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Statement opposing REDD offsets
read to Governors’ Climate Change
Task Force in Chiapas, Mexico
Note: The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, the body promoting subnational REDD+ agreements among states world-
w|de, met |n Son Cr|stó5o| de |os Cosos, Ch|opos, 5etween Septem5er 2S ond 28, 2012.0n the frst do, of the three-do, meet|ng
of the Covernors C||mote ond lorests 7osk lorce |n Ch|opos, severo| representot|ves of |oco| commun|t|es entered the oud|tor|um
ond requested o few m|nutes ot the m|crophone. Ch|opos Stote M|n|ster of the Lnv|ronment ond Noturo| H|stor,, lernondo ßosos,
den|ed the|r request, te|||ng the commun|t, mem5ers thot the, shou|d ||sten frst to the meet|ng`s proceed|ngs. lf the, wonted to
cons|der ¡o|n|ng the ßLuu+ progrom, the M|n|ster wou|d meet w|th them ot o |oter dote.
Unsot|sfed w|th th|s response, the, entered the meet|ng ogo|n the next do, ond ro|sed o protest. Lufem|o Londo Sonchez, of
Morques de Com|||os, Ch|opos, took the m|crophone, ond reod the fo||ow|ng messoge o|oud to the p|enor,, wh||e severo| dozen of
the|r compoñeros from the ¡ung|e stoged o protest outs|de.
Message Read to the Plenary of the
Governors’ Climate Change and Forests
Task Force, San Cristóbal de las Casas,
Chiapas, Mexico, September 26, 2012
Good afternoon. We are representatives of
various communities, regions, and indigenous
and campesino municipalities of the state of Chia-
pas, and we have entered this forum to take the
Noor ot our own lnltlatlve, because tbe govern-
ment chose not to give it to us.
From the Lacandon Jungle, commissions have
come from the communities from the region of
Amador Hernández, which is in the very heart
of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, as have
community groups from the municipalities of Las
Margaritas and Marques de Comillas. From the
region of the Highlands of Chiapas community
groups have come from the municipalities of San
Juan Cancuc, Oxchuc, and Chenalho.
We bave come betore you tooay to oenounce tbe
programs and projects that threaten to dispos-
sess us of our territories and our resources; pro-
grams wblcb bao governments bave attempteo
to impose for a long time; now they have a new
pretext: climate change and the project they call
Transnatlonal buslnesses bave bao plans tor tbe
rural areas of Chiapas for some time now. The
natural wealtb ot bloolverslty ano water, ot mlnes,
ot blotuels, ano ot course ot petroleum, bave leo
to the displacement of people, the poisoning of
the earth, and have made the peasant farmer into
a serf on his own land. And in every case they
blame us ano crlmlnallze us. Our supposeo crlme
tooay ls tbat we are responslble tor global warm-
Therefore, they tell us, we need to stop produc-
lng our tooo ano buy cornmeal wltb tbe money
they pay us to conserve the forests and jungles,
or join in the so-called ‘productive reconversion
ot agrlculture,' wblcb conslsts ot abanoonlng our
cornñelos to plant trult trees wbere blros ano
otber anlmals can eat abunoantly so tbat blool-
verslty wlll grow. Tbe lntentlon ls to otter blool-
verslty up to buslness as patents tor meolclnes
ano tooos tbat tbe governments call by tbe tor-
elgn name blogenetlcs.
Wltb RLDD+, tbe buslnessmen ano tbelr govern-
ment lackeys bave one morebuslness ÷ tbe trao-
lng ot carbon ln lts most pollutlng torm ÷ ano tbe
peasant farmers have one more thing to fear: that
tbe jungles ano torests ot Cblapas wlll be useo
tor absorblng tbelr CO2. |t we oo not conserve
tbe wllo places, not only are we belo responslble
tor tbe proouctlon ot tbe CO2 tbat ls beatlng tbe
planet, but also, as tbe bao government tells us ln
oroer to ñll us wltb tear, tor tbe tallure to reouce
We olsagree wltb tbe RLDD+ program ÷ lt ls not
true tbat by retorestlng wbat ls now our tarmlano,
global carbon pollutlon wlll go oown. |t ls not part
of our culture to put a price on the land or the
mountains or the rivers or the other gifts that
Motber Nature by Goo's generoslty gave to tbe
people. We also olsagree wltb belng maoe accom-
pllces so you can contlnue pollutlng ano brlng on
the destruction of the world.
|nsloe tbe Montes Azules 8lospbere Reserve, we
wlll not allow tbe lmposltlon ot tbe so-calleo 'bre-
cba Lacanoona,' tbe agrarlan boroer tbat tbe Car-
lbes (or Lacanoones) are trylng to pass tbrougb
our lanos by torce to allow blg buslness, now un-
der the REDD+ program and the guise of the
cllmate crlsls, to obtaln a legal clalm to tbe natural
resources tbat belong to all Me×lcans ano wblcb
we indigenous peoples know and use well.
We oo not object to belng nelgbbors wltb tbe
Lacandones, to whom the government 40 years
ago delivered this land that they neither asked
for nor knew well; what we do oppose is that
tbese lanos, tbe most bloolverse ano wltb tbe
largest water reserves ln Me×lco, be put unoer
the control of foreign powers under the guise of
sustalnable use ot bloolverslty ano mltlgatlon ot
the climate crisis.
We also hope to use our few words to demand
tbat you stop uslng us, lylng neollberal govern-
ments. |n your announcement tor tbls event, as
if wishing to demonstrate that even the most
rebelllous among us now agree wltb your proj-
ect, you put a photo of Zapatista peasant farmers
protesting in the Ejido of Amador Hernández in
1999. Well, bere we are, lylng governments ÷ we
have not surrendered, nor have we forgotten on
wblcb sloe ot tbls struggle walk tbe bonorable
poor. Wby not use tbe Carlbes [Lacanoones] as
the image of your event, since they are the only
people who have accepted, as they always do,
tbe sale ot lanos tbat oo not belong to tbem? Or
oon't you belleve tbat tbat tbey are tbe ñrst ano
only lnbabltants ot tbe jungle?
|n Marqués oe Comlllas tbey cut oown our jungle,
the primary rainforest, to plant their African palm
plantations that they call ‘forests,’ as the Gover-
nor ot Cblapas [uan Sablnes calleo tbem yester-
day. And when we grow tired of the low price we
earn trom tbls crop, ano wben we reNect on wbat
we have done and decide to cut down these
trees, tbey take us to prlson because, tbey tell
us, we bao agreeo to plant tbem to ñgbt cllmate
change, though they never made that clear to us
when we planted them.
|n San [uan Cancuc, tbey say tbey want to pro-
duce clean energy, so they are imposing a dam
and although the community leaders delivered a
request that they cease and desist, they continue
oellverlng materlals ano Nylng over tbe canyons ln
helicopters whenever they want.
|n Las Margarltas, wbere tbey cannot get wbat
tbey want tbrougb tbe communlty assemblles,
they also want to impose their projects of divid-
lng tbe communltles wltb tbe agrarlan certlñca-
tion program FANAR, or PROCEDE as it was
previously called, in order to negotiate with each
individual without the need to consult with the
Wby oon't tbey consult us? Wby oo tbe wealtby
want to lmpose tbelr wlll by torce? Tbe jungles
are sacred, and they exist to serve the people,
as God gave them to us. We do not go to your
countries and tell you what to do with your lives
and your lands. We ask that you respect our lives
ano our lanos, ano go back wbere you came trom,
merchants of life.
— San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas,
México, 26 September, 2012