Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Ambassadors of Greed

Published: February 19, 2011, Author: JayTaber

As Indigenous Environmental Network spokesman Tom Goldtooth remarked after the 2009 UN Climate Change talks in Copenhagen, he had never before witnessed the intensity of deception perpetrated by industrialized countries and large non-governmental organizations. To prevent that deception from being challenged, UN officials, having invited indigenous delegates to participate, turned around and prohibited the Indigenous Caucus representatives from speaking. Having silenced the voices of the peoples who live in the remaining forests of the world, the industrialized countries and large NGOs agreed to back global carbon trading, whereby the indigenous peoples’ forests would become the carbon offset property of industrial polluters, and the countries receiving the carbon market payments would in turn enforce bans on the indigenous way of life.

As documentary filmmaker Rebecca Sommer illustrates, the NGOs on the take in the UN carbon market scheme known as REDD are now acting as missionaries on behalf of the industrial polluters, governments and banks, in order to make sure that the deception promoted in Copenhagen and Cancun is effective in destroying indigenous peoples’ unity. As ambassadors of greed, the large NGOs, subsidized by the philanthropic derivatives of industrial polluters, are attempting to insert themselves as liaisons between the UN and indigenous nations.

As Goldtooth explained, the forests targeted by REDD include areas heavily populated by indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities whose rights, interests and livelihoods are at stake. Allowing industrialized countries to continue polluting by renting these forests is a sham. Trees would become part of a property rights system run by the UN and World Bank at the behest of fossil fuel corporations and carbon trading companies–clearly not a solution for climate change.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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