Resolution for Climate Justice Alliance on Resistance to Carbon Colonialism in the Amazon

We, Indigenous Peoples, of the Global South and of North America, representing our communities, organizations, alliances and networks at this third convening of the membership assembly of the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), on the dates of March 28-30, 2019, reaffirm our relationship to the sacredness and creative principles of the natural laws, and territorial integrity and rights of Mother Earth and Father Sky, and our responsibility to coming generations to uphold peace, equity and justice.

As first peoples of this continent, we reaffirm our inherent rights to self-determination, and our spiritual relationship and responsibilities as guardians of our ancestral territories, lands, waters and air. This is the core of our existence – we are the land and the land is us.

We reaffirm the need to build unity, shared strategy and cross-movement alignment with social, environmental and climate justice communities, organizations, alliances and networks. This includes the strengthening of international relationships and partnerships.

At this CJA member convening, Indigenous representatives of the Amazonian forests of Ecuador and Brazil have come to request the support of the Climate Justice Alliance and its membership to take action to support the Indigenous resistance to the State of California and other U.S. State and regional carbon pricing schemes, such as cap-and-trade and carbon offsets that plan to use a third of the world’s tropical forests as carbon dumps for its air pollution.

Many Indigenous Peoples and communities who live in these forests are resisting and in need of international support and local solidarity from frontline communities in the U.S. California wants to use Indigenous Peoples’ territories and peasants’ land to absorb its air pollution, so California does not have to cut pollution at home. The Governors’ Climate and Forests Taskforce (GCF) led by California is pushing international forest carbon offsets, which is also called REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) in 10 countries and sub-national areas of 38 States in the Global South.

REDD-type projects are causing violent evictions, land grabs, human rights violations and threats to cultural survival. Indigenous peoples who are fighting against these climate false solutions are being harassed, intimidated, getting death threats and even being assassinated. Now, California is trying to past the Tropical Forest Standard. The Tropical Forest Standard will lay the groundwork to expand and link REDD offset programs internationally. These programs destroy rights, threaten Indigenous livelihoods, cultural rights and territorial rights; cause internal conflicts, divisions and violate the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and other forest dependent communities.

Our Indigenous Peoples of the North stand with our brothers and sisters of South America in solidarity with the resistance to this new form of colonialism - carbon colonialism, and climate capitalism.

Acknowledging the articulation of our Indigenous brothers and sisters of South America that are participating in this CJA member convening, we submit this resolution for adoption and action:

1. Recognition that the capitalist system has exploited and abused Nature, pushing Mother Earth and Father Sky to its limits, so much so that the system has accelerated dangerous and fundamental changes in the climate. We will take action and address capitalism as the root causes of climate change. The time has come to stop talking and to take action for change.

2. Request that the Climate Justice Alliance support, strengthen and increase the scale of frontline organizing of Indigenous and forest dependent communities in the Amazon regions, particular in frontline battlegrounds where the stakes are the highest.

3. Support establishing mechanisms for better communication between the Indigenous frontline communities holding the line against REDD projects in Ecuador and Brazil, and California activists’ groups fighting the proposed California Tropical Forest Standard.

4. For CJA, in partnership with IEN and direct consultation with Indigenous leadership of the Sarayaku and Huni Kui of the Amazon resisting REDD, to raise financial resources to support local Indigenous resistance, organizing and networking village to village within the Amazon.

5. For CJA to assist in raising financial resources for the Indigenous Peoples of the Sarayaku and Huni Kui to develop legal strategy.

6. For CJA, in partnership with IEN, to develop training and popular education on the dangerous implications of cap-and-trade, carbon offset and other domestic carbon pricing initiatives and their links to the destructive REDD projects in the Global South.

7. For CJA, in partnership with IEN and Indigenous groups in the Amazon to develop an Offset Watch – Monitoring Body. This would lead to the development of future monitoring bodies in other global regions, including North America.

8. For CJA, in partnership with IEN and the Sarayaku of Ecuador and the Huni Kui of Acre, Brazil to develop Mapping Initiatives in such a way that these mapping initiatives can be duplicated in other frontline battlegrounds.

9. Develop popular education and trainings on confronting capitalism and the links between economic globalization, free trade, green economy, carbon colonialism, financialization of nature and carbon market regimes.

10. For CJA, in partnership with IEN and the Indigenous leadership of the Sarayaku and the Huni Kui to develop a media and communications plan.

11. Give the Indigenous Peoples of the Sarayaku and Huni Kui support to develop strategies for planning direct actions and workshops at international events such as the UNFCCC, G7 and G20.

12. Educate the dominant society and especially the youth to learn about Indigenous cosmovision that conveys humanities relationship and responsibilities to protect the creative principles, natural laws and sacredness of Mother Earth and Father Sky. This helps build spiritual solidarity as a foundation for mitigating and adapting to climate change and for Just Transition.

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