The english version of the declaration from the conference is now available. It´s also worth noting that apparently the declaration from Mesa 18 is now also included on the government website which is pretty amazing….
Cochabamba, Bolivia April 22nd
Today, our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of humanity is in danger.
Should global warming increase by more than 2º C, which the so-called "Copenhagen Understanding" would lead us to, there is a 50% chance that the damage caused to our Mother Earth will be totally irreversible. Between 20% and 30% of species would be in danger of disappearing. Large tracts of forest would be affected, droughts and floods would afflict different regions of the planet, deserts would spread and the melting of the icecaps and glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas would get worse. Many island states would disappear and Africa could suffer from a temperature increase of over 3º C. Likewise, reduced food production in the world would have catastrophic effects for the survival of the inhabitants of vast regions of the planet, and dramatically increase the number of hungry people in the world, which already exceeds a billion people.
Corporations and governments of so called "more developed" countries in complicity with a segment of the scientific community, get us talking about climate change as a problem limited to the rise of temperature without questioning the root cause which is the capitalist system. We confront the terminal crisis of the patriarchal model of civilization based on the subjugation and destruction of human beings and nature that accelerated with the industrial revolution.
The capitalist system has imposed upon us a logic of competition, progress, and unlimited growth. This mode of production and consumption seeks profit without limits, separating human beings from nature, establishing a logic of domination over her, turning everything into a commodity: water, land, the human genome, ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, peoples’ rights, death, and life itself.
Under capitalism, Mother Earth in converted into merely a source of raw materials and human beings into merely the means of production and consumers, into people who are valued by what they have and not by what they are.
Capitalism requires a strong military industry for its process of accumulation and control of territories and natural resources, thus suppressing people’s resistance. It is an imperialist system colonizing the planet. Humanity is facing a great dilemma: continue on the path of capitalism, predation and death, or the path of harmony with nature and respect for life. We need to build a new system to restore harmony with nature and among humans. There can only be balance with nature if there is equity among human beings.
We propose to the peoples of the world: recovery, revaluing, and strengthening of the knowledge, wisdom, and traditional practices of Indigenous Peoples, affirmed in the experience and proposal of "Living Well", recognizing Mother Earth as a living being, with whom we have an indivisible, interdependent, complementary, and spiritual relationship.
To face climate change we must recognize Mother Earth as the source of life and forge a new system based on the principles of:
harmony and balance between everyone and everything
complementarity, solidarity, and equity
collective well-being and satisfaction of everyone’s basic needs in harmony with Mother Earth
respect for Mother Earth’s Rights and Human Rights
recognition of human beings for what they are and not what they have
Elimination of all forms of colonialism, imperialism, and interventionism
peace among peoples and Mother Earth.
The model we promote is not about destructive or unlimited development. Countries need to produce goods and services to meet the basic needs of their population, but there is no way can they continue on this development path in which richer countries have a ecological footprint five times larger than the planet can bear. They have already exceeded the planet’s capacity to regenerate by 30%. At this rate of over-exploitation of our Mother Earth, two planets will be needed by 2030.
In an interdependent system of which humans are only one of its components, it is not possible to only recognize the rights on the human side without causing an imbalance in the whole system. To ensure human rights and restore harmony with nature, it is necessary to recognize and enforce Mother Earth’s rights.
To do that, we propose the attached draft of the Universal Declaration of Mother Earth’s Rights in which are recorded:
Right to life and existence;
Right to be respected;
Rights to continue her vital processes and cycles free of human disturbance;
Right to maintain her identity and integrity as distinct beings, self-regulated and interrelated;
Right to water as the source of life;
The right to clean air;
The right to overall health;
Right to be free from contamination and pollution, from toxic and radioactive waste;
Right not to be genetically altered and structurally modified thus threatening her integrity or her vital and healthy functioning.
Right to a full and speedy recovery from violations of the rights recognized in the Declaration caused by human activities.
The shared vision is to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases to give effect to Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which determines the "stabilization of concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous anthropogenic interference within the climate system." Our vision is based on the historical principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We demand that developed countries commit to quantified targets for reducing emissions that allow a return of atmospheric greenhouse gases concentrations to 300 ppm thus limiting the increase in global mean temperature to a maximum level of 1° C.
Stressing the need for urgent action to achieve this vision, and with the support of peoples, movements, and countries, the developed countries should commit to ambitious targets for reducing emissions that achieve short-term objectives, while maintaining our vision of a balance in the Earth’s climate system, according to the ultimate objective of the Convention.
The "shared vision" for the "Long-term Cooperative Action" should not be reduced to just the climate change negotiations which define limits to temperature increases and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but must include a comprehensive and balanced set of measures which cover finances, technology, adaptation, capacity building, patterns of production, consumption and other essentials such as the recognition of the rights of Mother Earth in order to restore harmony with nature.
Developed countries – the primary culprits of climate change – assuming their historical and current responsibility, must recognize and honor their climate debt in all its dimensions as the basis for a just, effective, and scientific solution to climate change. In this context we urge developed countries to:
Restore to developing countries their air space which is occupied by your emissions of greenhouse gases. This implies a decolonization of the atmosphere by reducing and absorbing your emissions.
Assume the costs and technology transfer needs of developing countries to make up for their loss of development opportunities due to living in a restricted air space.
assume responsibility for the hundreds of millions that will have to migrate due to climate change which you have caused and eliminate your restrictive migration policies and provide migrants with a decent life and full rights in your countries.
Assume adaptation debt related to the impacts of climate change on developing countries by providing the means to prevent, minimize and deal with damages arising from your excessive emissions.
Honor those debts as part of a greater debt to Mother Earth adopting and implementing the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth at the United Nations.
The focus should not be on just financial compensation but rather principally on restorative justice – that is restoring integrity to the people and other members who form a community of life on Earth.
We 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.
We warn the world that despite being legally bound, the emissions of developed countries were not reduced but rather grew by 11.2% between 1990 and 2007.
Because of unlimited consumption, the United States’ GHG emissions increased by 16.8% over the period 1990 to 2007, emitting on average between 20 and 23 tons of CO2 per capita. This represents more than 9 times the emissions of an average inhabitant of the Third World, and more than 20 times the emissions of an inhabitant of sub-Saharan Africa. We completely reject the illegitimate "Copenhagen Understanding", which allows developed countries to offer insufficient reductions of greenhouse gases, based on voluntary and individual commitments that violate the environmental integrity of Mother Earth leading us to an increase of about 4 º C.
The forthcoming Climate Change Conference to be held later this year in Mexico should adopt the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, for the second commitment period to begin in 2013-2017 in which developed countries must commit significant domestic reductions of at least 50% compared to 1990 base excluding carbon markets or other diversion systems that mask the failure of actual reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases. We first need to establish a goal for all developed countries and then make individual allocations for each country developed in the context of a comparison of effort between each of them, thus maintaining the Kyoto Protocol system for emission reductions.
The United States of America, as the only country on Earth in Annex 1 which did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol has a significant responsibility to all peoples of the world as it should ratify the Kyoto Protocol and commit to, respect, and comply with economy-wide emissions reduction targets.
The people have the same rights of protection from the impacts of climate change and reject the notion of adaptation to climate change understood as a resignation to the impacts caused by historic emissions of developed countries, who must adapt their life styles and consumption patterns to this planetary emergency. We are forced to deal with the impacts of climate change, considering adaptation to be a process rather than an imposition, and also as a tool that serves to counteract the impacts, showing that it is possible to live in harmony under a different model of life.
An Adaptation Fund needs to be created: a fund exclusively devoted to addressing climate change as part of a financial mechanism operated and managed in a sovereign, transparent and equitable manner for our states. Under this fund, the following should be evaluated: the impacts and their costs to developing countries and the needs that arise due to these impacts, as well as recording and monitoring the support given by developed countries. It also must operate a mechanism to indemnify for damages caused by impacts, past and future, for opportunities lost and restoration due to extreme and gradual climate events, and additional costs that could arise if our planet exceeds the ecological thresholds such as those impacts that are curtailing the right to live well.
The immense challenge we face as humanity to stop global warming and to cool the planet will only be achieved by profoundly transforming agriculture into a sustainable agricultural production model with indigenous/native origins as well as other ancestral ecological models and practices that contribute towards a solution to the problem of climate change and ensure food sovereignty This is understood to be the right of peoples to control their own seeds, land, water and food production, thus ensuring that people have access to sufficient, varied and nutritious foods through local and culturally appropriate production in harmony with and which complements Mother Earth thus deepening the independent production (participatory, community oriented, and shared) of each nation and people.
Climate change is already having profound impacts on the agriculture, livelihoods, and ways of life of indigenous / native peoples and peasants in the world and these impacts will become worse in the future.
Agribusiness through its social, economic and cultural development model of globalized capitalist production, and its logic of food production for the market rather than fulfilling the right to food, is a major cause of climate change. Its technological tools, commercial and political do nothing but deepen the climate crisis and increase hunger in the world. For this reason we reject Free Trade and Association Agreements and the application of all forms of Intellectual Property Rights on life, current technological packages (agrochemical and GM), and those that offer themselves as false solutions (biofuels, geo-engineering, nanotechnology, terminator technology and the like) which will only exacerbate the current crisis.
At the same time, we denounce the way in which this capitalist model imposes infrastructure mega-projects, invades territories with extractive projects, privatizes and commodifies water, militarizes territories and expells indigenous peoples and peasants from their lands, thus thwarting Food Sovereignty and deepening the socio-environmental crisis.
We demand recognition of the right of all peoples, living beings, and Mother Earth to have access to and enjoy water and we support the Bolivian Government´s proposal to recognize water as a Fundamental Human Right. The definition of forest used in the negotiations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which includes plantations, is unacceptable. Monoculture plantations are not forests. Therefore, we require a definition for negotiating purposes that recognizes native forests, rainforests, and the diversity of ecosystems on earth.
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples must be fully recognized, implemented and integrated into the climate change negotiations. The best strategy and action to avoid deforestation and degradation and to protect native forests and rainforest is to recognize and guarantee collective rights to lands and territories, especially considering that most of the forests and rainforests are in territories belonging to indigenous peoples and nations, peasant and traditional communities. We condemn market mechanisms such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and its + and + +, versions, which violate the sovereignty of Indigenous peoples and their right to free, prior, and informed consent, as well as the sovereignty of nation states which violate of the rights and customs of Peoples and the Rights of Nature.
Polluting countries are required to directly transfer the economic and technological resources to pay for the restoration and maintenance of forests and rainforests to the benefit of organic, ancestral, indigenous, native, and peasant peoples and structures. This should be a direct compensation and additional to the sources of funding committed to by developed countries, outside of the carbon market and never serving as carbon offsets. We demand that countries stop local initiatives in forests and rainforests that are based on market mechanisms and that propose conditional and non-existent results. We demand from governments a global program to restore native forests and rainforests, managed and administered by the peoples, implementing forest seeds, fruit trees, and native flora. Governments should eliminate forest concessions and support the conservation of oil in the ground and urgently stop the exploitation of hydrocarbons in rainforests.
In particular, we call upon States to legally recognize the prior existence of the right to our territories, lands, and natural resources which provide a basis for and strengthen our traditional ways of life and contribute effectively to solving the climate change.
We demand the full and effective implementation of the right to consultation, participation, and prior, free, and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples in all negotiation processes as well as in the design and implementation of measures relating to climate change.
At present, environmental degradation and climate change will reach critical levels, and one of the main consequences will be internal and international migration. According to some projections, in 1995 there were around 25 million climate migrants, at present this is estimated to be 50 million, and projections for 2050 show that between 200 – 1000 million people will be displaced by situations resulting from climate change.
Developed countries must take responsibility for climate migrants, welcoming them into their territories and recognizing their fundamental rights through the signing of international conventions providing for the definition of migrant climate that all States abide by its determinations.
Establish an International Tribunal of Conscience to denounce, expose, document, try and punish violations of the rights of the migrants, refugees and displaced persons in countries of origin, transit, and destination, clearly identifying the responsibilities of States, companies and other actors.
Current funding earmarked for developing countries for climate change and the Copenhagen Understanding proposal are insignificant. Developed countries must commit to new annual funding, in addition to official development assistance and public sources, of at least 6% of their GDP to tackle climate change in developing countries. This is feasible considering that a similar amount is spent on national defense and that five times more than that was spent to rescue failing banks and speculators, which raises serious questions about their global priorities and political will. This funding should be direct, unconditional and not violate the national sovereignty or self-determination of the communities and groups most affected.
Given the inefficiency of the current mechanism, the Mexico Conference should establish a new funding mechanism that operates under the authority of and is accountable to the United Nations Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, with significant representation from developing countries to ensure Annex 1 countries comply with funding commitments.
It has been confirmed that over the period 1990 – 2007, the developed countries increased their emissions despite having stated that the reduction would be substantially assisted by market mechanisms.
The carbon market has turned into a lucrative business by commercializing our Mother Earth. This does not represent an alternative to tackling climate change since it loots and ravages the land, water, and even life itself. The recent financial crisis has shown that the market is incapable of regulating the financial system, which is fragile and uncertain when faced with speculation and the emergence of middle men, therefore, it would be totally irresponsible to leave in its hands the care and protection of human existence itself and of our Mother Earth.
Expand and promote the carbon market given that existing mechanisms never solved the problem of climate change or became real and direct action in reducing greenhouse gases .We consider it unacceptable that the current negotiations seek to create new mechanisms that expand and promote the carbon market given that existing mechanisms have never solved the problem of climate change nor did they ever turn into real and direct action towards reducing greenhouse gases.
It is essential to require compliance with the commitments made by developed countries at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change regarding the development and transfer of technology and reject the "technological showcase" proposed by developed countries that only comercialize the technology. It is essential to establish guidelines for creating multilateral, multidisciplinary and participatory control, management, and ongoing evaluation of the exchange of technologies. These technologies must be useful, clean, and socially appropriate. It is equally essential to establish a fund for the financing and inventory of technologies that are appropriate and free of intellectual property rights, in particular of patents that should be transferred from private monopolies into the public domain, freely accessible and at low cost.
Knowledge is universal, and may not for any reason be the subject of private ownership and private use, nor its applications in the form of technology. It is the duty of developed countries to share their technology with developing countries, to create research centers for the creation of their own technologies and innovations, as well as defending and promoting their development and application in order to live well. The world needs to regain, learn, and relearn the principles and approaches of the ancestral legacy of Indigenous peoples in order to stop the destruction of the planet, as well as ancestral knowledge and practices and the recovery of spirituality in the reintegration of living well together with Mother Earth.
It must support States submitting claims in the International Court of Justice against developed countries that fail to meet their commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, including their commitments to reduce greenhouse gases. We urge the people to propose and promote a thorough reform of the United Nations (UN), so that all Member States comply with the decisions of the International Climate and Environmental Justice Tribunal.
The future of humanity is in danger, and we cannot accept that a group of leaders of developed countries want to decide for all countries, as they tried to do unsuccessfully at the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen. This decision rests with all peoples. It is therefore necessary to hold a world referendum, plebiscite, or popular vote on climate change where we are all consulted on: the level of emission reductions that should be made by developed countries and transnational corporations, the financing that developed countries should provide, the creation of an International Climate Justice Tribunal: the need for a Universal Declaration of the rights of Mother Earth, and the need to change the current capitalist system.
The process of a World Referendum, plebiscite or popular vote will be the result of a process of preparation that ensures its successful development. In order to coordinate our international actions and implement the results of this "Peoples’ Agreement" we call for building a Global People’s Movement for Mother Earth which is based on the principles of complementarity and respect for diversity of origin and visions of its members, constituting a broad and democratic space for coordination and joint action worldwide.
To this end, we adopt the attached global action plan so that in Mexico the Annex 1 developed countries will respect the existing legal framework and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and take on the various proposals contained in this Agreement.
Finally, we agree to hold the 2nd World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in 2011 as part of this process of building a Peoples’ Global Movement for Mother Earth and to react to the results of the Climate Change Conference to be held later this year in Cancun, Mexico.
(translated by Alan Forsberg http://www.cmpcc.org.bo/PEOPLES-AGREEMENT)