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Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ Struggle for Rights of Mother Earth

August 2012

Today [August 9] is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. The United Nations pronounced this day to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. Today also gives us an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the achievements and contributions that indigenous people have made to improve world issues.

Grassroots International proudly supports indigenous organizations from Mexico to Brazil to Mozambique to Indonesia – groups engaged in ongoing organizing to protect their rights and the rights of Mother Earth.

They face very real threats to sovereignty: the market-based solution REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and its cousin REDD+. These so-called solutions to carbon pollution are fundamentally about profit – not protecting forests or people or the climate. Essentially, REDD/REDD+ allow polluters to keep polluting by having them “offset” their carbon footprint with forest conservation land in the Global South. Historically, the establishment of conservation land has created large-scale evictions and loss of rights for indigenous peoples. These “conservation lands” also need not be native plants or bio diverse whatsoever.

Grassroots International’s partners and allies – and we share this view – are very clear in their skepticism of and opposition to false solutions that continue to ignore the root causes of the problem and ignore the need for systemic change.

Our allies like the Indigenous Environmental Network, the Global Justice Ecology Project, Carbon Trade Watch, the World Rainforest Movement, and the ETC Group among others have put out an informative reader on REDD and posed some key arguments against REDD+, exposing the problems and shortcomings of that model and approach. REDD Monitor is additionally a useful source of information about all things REDD, including a short video from Asia Pacific indigenous activists.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People by learning more about REDD/REDD+ and the devastating impact it is having on the world’s indigenous communities.

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