For Immediate Release: September 10, 2018
In Open Letter to Brown, Communities Most Affected by Climate Change Demand Real People and Earth-Based Solutions
SAN FRANCISCO- On day three of the Solidarity to Solutions Week countering the upcoming Global Action Climate Summit, frontline leaders hosted a rally and delivered an open letter rejecting the Governor’s Climate and Forest Task Force and demanding its cancellation.
Read the full text of the letter here.
Advocates blocked the entrance to Gov. Brown’s Climate and Forest Task Force meeting and risked arrest as they demanded entry. Calling out the false solutions the Task Force continues to push (which do nothing to stop global warming), local and international Indigenous leaders delivered an open letter to Governor Jerry Brown and members of the Task Force.
The letter states: “You cannot commodify the sacred — we reject these market based climate change solutions and projects like the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD+), because they are false solutions that further destroy our rights, our ability to use our forests, and our sovereignty and self-determination. The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force does not represent us and has no authority over our peoples and territories.”
Signatories continued to call out specific practices that are presented as climate solutions, but, in fact, are attempts to maintain corporate power and government ownership of forests and lands that should belong to the people and do nothing to address the climate crisis:
“But in order to keep it in your hands you invent forms of state ownership such as ‘conservation areas’ or ‘sustainable development areas.’ You invent more forms of offsets such as ‘intelligent agriculture’ ‘biodiversity offsets’ and even ‘butterfly offsets’ that detrimentally affect our lives, our food security, our forests, our biodiversity, and sovereignty. We will never accept the state’s so-called ‘Ecological Area for Sustainable Development for the Province of Pastaza’ or anywhere else in the 37 provinces, 10 countries, and a third of the forests of the world. Our forests are not carbon dumps, they are our homes.”
The letter ended with a call to reject and cancel the Task Force on behalf of future generations who will be disproportionately impacted by its policies and agreements:
“The sacred cannot be commodified nor is it for bargaining. We reject and call for the cancellation of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force. We declare this on behalf of our future generations so that they have the possibility of living free like our forests and as free as the eagle of the Amazon. We demand respect to our right to choose how we want to live, how we want to feel, how we want to breathe.”
After a short confrontation with representatives from Brown’s Task Force, several local and international Indigenous representatives were granted entry into the meeting to make their demands heard.
Today’s action is the focus of Day #3 of the Sol2Sol Week that will also include public events, another direct action and forums to demand that Brown and climate profiteers put communities, not corporations, first and call for a divestment from extractive energy industries and investment in local community solutions to fight climate change.
#ItTakesRoots to #GrowtheResistance centers the leadership and power of urban and rural communities on the frontlines of racial, gender, housing, environmental, energy and climate justice in the United States to advance regenerative economies and healthy communities. ITR is a multiracial, multicultural, multi-generational alliance of networks and alliances representing over 200 organizations and affiliates in over 50 states, provinces, territories and Native lands in the U.S. and Canada, and is led by women, gender nonconforming people, people of color, and Indigenous Peoples. It is an outcome of years of organizing and relationship building across the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and Right to the City Alliance (RTC) alongside Center for Story-based Strategy and The Ruckus Society.