Nearly 200 world governments will meet Nov. 29 – Dec. 10 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Cancun, Mexico to discuss future commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement linked to the UNFCCC.Read the entire article here.
The Protocol sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to an average of five percent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008 and 2012.
Although some world leaders have declared that no meaningful agreement will be produced, a senior U.N. official said the talks can produce significant progress on forest protection, aid for developing nations and technology sharing...
Last year’s summit produced the Copenhagen Accord, an agreement drawn up by the U.S., China, India, Brazil and South Africa that yielded few commitments to keep global greenhouse gasses from rising. The action by the five nations angered some of the countries that were excluded from the process, especially poorer nations experiencing the earliest and worst impacts of climatic changes yet who have contributed the least to its cause...
Four alternative climate summits will take place alongside the official proceedings; a summit of non-governmental organizations, one run by the Mexican government, Klima Forum, first held in Copenhagen in 2009, and La Via Campesina (the International Peasants’ Movement), an organization of over 148 organizations that advocate family-farm-based sustainable agriculture.
Via Campesina will accommodate thousands of people affected by environmental destruction – farmers, landless, indigenous peoples and activists from all sectors during the summit, to propose solutions to confront climate change.
Via Campesina will bring 4,000 Mexicans – indigenous peoples, farmers and their allies to Cancun, and a few hundred from the Global South. The Bolivian government is flying in 90 people, and Venezuela is flying in a similar number.
Caravans are en route to Cancun from the U.S. and Canada, and more people are coming in from Europe. The U.S.-based Indigenous Environmental Network is bringing in 23 people.
IEN, La Campesina and worldwide social movements want to show world leaders their opposition to what they are calling “false solutions to climate chaos discussed by the UNFCCC, such as market-based proposals on carbon trading and REDD, agrofuels and geo-engineering.”
La Campesina has issued a call out to social movements, organizations and people around the world to organize thousands of protests and actions during the summit to “reject false solutions and to support a people’s agenda for climate justice.” They’ve declared Dec. 7 an International Day of Action, calling for “Thousand of Cancuns” around the world, with a massive march and protest planned in Cancun.
NTEC and NARF also focus on indigenous rights. “We’re working to ensure indigenous peoples are not left out of the process,” Gruenig said. “As of now they are asked to give an opening and closing statement. That is not sufficient by any means, as a lot changes as the negotiations proceed. Indigenous people need to have direct participation and be allowed to speak on the floor.”
To affect that work Gruenig and Gottschalk will participate at the daily Indigenous Caucus, held concurrently with the talks.
In a recent development, the U.N. approved a draft resolution Nov. 16 that if finalized will organize a “World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.” In so doing the U.N. stated concerns about the “extreme social and economic disadvantages that indigenous peoples have faced,” and referenced the first World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth held in Cochabamba last April.
The high-level plenary meeting would take place at the end of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People in 2014, and would share perspectives and best practices for the fulfillment of the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The resolution calls on member states and the international community to find solutions to problems faced by indigenous peoples in areas that include culture, education, health, human rights, the environment and socio-economic development. It would expand the U.N. Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations to include facilitating the participation of representatives of indigenous organizations in sessions of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
See also the Indigenous Environmental Network's blog from Cancun at RedRoadCancun.com:
Emphasizing the tremendous power of sustainable, small farming in alleviating climate change, Via Campesina has issued its statement on COP16:
IEN Dispatches from Cancun at RedRoadCancun.comWHAT: COP16 Live video and audio stream and daily 1 hour video/radio showFollow IEN as we collaborate with other Indigenous groups and coalitions in Cancun.
WHEN: Monday, Nov 29 to Friday, Dec. 10, 2010.
Daily shows air noon to 1pm CST, Monday through Friday, and will be rebroadcast at 5pm.
Our organizations are banding together in Cancun to highlight the stories of local community activists and Indigenous Peoples from all over the world: Stories about dealing with the impacts from the climate crisis that are already being experienced by their communities;stories about the suffering from and resistance to the pollution from the fossil fuels industry; and stories about their communities standing up to threats from industries who want their forests to "offset" their pollution.
We will be highlighting stories from communities that are taking real and effective action to address the climate crisis. Communities that are protecting their forests from being logged; that are shutting down polluting industries in their own back yard, or that are creating small-scale renewable energy projects.
"Statement by the CLOC-Vía Campesina on the Climate Summit in Cancune"
As the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations - CLOC / Via Campesina -we appeal to women, men, youth, children and elderly people worldwide to join the great global movement called "Thousands of Cancuns for Climate Justice" which is a clear demonstration not only that the peoples and social movements are engaged in the debate, construction and positioning of the discussion around climate change but also, that we are denouncing and resisting the model of development that has deepened the climate crisis.
In this regard, we affirm that the Peoples' Accord emitted at the Summit on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, is one of the most interesting proposals. We therefore demand that it be debated and further developed within COP 16, along the same approach that it was built on, that is, within the framework of the discussions and proposals of the peoples, social movements and organizations. As CLOC / Via Campesina we believe that the capitalist model based on the exploitation of natural resources, with the idea of unlimited progress, is primarily responsible for the environmental disaster that we are now experiencing.
The impact of the climate crisis that affects all of humanity is the result of the implementation of this perverse model that prioritizes market policies at the expense of life itself. For farmers and peasants of the world, climate change has a direct impact on both rural and urban areas, with floods, droughts, disruption of natural rain cycles and the emergence of new pests, that are destroying small-scale agriculture and livestock that contribute substantially to feeding the majority of human beings, when hunger remains a major challenge for the world.
Faced with this situation, as the CLOC / Via Campesina, a historical movement that interconnects struggles at the continental level:
1. We bring our energies as La Via Campesina International, chanting our slogan "Peasant agriculture cools the planet", as our banner of struggle and resistance. We believe this is a way to support a de-privatization struggle for life as a viable, existing and really possible alternative.
2. We declare the failure of the Cancun Climate Summit in wanting to impose an illegitimate "agreement", since the prior negotiating tables are managed by a handful of countries outside the genuine process of multilateral negotiations. We consider that blackmail is being used to try to bring off this imposition.
3. We support the demonstrations, forums, debates, meetings and activities conducted by social organizations and networks worldwide, this December 7, as a form of resistance to the decisions of the COP 16 in Cancun.
4. We reject strategies of profit-making, lobbying and commoditization by transnational corporations, banks and financial interests, the governments of industrialized countries and their international institutions, aimed at continuing to shirk their historic responsibilities.
5. We will unmask the false solutions of "green capitalism" with proposals like those of Monsanto in response to the climate crisis. There is concrete evidence of the negative impacts of global carbon markets, GM seeds, agro-fuels, geo-engineering, dams, mining, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, the "Clean Development Mechanisms" and current REDD projects which are being promoted without addressing the real needs of people. These options are intended to generate windfall profits for these big corporations.
6. We reject any World Bank involvement in the creation of funds and policies related to climate change.
7. We promote the urgency of a process of preparation and discussion for the implementation of a Global Consultation on policies addressing climate change. It is necessary to do justice, to free those struggling for land and prosecute those who pollute and destroy.
8. Since Mexico is home to the Climate Summit, we take on the responsibility of reporting the environmental catastrophe caused to fishermen and women and for humankind in general, for the tragedy of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the British Petroleum Company - BP. We consider it a crime to humanity and an illustration of corporate disregard for human life and of the hypocrisy of governments
9. Finally, we underline the need to abolish the criminalization of struggles and of those who defend life. In this context, we urgently demand adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Peasants.
We peasant farmers cool the planet! Globalize the struggle, globalize hope!
November 29, 2010
Follow La Via Campesina's 1000 Cancuns for Climate Justice. Posts from India & Indonesia are already up.
"Cancún Opens for GREEN Business But REDD Will Destroy Indigenous Forest Cultures" by Subhankar Banerjee, posted at Climatestorytellers.org