Carbon credits drive brutal land grab

an evicted woman

Ugandans left homeless, child dies

The UN’s ingenious global warming money-making scheme, called the clean development mechanism (CDM), was predicted to lead to abuse and fraud. The essence of the CDM is built around trust, so you just know it’s headed for disaster. Another scandal has come to light, in Uganda.

A reader posted a link to a dramatic headline at Prison Planet, Armed Troops Burn Down Homes, Kill Children To Evict Ugandans In Name Of Global Warming. Which quickly took my attention away from the All Blacks’ fine win against France.

The Prison Planet story was taken from a NY Times story with a milder headline: In Scramble for Land, Group Says, Company Pushed Ugandans Out. In that story, it turns out that a single child was murdered when his house was burned down.

The NY Times article, in turn, was taken from an Oxfam report about land grabs. So some of the lurid flavour of the story has been watered down, though there’s plenty left of concern.

According to the Oxfam report released on Wednesday, more than 20,000 people say they were evicted from their Ugandan homes in recent years to make way for a tree plantation run by a British forestry company.

The company concerned, New Forests Company, promises a thorough investigation. In 2005, the Ugandan government granted New Forests a 50-year licence to grow pine and eucalyptus forests in three districts, and the company has applied to the United Nations to trade under the mechanism. The company expects that it could earn up to $1.8 million a year.

People had apparently been living on some of the land involved for many years. They disputed the government’s order to leave, saying they had rights, but were eventually driven off the land and their houses burned down by New Forests security men, assisted by police and soldiers. It’s easy to imagine that officials were bribed to accomplish this.

The government there is certainly corrupt to some degree, or the company wouldn’t have stood a chance of interfering, even if the residents had been squatters.

Here’s how the Times begins its coverage:

KICUCULA, Uganda — According to the company’s proposal to join a United Nations clean-air program, the settlers living in this area left in a “peaceful” and “voluntary” manner.

People here remember it quite differently.

“I heard people being beaten, so I ran outside,” said Emmanuel Cyicyima, 33. “The houses were being burnt down.”

Other villagers described gun-toting soldiers and an 8-year-old child burning to death when his home was set ablaze by security officers.

“They said if we hesitated they would shoot us,” said William Bakeshisha, adding that he hid in his coffee plantation, watching his house burn down. “Smoke and fire.”

A nasty story, on any level. Of course, it has nothing to do with saving the planet from global warming — only with ruthlessly making the most of a commercial opportunity.

Let us hope there is a good investigation promptly. Let us hope (surely against all reason) that the Ugandan government will recognise its duty to protect each of its citizens.

Regrettably, I know of no government in Africa which already does this, so Uganda would have to be a pioneer. Though I would be very happy to be corrected on that point.

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GaryRichard C (NZ)Mike JowseyAndy Recent comment authors
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Andy
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Andy

Yesterday I received an email from a UK based charity, Action Aid UK,

They have a petition to stop the biofuels land grab there

http://forms.actionaid.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=539&ea.campaign.id=11645&utm_source=ActionAid%20Bulletin%20September%202011%20%281%29&utm_medium=email

I think NZ still has a mandatory percentage of biofuels in petrol, so in effect we have built this land grab into our legislation.

We also have seen WWF lock up a good part of the Amazon for carbon credits. ($60US billion according to Christopher Booker) . This is another example of “eco-imperialism” that is driving indigenous people into poverty (I noticed – via blog posts – a good number of protesters at Cancun that were indigenous people protesting against REDD).

Mike Jowsey
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Mike Jowsey

Good coverage of this story here, with clear outrage expressed in the comments:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/25/they-had-to-burn-the-village-to-save-it-from-global-warming/

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

I can’t think of anything except outrage and repugnance as a response.

The ethical investing sector should avoid New Forests Company like the plague – along with any other carbon credit created likewise (will they and will we hear of their reaction?), as should the NZ govt when purchasing credits.

Not holding my breath until I see this story in NZ MSM either (they’ll be preoccupied with Rugby World Cup buzz), and I will be watching the Sydney Morning Herald Environment section with interest.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Meet The Real Climate-Change Refugees

20,000 poor Uganadan’s were forced out of their village to make way for some company trading in Kyoto carbon-credits:

http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/278368/meet-real-climate-change-refugees-greg-pollowitz

I wonder what the world-wide total is to date?

Gary
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Gary
Andy
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Andy

In regard to anything EU, the best strategy seems to push back and wait for the entire project to collapse.

This is the latest from zerohedge:

“A Greek default will trigger an immediate ‘magnitude 10’ earthquake across Europe … Holders of Greek government bonds will have to write off their entire investment, the southern European nation will stop paying salaries and pensions and automated teller machines in the country will empty ‘within minutes’.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/step-aside-bbc-trader-head-unicredit-securities-predicts-imminent-end-eurozone-and-global-finan

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Gary, these are interesting articles. I note this:-

“In July, a lawsuit filed by the Air Transport Association, American Airlines and United Continental Holdings against the EU’s inclusion of aviation in its ETS had its first hearing in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The ECJ advocate general on the case plans to deliver a (non-binding) opinion by Oct. 6. A final decision is expected at a later date.”

BTW Gary, there’s a thread header covering this topic under “Economics” here:-

https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/open-threads/climate/economics/#comment-25985

I’ve duplicated your links there, H/T to you.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Nick Smith informs us (H/T Andy) that:-

“The Government wants to maintain the integrity of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. There are legitimate questions about these types of international units”

But this is in respect to HFC Certified Emission Reduction Units.

Will the same “integrity” apply and “legitimate questions” be asked about New Forests Company units (along with any other carbon credit created likewise)?

Andy’s link here: https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/09/quote-of-the-week-3/#comment-68021

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

I watched “Global 3000” from DWTV (the German equivalent of BBC, CCTV) that extols the virtues of green schemes and German schemes in particular. The programme screened on Central TV a couple of days ago and may be repeated before the end of the week (see Central’s timetable).

They featured an investigation of a major coal mine (in global terms) in Columbia that carried out similar actions several years ago but has since been working on mending its ways. The intro from the presenter was:-

“When money is to made, the people have to clear out”.

The irony (lost on DWTV), is that the bulk of the coal is shipped to……..Germany.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Video not available at the Global 3000 website (although the others from that episode are) but they say this:-

“Colombia is Germany’s second most important coal supplier after Russia, and Berlin’s decision to pull out of nuclear power will up the need. Such, at least, is the hope of international coal companies operating in Colombia.

The Latin American country produces and exports 30 million tons of coal annually. According to the largest mining venture in Colombia, the local population is no longer adversely affected by the industry. Transport is allegedly cleaner and land is being re-cultivated.”

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15356866,00.html

So “Green” Germany is to use more coal than ever and there’s the chance that they will offset some of the emissions with New Forests Company carbon credits.

Does anyone else see the duplicity in Germany’s “Green” smokescreen?

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2011 http://www.forest-trends.org/documents/files/doc_2975.pdf The Changing Face of Projects The private sector has emerged as a new torchbearer for forest carbon projects. Taking cues from the early and persistent progress of non-profit conservation organizations, a host of new private sector players are entering the marketplace, from project development companies to major financial firms such as BNP Paribas and Gazprom Marketing & Trading. On the ground, the impacts of this transition remain uncertain. The broad application of co-benefits certification under the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards suggests that the market has set a key requirement that projects must deliver benefits to biodiversity and communities to find a broad appreciation among buyers, but the project-level approaches to doing so still vary widely. Projects continue to be developed using a variety of forest management strategies, species mixes, and across a broad spectrum of sizes. One of the most persistent challenges in forest governance, from well before carbon markets entered the scene, has been the resolution of conflicts regarding the land rights of local peoples and ensuring that carbon projects benefit local peoples with the best track record of forest conservation. In… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

EU Carbon Trading Rocked By Mass Killings

Monday, 03 October 2011 09:19 Arthur Neslen, EurActiv

The reported killing of 23 Honduran farmers in a dispute with the owners of UN-accredited palm oil plantations in Honduras is forcing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) executive board to reconsider its stakeholder consultation processes.

http://www.thegwpf.org/international-news/4009-eu-carbon-trading-rocked-by-mass-killings.html

EU carbon trading scheme pays for murder of 23 farmers in Honduras

http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/10/eu-carbon-trading-scheme-pays-for.html

Murdering Peasant Farmers For Fun And AGW Profit

http://cbullitt.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/murdering-peasant-farmers-for-fun-and-agw-profit/

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Honduras: Human Rights Violations in Bajo Aguán International Fact Finding Mission Report A recent example of a significant international loan is project 27250 by the International Financial Corporation (IFC), an entity of the World Bank Group that co-finances the project, providing 30 million USD of the sum total of 75 million USD to the Dinant Corporation, owned by businessman Miguel Facussé. 30 However, on the 11 April 2011, the German Investment and Development Society (DEG) decided to suspend their contractual relationship with the Dinant Corporation and not grant the agreed upon loan. DEG received the preliminary report and began a dialogue with the international fact finding mission. After analysing the situation, the public bank that manages German development funds, decided to withdraw their final support from the project. Furthermore, the Clean Development Mechanism´s Executive Board (CDM) and the British government are reviewing their authorisation of controversial carbon offsetting project in the Bajo Aguán: Due to the reported human rights situation, EDF Trading, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Electricité de France SA and one of the biggest CDM investors, pulled out of a contract to buy carbon credits of around 2.8 million dollar from the… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Where carbon trading fits in to The Climate Change Scare Machine

See – Financial houses
*******************************************************************************************************
Map: The Climate Change Scare Machine — the perpetual self-feeding cycle of alarm

Climate Change Scare Machine Cycle: see how your tax dollars are converted into alarming messages

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/map-the-climate-change-scare-machine-the-perpetual-self-feeding-cycle-of-alarm/

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

RIO DECLARATION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

Principle 1

Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development.
They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.

Principle 22

Indigenous people and their communities and other local communities have
a vital role in environmental management and development because of their
knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support
their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation
in the achievement of sustainable development.

Principle 23

The environment and natural resources of people under oppression,
domination and occupation shall be protected.

http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-1annex1.htm

But CMD land grabs are OK (especially when the UN gets a cut of the action – Principle 28).

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

UK firm’s failed biofuel dream wrecks lives of Tanzania villagers The collapse of Sun Biofuels has left hundreds of Tanzanians landless, jobless, and in despair for the future A quarter of the village’s land in Kisarawe district was acquired by a British biofuels company in 2008, with the promise of financial compensation, 700 jobs, water wells, improved schools, health clinics and roads. But the company has gone bust, leaving villagers not just jobless but landless as well. The same story is playing out across Africa, as foreign investors buy up land but leave some of the poorest people on Earth worse off when their plans fail. [..] Why Sun Biofuels went bust is unknown, as attempts to contact the previous owners were unsuccessful. Whatever the reason, the company is far from alone. A large jatropha plantation created by a Dutch firm called Bioshape in the southern Tanzanian district of Kilwa has also gone bankrupt, leaving locals complaining of missing land payments. Also in Tanzania, a large ethanol biofuel project set up by Swedish company Sekab went bust. In both cases, the land has not been returned to its owners. Further afield, in Ghana,… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Inhofe Calls for Investigation into Alleged Human Rights Violations Sanctioned by UN Framework Convention on Climate Change […] Hello, I’m Jim Inhofe, conservative Republican Senator from Oklahoma. For over the past decade, I have been successful in leading the opposition in the United States Senate against the global warming alarmist agenda. Throughout my fight, one of my primary concerns has been the affect of the global warming movement’s so-called “solutions” on the poor – whether here in the United States or around the world. Much of my concern comes from my extensive travel to Africa where I have seen and heard firsthand the negative impacts of the United Nations’ environmental policies. What I am now going to tell you will likely shock you. But it is important that you know the truth about the agenda embraced by radical environmentalists. In just two weeks the United Nations will host their latest global warming conference in Durban, South Africa. You remember these conferences – such as the one last year in Cancun or the one before that in Copenhagen? These are opportunities for the world’s diplomats to get together for a lavish extravaganza subsidized largely… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Carbon credits were not the reason for this land grab reported by the Guardian but forest conservation was:-

Kenya’s Samburu people ‘violently evicted’ after US charities buy land

Around 2,000 Samburu families have stayed squatting on edge of disputed territory, says NGO Survival International

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/14/kenya-samburu-people-evicted-land

More at redd-monitor.org, needless to say the president of one of the “charities”, Helen Gichohi AWF is a big fan of REDD:-

A question for African Wildlife Foundation: “Is this what conservation is really about?”

In November 2011, African Wildlife Foundation and The Nature Conservancy gave an area of land covering 6,920 hectares to the Kenyan government to create the proposed Laikipia National Park. What African Wildlife Foundation doesn’t tell us in its press release is that people were violently evicted to make way for this conservation project.

http://www.redd-monitor.org/2011/12/14/a-question-for-african-wildlife-foundation-is-this-what-conservation-is-really-about/

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