient action to resolve land conflict issues.

With the exception of progress in two communities where it is piloting conflict resolution approaches, there has been little change for communities embroiled in land disputes with the company. Hundreds of land conflicts remain and APP has been failing to involve affected communities in giving free, prior and informed consent to new projects or  involving affected communities and other key stakeholders in the identification, analysis and resolution of land  conflicts. Given how far the company still has to go to demonstrate and verify that satisfactory changes and remedies are happening on the ground, it’s still too soon for pulp and paper customers or investors to resume business with APP. The study suggests that potential business partners must scrutinize APP’s performance and require demonstrable and independently verified social and environmental outcomes from the company as a prior condition of business.

 The study, which was initiated by a coalition of 11 Indonesian and International NGOs and community-based organizations, conducted interviews with village leaders and community members from 17 communities impacted by APP and its affiliates. Communities were visited in the Indonesian provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan between May and September 2014.

Commenting on the coalition’s findings, Patrick Anderson from Forest Peoples Programme said:

“APP still has a tremendous amount of work to do before we can say that their commitments are yielding satisfactory remedies to conflicts on the ground. We’re very concerned that at least one of the the two land conflict agreements that have been reached did not follow all the requirements in APP's policy on respecting community rights and that there are many hundreds of conflicts with communities remaining to be resolved. Currently APP is failing to effectively involve communities and other key stakeholders in developing action plans and efforts to scale up its conflict resolution. If the situation doesn't change, we’re concerned that the company’s efforts will not secure durable and equitable agreements needed at scale.”

Aidil Fitri, campaign director at Wahana Bumi Hijau stated that “our research on APP’s implementation of its Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) commitment relating to the new Oki Pulp Mill, one of the world’s largest, finds that the company has not gotten FPIC from at least one rights holding community and that the company has started construction of Oki Pulp Mill before the FPIC process was completed. We see this as a clear violation of FPIC and the company’s own policy.”

“If APP wants to regain the trust and business of customers and investors, it must improve transparency, work more effectively with stakeholders and prove that it has sufficiently implemented its commitments to the point where it can demonstrate widespread and positive impacts on the ground,” said Lafcadio Cortesi of Rainforest Action Network. “Because the company’s implementation is still at an early stage there is a clear need for continued independent monitoring and verification of the company’s performance. In order for APP to scale up the resolution of land conflicts and prevent further deforestation in the remaining natural forests in their concessions, the company will need to give back more of the land it is currently using for pulp wood plantations to meet community livelihood needs and land claims.”

“Our report provides detailed recommendations for how APP can address current problems and how it can ensure that the foundation that it has established leads to positive outcomes for communities and forests and delivers the results APP has promised. The study suggests to buyers and others that it’s still too soon to tell whether APP’s promises will become a reality,” Cortesi said.

The full report, available to download here, includes a table outlining the research findings from each community, and the executive summary and recommendations, available to download here, provides an overview of the full report’s findings and detailed recommendations of improvements APP can make.

 


Canada Approves Northern Gateway Pipeline, Opponents Vow Fierce Resistance

"We will defend our territories whatever the costs may be."

— Alliance of 31 First Nations

This week, despite broad public opposition, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper approved Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. The Northern Gateway pipeline, seen as a backup option to the Keystone XL pipeline that is currently mired down in a political quagmire in the U.S., would ship 500,000 barrels of bitumen a day through British Columbia to the Pacific coast.

The approval sparked loud protest from First Nations groups and environmentalists. Opposition to Enbridge has already been heightened in British Columbia and with the Harper government’s announcement, opponents took to the streets of Vancouver and promised fierce resistance to the pipeline.

enbridge

First Nations groups in Canada, which have long fought the pipeline, vowed to defend their land and their sovereignty with no surrender. In an unprecedented show of unity, 31 First Nations and tribal councils have signed a letter announcing their intention to "vigorously pursue all lawful means to stop the Enbridge project."

Furthermore the Uni’stot’en Clan has maintained a blockade encampment in the path of Enbridge and other proposed pipelines on their territory in British Columbia since 2009. Upon the Northern Gateway announcement they stated they “are prepared to continue to defend their territories against the incursion of government and industry.”

The environmental left has also vowed to fight back against Northern Gateway.  Direct actions, protests and legal battles are being planned to stop the pipeline.

Immediately after the announcement,  environmentalists launched sit-ins in Member of Parliament offices in opposition to the decision. Four were arrested at the office of James Moore, Conservative MP and Minister of Industry.

One of the four was Jackie DeRoo, MBA, a mother and retired businesswoman: “I'd never even been to a protest until Northern Gateway came along and I began to learn about climate change,” she said. “If ordinary citizens like me are willing to get arrested to stop this project, Harper can expect blockades that will make Clayoquot look like a picnic.

At the same time as the Northern Gateway pipeline and Keystone XL campaigns,  Enbridge have lobbied for a system of pipelines to send hundreds of thousands of barrels of tar sands south to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Enbridge has multiple pipelines proposed in the United States.

The oil giants are not backing off on draining the Alberta tar sands of every last drop of oil. Nor should the opposition back off in the slightest.

Photo: Direct action at Minister of Industry James Moore's office


APRIL Makes A Mockery Of Its Own "Sustainable" Forest Policy

 

Almost six months after the release of its Sustainable Forest Management Policy, Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL)—the second-largest Indonesian pulp & paper company—continues business-as-usual rainforest destruction, betraying the spirit and substance of its policy.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported in May that APRIL-owned PT RAPP cleared massive swaths of carbon-rich peatlands on Pulau Padang, an island off the Sumatran coast that APRIL promised to help restore. Members of island community Desa Bagan Melibur have called on APRIL to terminate operations on their community land, and Desa Bagan Melibur’s May 17 protest is the most recent clash in a stark legacy of land disputes between APRIL and Padang’s thirteen villages since 2009.

Pulau Padang’s peatlands store millions of tons of carbon and are home to endangered species and communities that depend on these forests for their livelihoods. You could also say the island itself is endangered: decaying peat causes the low-lying island to subside, and scientists warn that if no action is taken, Padang may very well be under sea level and useless for any type of cultivation by 2050.

APRIL’s forest policy itself is rife with loopholes and allows APRIL to continue slashing natural forests in its concessions through December and source rainforest fiber until 2020. Yet the company’s refusal to uphold even its weak policy commitments brings APRIL’s intentions entirely into doubt. In addition to the Pulau Padang case, earlier this year, APRIL suppliers were caught clearing natural forests on legally protected peat land in Borneo and high conservation value forest on peat land in Riau. In the latter case, not only were internationally protected ramin trees cut down, but APRIL supplier PT Triomas allegedly attempted to hide the evidence by burying the contraband logs.

There is mounting recognition that APRIL’s policy and actions are insufficient and not credible. Last Friday, RAN and an international collation of allies co-authored a letter highlighting the severe shortcomings in APRIL’s policies, such as the lack of a moratorium on natural forest and peat land conversion, unclear commitments on resolving social conflicts, and the policy’s narrow scope, which does not extend to cover APRIL’s sister companies within owner Sukanto Tanoto’s rogue cartel of companies, such as Toba Pulp Lestari, Sateri, and Asian Agri. The letter also points to the inadequacy and questionable credibility of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) APRIL set up to help develop, implement, and monitor the forest policy in a transparent and independent manner.

APRIL’s new policy and the SAC risk being nothing but a parade of environmental lip service built on teetering scaffolds of environmental destruction, social conflict, and corruption. Customers and financiers must cut ties with APRIL and other companies owned by Sukanto Tanoto and pressure APRIL to end rainforest clearing and respect community rights.

TAKE ACTION: Tell APRIL owner Sukanto Tanoto to stop pulping Pulau Padang’s rainforests.


Coal is Poisoning the Cape Fear River

This month, Rainforest Action Network and three allies testified at Bank of America's annual shareholder meeting, urging them to drop coal, to stop profiting from environmental destruction and human rights abuses. We're posting the statements of our three allies. Add your voice by telling Bank of America to stop funding coal—and come clean on climate change

My name is Kemp Burdette. I am the Cape Fear Riverkeeper. I was born and raised along the Cape Fear River in southeastern North Carolina.

I want to describe to you the impacts that coal is having on the Cape Fear River, because Bank of America's financing of the coal industry, and specifically Duke Energy, is supporting the contamination of groundwater, the fouling of rivers, and the poisoning of drinking water supplies for nearly a million people in the Cape Fear watershed alone. Across North Carolina, the problem is even worse.

CapeFear_720x720I’m sure you've heard about the Dan River coal ash spill.

You may not have heard about Duke's other discharge of coal ash waste water into the Cape Fear River. Less than two months ago Duke was caught illegally pumping over 61 million gallons of coal ash wastewater into the Cape Fear River—three times more wastewater than what spilled into the Dan River.

This was done above the drinking water intakes for 840,000 people, and it was done intentionally, although secretly and illegally, with no notification of the public or of state regulators.

In addition to catastrophic failures and illegal discharges, Duke's coal ash ponds have other problems—they leak like sieves into groundwater and surface waters. They leak 24 hours a day, seven days a week at every location across North Carolina.

In New Hanover County, selenium contamination from coal ash is deforming fish in a popular fishing lake.

Duke Energy and the State of North Carolina are currently under a federal investigation for inappropriate conduct and relations between state regulators and the company.

I would urge Bank of America to end its lending and underwriting of companies like Duke Energy. Duke's coal ash ponds will continue to fail. They will continue to leak. They will continue to poison water supplies. They will continue to destroy the environment. Coal is, and will continue to be, very, very risky business.

Stand with Kemp and RAN by telling Bank of America to stop funding coal—and come clean on climate change


Bangkok: Rich Countries try to kill Kyoto, International Youth declare "No Confidence" in Road to Copenhagen

cross posted from Grist. Today marked one of the final days of the Bangkok UN Climate Negotiations. With the end of this intersessional in sight, the International Youth Delegation (IYD) has officially declared “No Confidence” in the road to Copenhagen. With youth delegates from over 30 countries engaging in the Bangkok process, the IYD cited pathetically weak targets from the North, alarm that a second commitment period in the Kyoto Protocol will not be secured, and a lack of guarantees for protection of Indigenous peoples’ rights and interests, in its Declaration. The current text of the draft climate deal is so weak and so full of “false solutions” (measures like offsetting that actually make the problem worse) it is unacceptable. Youth delegates representing each continent addressed the U.N. today, detailing the urgency of the crisis as it affects their communities currently, telling stories of their hope and organizing alongside their denunciation of the state of play in the UN Negotiations. This week the Annex 1 (rich countries), attempted to kill the Kyoto Protocol (KP). We are nearing upon the end of the current KP term, and a lack of renewing it means that the world would lose the few legally binding international climate agreements it has (as insufficient as they are). The excuse is that the United States will not sign, and therefore the whole thing should be scrapped and an entirely new deal can be struck on its own. It is lunacy to think that this will yield a stronger outcome, and the G77 (the rest of the world) countries are furious. We have always known the US wont sign the KP; the world cannot continue to wait for the US to get on board. In Bali, the U.S. already committed to setting comparable targets to other Annex 1 countries, so the world could deal with the U.S. in the LCA (Long Term Cooperative Action). This all amounts to a shell game: more dirty delaying tactics from self-interested countries who are content to strip away basic attempts at an international agreement (for example "compliance" - meaning that the U.S. would have international oversight of its targets, or "top-down target setting" - meaning the international community sets carbon targets together based on science, rather than each countries independently setting their targets based on what their fossil fuel extraction industries dictate). Allowing the U.S. to drag the world out of existing legal obligations is disgraceful. These negotiations are going backwards. Make no mistake: Our future is being held hostage to interests that have consistently thumbed their noses at the international community and their obligations to the rest of the world. This process has been polluted by self-interested corporations and nations looking to profit off of our crisis. They have been pushing false solutions that exacerbate rather than fix the problem. Not only are the targets set by rich countries weak, but they are deceptive. Rather than representing actual emissions reductions, they contain unacceptable proportions of offsets, which do not reduce emissions, and displace the burden back onto the developing countries of the world. In the meantime, further language on Indigenous Rights is being removed and diluted from the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) text. "Rights" are being defined as "right to participate," as opposed to "rights over land and communities", and existing UN language (such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or UNDRIP, and the principles of Free Prior and Informed Consent or FPIC) is far from being adopted. This has led to major protests all week and this morning youth supported the Indigenous Caucus in a "No Rights?? No REDD!!" demonstration on the front steps of the U.N. The youth will not accept a dirty deal. Rights-based language in the text (including UNDRIP and FPIC), no offsets, limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees C and 350 ppm of c02, unconditional legally binding targets for Annex 1 countries of at least 40% reductions by 2020, and a LOT of money for adaptation and technology transfer are just some of the baseline components that must be in the text to even begin to sensibly move forward. Regardless of what governments decide, youth across the world are continuing to organize social movements to build meaningful solutions in their own communities, working on local, national, and international levels. Our hope for the future is in the power of civil society to reshape what is perceived as politically possible. See the video of the press conference here: [vimeo 6948679]

Freedom From Oil Tour Diary # 7 - Interview with Ben Powless from Indigenous Environmental Network

[youtube RefVb-gv_nI] Check out episode 7 of the 10 day adventure of RAN and Substance educating and mobilizing people to stop the Tar Sands, with rock bands Propagandhi and Strike Anywhere

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