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BIOECONOMY VERSUS BIODIVERSITY “Potential Impacts on Vulnerable Communities from the Proposed Expansion of the ‘Bioeconomy’”

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Presentation on theme: "BIOECONOMY VERSUS BIODIVERSITY “Potential Impacts on Vulnerable Communities from the Proposed Expansion of the ‘Bioeconomy’”"— Presentation transcript:

1 BIOECONOMY VERSUS BIODIVERSITY “Potential Impacts on Vulnerable Communities from the Proposed Expansion of the ‘Bioeconomy’”

2 Potential Impacts on Vulnerable Communities from the Proposed Expansion of the ‘Bioeconomy’ In 1987 the Brundtland comission - link between environment and development objectives. Later, recognition of economic institutions, trends like Bretton Woods institutions and corporate driven globalization as main drivers of forest loss and environmental destruction. Hopes that economic policies would be adapted to the needs of conservation… Increasingly environmental policies shaped by the rules of main stream neo- liberal economics. “Green Economy” – promoting expansion of ‘bioeconomy’, expanded markets in ecosystem based goods and services.

3 Thus, the current approach to conservation = Biodiversity and the environment as marketable goods - Markets necessarily need privatization… What are the consequences for Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities if a resource that used to be freely accessible is now privatized? Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities, Women, often Do Not Have capital assets, more disadvantages in markets. When closing deals – lack of skills including language; need for intermediaries.

4 Decisions with impacts in governance local systems. Women constitute 70% of the world’s poor (UNICEF) - lower income, less land ownership, unpaid and/or unrecognized work. Caretakers of biodiversity, valuable knowledge often unrecognized.

5 Climate crisis - false solutions not addressing root causes, thus policies promoting continued economic growth. Instead of adapting peoples to flawed economic models and policies we should adapt economic policies to ensure they respond the rights and needs of peoples. Payment for Environmental Services Scheme (PES) = paying countries or communities for the “environmental service they provide” PES – formally recognized land tenure rights. Economic rationale of promoting markets in PES is to have market based mechanisms such as Carbon Trade (e.g. REDD+), Certification, Trade in Genetic resources, Ecotourism operating under the premise of being equitable but, what if they are not?

6 Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+) “A global results-based PES scheme discussed within UNFCCC, with a view to reducing global CO 2 emissions by rewarding governments and/or individuals for not cutting down or degrading forests”. Countries in the South responsible for absorbing CO2 from the North (polluting countries not taking responsibility) Forests represent monetary Value (to Industries) but “The socio-economic value of biodiversity of those groups in society that depend on it for their livelihoods (…) is much higher than the socioeconomic value of biodiversity for an energy company seeking to offset its carbon emissions, for instance” - Naidoo & Rickets. “Biodiversity means everything to them” (Mulenkei, 2008) as they are more dependent on its non-monetary benefits.

7 REDD+ projects - carbon sequestration in trees, BUT: - WHO OWNS THE CARBON? - WHAT IS EXACTLY BEING BOUGHT? - WILL THEY RESTRICT SUBSISTENCE? REDD+ is more than 90% publicly funded: mainly readiness funding Ready for what? No mandatory REDD market until 2020 if at all. EU position on Climate Finance: Only 20% Official Development Assistance. No caps, no trade: Carbon markets are very uncertain and volatile as a funding source. Uncertainties about future REDD+ funding: indebting developing countries? Hard for participation of small-land holders = small-scale initiatives not something for REDD. Monoculture tree plantations allowed Risk for expansion and GE trees

8 REDD + Safeguards? Main challenge = Implementation. Lack of enforcement of national and international laws, standards and agreements (UNDRIPs, human rights) - remote forest ecosystems often inhabited by economically and politically marginalized peoples and communities. Non-binding safeguards have little to contribute in this respect Counting, Verification, Leakage…

9 THE CHIAPAS CASE Area with most diversity, forest cover and Indigenous Peoples in Mexico but also highest poverty. Historic conflict with government. Entire state into carbon market. Montes Azules Biosphere-eviction to lead way to REDD+ (“illegal settlers”), including Chiapas-California Agreement Plantations surrounding Lacandon jungle

10 Chiapas positioning as leader on biofuel production. IF projects given to people = grow foreign trees Thus, aims for carbon storage and utilization of products (eucalyptus for paper, palm oil for CO2 absorption and products). Fencing off the Lacandon jungle violating UNDRIPs. Rural Cities – Santiago del Pinar Women from Amador Hernandez

11 Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change and Against REDD+ “Indigenous preservation happened for ages, a “Green Economy” doesn’t work for Indigenous Peoples” - Leticia Yawanawa, Union of Indigenous Women of the Brazilian Amazon

12 WHAT IS NEEDED? Effective mechanisms at the local, national and regional level ensuring compliance with human rights and biodiversity standards in forest policies in general. Strengthening the capacity of Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations, social movements and independent NGOs in developing countries to monitor and disseminate information on compliance Implement UNDRIPS – respect for customary rights and traditions including their Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Recognizing traditional knowledge and its role on biodiversity stewardship. Retain access to biodiversity and the environment and keep environmental functions and forests out of markets, out of privatization.

13 Community-led initiatives Most successful conservation experiences can be found on recognized indigenous lands and territories and community conserved areas (ICCAs). Recognition of ICCAs could play a major role on reaching gender equity. Cheaper alternatives that do not increase value of forests, inc: Reduce pollution and address drivers such as consumption, fuel, poverty Moratoria / bans on deforestation Change UN definition of forests A DARKER SHADE OF GREEN: REDD ALERT AND FUTURE OF FOREST

14 Photo contributions: Stelios Grafakos, Peter van Sluijs, Orin Langelle, Hortencia Hidalgo, Isis Alvarez.

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