March for Life and Climate Justice in Cancun
From La Via Campesina:
The global forum “For Life, Environmental and Social Justice” has begun
(Cancún, 5 December 2010) One idea dominated the opening and first working day of the global forum “For Life, Environmental and Social Justice”, organized by La Via Campesina and its allies at their camp in Cancún: we must foil the carbon markets and the REDD programme which governments intend to legitimize at COP16.
The verdict is that the programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) doesn’t significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, although it does open the door to the privatization of land, and also rewards polluters, and threatens national sovereignty and the survival of indigenous communities.
Alberto Gómez Flores, representative of La Via Campesina for the North America region, said: “It’s a disgrace that the United Nations space intended to tackle climate change has been converted into a platform to legitimize the commercial strategies of transnational corporations.”
He added: “Multinationals benefit from an ever increasing number of compensating mechanisms for carbon capture, all of which are only new opportunities for them to grow and consolidate their control over water, land and seeds.”
“We denounce the false solution of carbon markets and the fact that numerous governments have reconciled themselves to it and don’t seek a compromise with their populations. Our task is to foil the carbon markets. This is why we came”, said Gomez.
As for Olegario Carrillo, he insisted in his welcoming message that “we must at least qualify as irresponsible, although many call it criminal, the attitude of those who support these schemes for the privatization-commercialization of the world, its forests and atmosphere, that only bring us closer to the brink every time.”
“From here we can see the thick smog of transnational interests hang above Cancún’s summit. Rich countries and their satellites try to confer legitimacy on false solutions like REDD,” added Carrillo, national leader of UNORCA.
“We have come here to denounce the governments of the world that intend to support these projects behind the backs of their populations,” said Magdiel Sánchez, from the National Liberation Movement.
“We have the same message: we don’t want the false solutions that COP16 stands for, we don’t want REDD, we don’t want them to carry on poisoning us with their lies and their false solutions. This is what we said and heard everywhere the caravans stopped, throughout their journey through this country where they bore witness to the environmental and social devastation of Mexico,” said Octavio Rosas Landa, from the National Assembly of Those Affected by the Environment.
“COP 16 only seeks to benefit as much as possible from the environmental crisis while people continue to fall ill and to die as a result of these corrupt policies and of the various activities of all these TNCs that are appropriating the air, water, land, forests, seeds, and all of the other common goods which make up the patrimony of humanity,” he added.
In this regard, Rosas Landa said that the programmes which the federal government is trying to implement in the country are a fiction, as they will address neither global warming nor the environmental crisis. On the subject of the REDD proposal, he explained that the federal government is trying to control the green areas, which affects the most vulnerable groups.
And so started the global forum “For Life, Environmental and Social Justice”, with the participation of about 1,500 people from over 80 organizations from Latin America and elsewhere, around 1,000 of whom travelled with the caravans through 17 states of the Republic of Mexico.
- Photos from December 5th at Via Campesina’s “March for Life, Environmental and Social Justice”
(Click on thumbnails for larger view)