ACUERDO DE LOS PUEBLOS - report on the "Cochabamba Accord"
Posted on Fri, 04/23/2010 - 2:53pm
Final Declaration relies on wisdom of Indigenous Peoples, while upholding their inherent rights
By Brenda Norrell
The Agreement of the Peoples in Spanish:
ACUERDO DE LOS PUEBLOS
Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos sobre el Cambio Climático y los
Derechos de la Madre Tierra
22 de Abril Cochabamba, Bolivia
COCHABAMBA, Bolivia -- The World Peoples Conference on Climate Change
and the Rights of Mother Earth culminated Thursday and released the
final declaration, the Agreement of the Peoples, calling for the
establishment of an International Court to prosecute polluters,
condemning REDD and holding polluters responsible for their climate
With the release of the final declaration, Indigenous Peoples
proclaimed the outcome as, "The Cochabamba Protocols."
Describing the damage to Mother Earth and the catastrophic effects of
global temperature increases, the Agreement of Peoples states that the
so-called developed nations are seizing the bounties of Mother Earth
for profit without regard to the consequences for the people or the
The Agreement, released in Spanish Thursday night, states that
capitalism requires a strong military industry for the process of
accumulation and the control of territories and natural resources,
which suppresses peoples' resistance. It is described as "an
imperialist system of colonization of the planet."
The Agreement of the Peoples proposes a draft Universal Declaration of
Mother Earth. Further, it states that the people deplore the attempt
by a group of countries to cancel the Kyoto Protocol, the only
specific binding instrument for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases
in developed countries.
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples must be fully
recognized, implemented and integrated in the climate change
negotiations. The best strategy and action is to avoid deforestation
and degradation and protect native forests, while recognizing the
rights of Indigenous Peoples, it states.
The market mechanism of REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and
Forest Degradation) is condemned, which violates the sovereignty of
peoples and their right to free, prior and informed consent and the
sovereignty of nation states. REDD violates the rights and customs of
Peoples and the Rights of Nature.
The carbon market is described as a lucrative business of
commercializing our Mother Earth. Instead of tackling climate change,
it is an act of looting and ravaging the land, water and even life
The Agreement of Peoples states the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples must be fully recognized, implemented and
integrated in the climate change negotiations, with forests protected
from degradation, especially considering most of the forests are in
The final declaration calls for leading industrial nations to cut
emissions by 50 percent.
With the release of the final declaration, Bolivian President Evo
Morales said the human race can benefit from the wisdom of the world's
indigenous peoples, who understand that humanity must live in harmony
"The peoples of the Andes believe in the concept of 'living well'
instead of wanting to 'live better' by consuming more regardless of
the cost to our neighbors and our environment. It is with these
ancient teachings in mind that, exactly one year ago, the United
Nations General Assembly accepted Bolivia's proposal to celebrate
International Mother Earth Day on April 22, which coincides with the
final day of our conference.
"We now propose to go one step further and begin collectively drafting
a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. This will
establish a legal framework for protecting our increasingly threatened
natural environment and raising the global consciousness about Mother
Earth, on which we all depend for life," Morales said.
Indigenous Peoples came from throughout the world to speak out for the
Rights of Mother Earth. Western Shoshone grandmother Carrie Dann, 75,
fighting new gold mining on sacred Mount Tenabo, and Timbisha Shoshone
Chairman Joe Kennedy were among the grassroots American Indians
attending. Maori from New Zealand, Navajo, Gwich'in, Lakota, Acoma
Pueblo, O'odham, Dakota, Mohawk, Yaqui and Oneida joined First Nations
and an Alaskan delegation to uphold the rights of Mother Earth and
Indigenous Peoples in Bolivia. Indigenous delegations from the north
and south joined President Morales to open the conference with a
The Indigenous Environmental Network exposed the deception of REDD.
“REDD is a predatory program that pretends to save forests and the
climate, while backhandedly selling out forests out from under our
Indigenous People,” said Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous
Environmental Network (IEN), based in Bemidji, Minn. “REDD will
encourage continuing pollution and global warming, while displacing
those of us least responsible for the crisis, who have been stewards
of the forests since time immemorial.”
The declarations forged by the working groups in Cochabamba will be
taken to the Cancún summit by President Morales as a counter-proposal
to the widely criticized Copenhagen Accord. Movements of Indigenous
Peoples, trade unions, farmers and environmentalists are also building
momentum out of Cochabamba with plans for mass demonstrations in
The Bolivian government said the protection and rational use of
natural resources was the main proposal of the conference this week,
which also advocated the penalization of nations harming the
environment. The creation of an International Court for Climate
Justice to judge violators of environmental agreements was presented
by Bolivian President Evo Morales.
Morales said the new structure should be validated by the United Nations.
The US media was noticeably absent from the conference in Tiquipaya,
which began Monday. However, the Summit had a significant
international impact, according to experts interviewed by Telesur.
They assured that it has been fully justified and had an international
scope with views to the Mexico climate summit slated for the end of
the year and after the Copenhagen fiasco.