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statements November 9, 2010
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Int'l IP groups say NO to market based mechanisms

BAGUIO CITY--"No to market based mechanisms!"

This was the resounding position of delegates to the International Conference on Indigenous Peoples Rights, Alternatives and Solutions to the Climate Crisis as they criticized the proposed solutions of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC).

Frances Quimpo of the Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC) stressed that market based mechanisms would not benefit indigenous peoples (IP). She added that some of the mechanisms would even worsen environmental degradation.

Quimpo said these mechanisms do not only undermine the IPs role in environmental preservation but reward the traditional players in deforestation. She explained that these mechanisms allows industrialized countries to buy a license to pollute the environment.

Further Quimpo said industrialized countries push these mechanisms because these are cost-effective and profitable to them. "It would only mean businesses as usual for industrialized countries," she said.

Among the mechanisms criticized was the REDD, which according to Sandy Gauntlet from the Global Forest Coalition is commercialization of nature. He added that IPs were excluded from the policy making of REDD as only states and mostly industrialized countries can afford to participate in this undertaking. He said these countries are also the major players in the degradation of the environment.

"It is absolute insanity to go to the very people who destroyed the environment for the restoration of what they have destroyed its like giving them a blank check and signing your name," Gauntlet stressed.

Moreover Gauntlet said IPs been historically responsible for the conservation and sustainable use of forests in their territories. He also said IP territories encompass a considerable proportion of areas important for biodiversity.

He pointed out that industrialized countries even changed the definition of forest and deforestation to suit their flawed programs of addressing the global crisis. He said it has reduced the number of trees that need to be present at a very law level and even considered agrofuel plantations as forests. He added that it allows logging corporation to remove most of
the trees in the forest as long as the forest has the potential to regrow its cover.

Gauntlet, however said definition is not the only problem with these mechanisms. He said IPs should continue to assert their rights to their lands and to determine how to utilize these.

"You do not negotiate your rights. They are your birthright and they will stay with you for the rest of your life. At no point in your life should you negotiate your rights," he stressed.# CPA Public Information Commission



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