Press Release - Land conflicts, carbon piracy and violations of indigenous peoples’ rights: New report by Amazonian indigenous peoples exposes the reality of REDD+ in Peru and proposes solutions

PRESS INFORMATION - EMBARGOED for 04:00 GMT Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A new report published today by Peruvian indigenous organisations, AIDESEP, FENAMAD and CARE, and international human rights organisation the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), reveals the impact that REDD projects and programmes are already having on the lives of indigenous peoples. The reality of REDD+ in Peru: Between theory and practice - Indigenous Amazonian Peoples’ analyses and alternatives finds that REDD pilot projects run by some NGOs and companies are already undermining the rights of indigenous peoples, and are leading to carbon piracy and conflicts over land and resources. Persistent advocacy efforts by indigenous peoples’ organisations to secure respect for the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples have resulted in some government commitments to modify national REDD programmes financed by the World Bank. Nevertheless, solid guarantees for respect of these rights are yet to materialise.

Roberto Espinoza Llanos, coordinator of AIDESEP’s Climate Change Programme and one of the lead authors of the report, explains, “The commitments made by the previous government in 2011 were not made lightly, they were assumed by the State and approved in a global meeting of the World Bank’s FCPF [Forest Carbon Partnership Facility]. We hope that the present government and international entities like the World Bank will deliver on their promises to respect land and territorial rights. Continual monitoring will be necessary to make sure they keep their word.”

Pluspetrol negotiates expansion of Camisea gas Project with boxes of paracetamol and pens and paper

Nahua testimony reveals the expansion plans of the Camisea Project within a Reserve for isolated indigenous peoples and the efforts of the consortium to distort the facts. See video link of testimony and full transcript of testimony.

In April 2011 a group of Nahua hunters, indigenous inhabitants of the ‘Kugapakori, Nahua and Nanti reserve for peoples in isolation and initial contact’ in South East Peru were surprised to bump into a team of investigators conducting environmental surveys in the headwaters of the remote river Serjali. The researchers were working for Environmental Resources Management (ERM), an environmental consultancy that had been hired by the Camisea gas consortium, a mega natural gas project with operations in the neighbouring river basin.

The Nahua were outraged they were being treated with such disregard and forced ERM to leave. Pluspetrol, the Argentine energy company and consortium leader, managed to smooth over a potential conflict; persuading the Nahua that they didn’t need to worry about potential contamination as these investigations weren’t connected to the search for oil and gas but were simply efforts to monitor the local wildlife.

Pluspetrol negocia ampliación de Camisea con cajas de paracetamol, lápices de colores y cuadernos

Testimonio Nahua revela los planes de expansión del proyecto Camisea sobre reserva para pueblos indígenas en aislamiento voluntario y el distorsionado discurso de la empresa. 

En abril de 2011, un grupo de cazadores Nahua habitantes de la Reserva Kugapakori, Nahua y Nanti para Pueblos en Aislamiento y Contacto Inicial, en el sureste del Perú, sorprendió a un equipo de investigación de la consultora ambiental Environmental Resources Management (ERM) en las cabeceras del río Serjali en pleno corazón de la reserva y territorio ancestral Nahua. ERM había  sido contratada por el consorcio Camisea, un mega proyecto de gas que opera en la cuenca vecina.

Los Nahua, furiosos por ser ignorados, expulsaron a los trabajadores. Para evitar un conflicto, la empresa argentina líder del Consorcio Camisea convenció a los Nahua de no  preocuparse por una contaminación potencial ya que las investigaciones "no están conectadas con la búsqueda de petróleo y gas, sino que fueron simplemente esfuerzos para monitorear la fauna silvestre".

What does it mean to be vulnerable? Why is the Camisea consortium questioning the existence of isolated peoples and how has Peruvian government policy contributed to this unfolding crisis in the Nahua/Kugapakori Reserve?

The planned expansion of the Camisea gas project within both Nahua territory and the Nahua/Kugapakori Reserve in South East Peru raises a series of legal, moral and social questions that address the complexities of a major gas project operating in the territories of isolated indigenous peoples.

¿Qué significa ser vulnerable? ¿Por qué el Consorcio Camisea cuestiona la existencia de pueblos en aislamiento? ¿Cómo la política del gobierno peruano contribuye con la crisis actual de la Reserva Nahua / Kugapakori?

La expansión del proyecto de gas de Camisea a los territorios Nahua y la Reserva Nahua/Kugapakori en el sur este del Perú implica una serie de cuestiones legales, morales y sociales agravadas por la complejidad que supone operar un proyecto de este tipo en territorios de pueblos indígenas en aislamientoVéase este

Urgent warning: Shipibo communities in the Peruvian Amazon asked to hand over land title documents to projects promoting 'environmental services, carbon market and REDD'.

AIDESEP, 20th July 2011AIDESEP has revealed that the recently established Peruvian NGO "Alliance for the Capture of Carbon as a Solution to Climate Change" has proposed 10 year 'agreements' with various Shipibo indigenous communities. The agreements focus on the potential for 'environmental services, REDD and carbon deals' and are offering '$100 per hectare and thousands of dollars each year' to these communities. In an alarming turn the communities are being asked to sign these agreements and hand over their land title papers to the NGO.

‘No signing of REDD contracts in Madre de Dios and San Martin’: Indigenous organisations call on their communities to exercise caution

San Martin and Madre de Dios are the two regions earmarked for the development of pilot REDD activities in Peru. Both regions are facing an avalanche of over 20 REDD projects oriented towards the voluntary carbon market. Many of these sub-national REDD+ projects are descending on the ancestral territories of indigenous peoples including the Shawi, Awajun and Kechwa in San Martin, and the Ese Eja, Yine, Shipibo, Amahuaca, Arakambut and Machiguenga in Madre de Dios. In Peru, approximately 20 million hectares of indigenous territories have no legal recognition which means that REDD may often pose a threat rather than an opportunity.

«No firmar ningún contrato de REDD en Madre de Dios ni San Martín»: las organizaciones indígenas piden precaución a sus comunidades

San Martín y Madre de Dios son los dos departamentos seleccionados para la realización de actividades piloto de REDD en Perú. Ambos departamentos se enfrentan a una avalancha de más de 20 proyectos de REDD orientados hacia el mercado voluntario de carbono. Muchos de estos proyectos subnacionales de REDD+ están aterrizando en territorios ancestrales de los pueblos indígenas Shawi, Awajun y Kechwa en San Martín y los Ese Eja, Yine, Shipibo, Amahuaca, Arakambut y Machiguenga en Madre de Dios. En Perú, aproximadamente 20 millones de hectáreas de territorios indígenas no han sido reconocidos legalmente como tales, lo que significa que en muchos casos la REDD puede suponer una amenaza más que una oportunidad.