FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 6, 2013
Reject carbon trading with food
Contacts: Indra Lubis, Via Campesina, SPI, +6281266660561 (Bahasa and English)
Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, +62 812 3724 2271 – Indonesia
+ 1 218 760 0442 – USA
Denpasar, Indonesia – As the WTO struggles to resurrect itself in Bali, protesters denounced what they are calling “REDD Rice” – using GMO rice for the carbon market trading regime – and voiced concerns it could cause land grabs, impoverish peasants and privatize nature.
Over 75 organizations from all over the world including Indonesian groups, launched the No REDD Rice Manifesto to defend this sacred staple crop which feeds billions of people, from the clutches of carbon traders and the WTO.
According to the No REDD Rice Manifesto, “The United Nations, World Bank and fossil fuel polluters like Shell and Chevron and mining company Rio Tinto, have been pushing a carbon trading regime called REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). REDD+ uses agricultural land, soils, forests and tree plantations as sponges for greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Evidence is mounting which indicates that climate polluters want to use rice cultivation as an offset for their pollution instead of reducing emissions at source”, says Tom BK Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, an international indigenous organization that has been denouncing human rights violations linked to REDD-type projects and carbon forestry.
According to Kartini Samon of GRAIN, “REDD is another form of privatization of our natural resources including land, water, seeds and air. REDD rice will increase land grabbing of farm land all over the world. We really need to fight REDD rice.”
According to Indra Lubis, a La Via Campesina peasant leader from Western Sumatra, “REDD Rice is another neoliberal initiative to make more profit at the cost of famers and poor people.”
The Manifesto notes that “For peasant farmers, REDD+ constitutes a worldwide counter-agrarian reform and perverts the task of growing food into ‘farming carbon.’”
“Climate-ready” seeds and other supposed GMO climate fixes like “REDD Rice” are just more attempts of the biotech industry and agribusiness to deform, patent and control our seeds, grab our fields, privatize our soils and turn us into landless, indentured servants of capitalism,” warned Goldtooth.
Slated for next spring 2014, California may include rice cultivation as carbon offsets in its climate change law known as California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32). The proposed rice cultivation offset protocol will pretend to reduce emissions through a cropland agricultural protocol using for the first time, a BIO-GEO-CHEMICAL model, which supposedly “emulates” soil processes. One of the methods for supposedly cutting emissions is to replace wet seedlings with dry seedlings. This could include growing GMO rice and the use of genetically modified “soil nutrients”.
“Keep our rice safe! No REDD Rice!” chanted a youth of the Taiwan Peasant Union who came to Bali in the spirit of Seattle protests to stop the WTO.
“Rice is Life, a gift of Mother Earth. Indigenous Peoples and peasants do not want our rice paddies or rice beds to be excuses for more pollution, which causes global warming and typhoons”, concluded Goldtooth.
For more information on the No REDD Rice Manifesto: http://no-redd.com