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Showing posts with label biodiversity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biodiversity. Show all posts

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Indigenous Forest Guardians: Good or Bad?

Empowering Indigenous Peoples with their Own Lands

Studies show Indigenous people are the best custodians of the planet's threatened forests.

By Paola Totaro
 
WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Granting formal land rights to indigenous people living in the world's tropical forests is among the most effective, but underused, ways to stop illegal deforestation that fuels violence, poverty and global warming, according to new research.

Local communities are best equipped to safeguard valuable forests, and those with strong land rights are the most effective, said a raft of studies presented this week at the World Bank's annual Land and Poverty Conference.

A representative from the Maya Leaders Alliance, Belize, addresses the crowd on behalf
of award winners at the Equator Prize ceremony in Paris. Image: Eco-Business
Deforestation is known to be detrimental to the earth's climate. Clearing woodlands for agriculture and grazing, and fires that often follow, is responsible for about one-tenth of carbon emissions that contribute to a dangerous rise in global temperatures, researchers say.

Shrinking forests can cause poverty and conflicts as well, as local residents are forced to compete for fewer resources.

A six-nation study for the World Bank's Program on Forests found deforestation rates are significantly lower where communities have legal rights to the forests and government support for management and enforcement, compared with areas elsewhere.

"Critical links" exist among land security, local economic development, biodiversity conservation and reduced carbon emissions, it said.

Research from Indonesia showed conflict over land was minimized and investment was encouraged when local communities were involved in designing transportation corridors around proposed mining projects.
Another study from Indonesia showed granting long-term rights over mangrove swamps to indigenous people has better protected the critical coastal ecosystems than in areas where the endangered buffers between land and sea are not locally managed.

Less than a fifth of the world's population has formal land rights, or tenure.

"Granting communal land rights to indigenous inhabitants of tropical forests is among the most underused and effective solutions to reducing deforestation that fuels climate change," said Peter Veit, director of the Washington-based World Resources Institute's land rights initiative.

"Securing rights also has implications for reducing poverty and conflict," he said.

More than 1,500 land rights specialists converged on the U.S capital this week to share their findings.
The use of giant swathes of information such as advanced satellite imagery can identify patterns such as water use in land rights and land management, said Andrew Steer, head of the WRI and a former World Bank Special Envoy for Climate Change.

"We can show water risk, make future projections of population, use crowd sourcing and cloud computing in a way that is transforming how water is used by private companies and indigenous communities," he said.
Many papers highlighted challenges posed to developing nations by big mining and agricultural industries that are using technology to gain access to remote regions.

Nevertheless, researchers said indigenous peoples and campaigners working with them are harnessing technology as well to expose illegal deforestation or land use and seek remedies and justice.

The research is significant to help back up indigenous communities' claims that they are the best custodians of global forests.

 Map illustrating that tropical regions contain 20% of the world's carbon. More
science reveals that these areas must remain natural for the survival of the planet.

Some critics have claimed remote tropical forests looked after by indigenous groups are protected due to a lack of development pressure rather than good management techniques.

An estimated 15 percent of the world's forest cover remains untouched.

Brazil, once a leader in slowing deforestation, has recently been accused of rolling back gains made by providing land rights to rural people in the face of recession and a political crisis.

The World Bank estimates that forest ecosystems cover a fifth of the land in Latin America, representing half of the world's tropical forests.
 

Reporting by Paola Totaro, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org/


Commentary: Indigenous peoples are in great danger globally as their territorial rights are being challenged by corporations and states that want to claim natural resources, often indigenous people are in the way and now for the first time in history there is a chance to perpetually preserve global biodiversity and what remains of our natural world with these spectacular people. Their freedom is our freedom, but theirs is at greater risk while at great disadvantage without empowerment to defend themselves and their rights as human beings.

Read more about forest carbon and indigenous peoples in Toward a Common Baseline of Carbon Storage on Collective Lands and Tropical Forest Carbon in Indigenous Territories; A Global Analysis.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Indigenous Lands: Most Valuable Property on the Planet

Indigenous Peoples Lands Guard 80 Percent of World’s Biodiversity

Baher Kamal - Inter Press Service

They are more than 370 million self-identified peoples in some 70 countries around the world. In Latin America alone there are over 400 groups, each with a distinct language and culture, though the biggest concentration is in Asia and the Pacific– with an estimated 70 per cent. And their traditional lands guard over 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity.

Download Report from the World Bank
They are the indigenous peoples.

They have rich and ancient cultures and view their social, economic, environmental and spiritual systems as interdependent. And they make valuable contributions to the world’s heritage thanks to their traditional knowledge and their understanding of ecosystem management.

“But they are also among the world’s most vulnerable, marginalized and disadvantaged groups. And they have in-depth, varied and locally rooted knowledge of the natural world, “says the Rome-based International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).

“Unfortunately, indigenous peoples too often pay a price for being different and far too frequently face discrimination,” the Fund, which hosts on Feb 10 and 13 on Rome the Global Meeting of the Indigenous People Forum in the Italian capital.

During this biennial meeting, the United Nations specialized agency will bring together representatives of Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations from across the world, as well as leaders of partner bodies to engage in a direct dialogue and improve participation of indigenous peoples in the Fund’s country programs.

Over the centuries, the Indigenous peoples “have been dispossessed of their lands, territories and resources and, as a consequence, have often lost control over their own way of life. Worldwide, they account for 5 per cent of the population, but represent 15 per cent of those living in poverty.”

One of the most effective ways to enable indigenous peoples to overcome poverty, it adds, is to support their efforts to shape and direct their own destinies, and to ensure that they are the co-creators and co-managers of development initiatives.

Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly on Sep. 13, 2007, establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world’s indigenous peoples.

The Declaration addresses individual and collective rights; cultural rights and identity; and rights to education, health, employment and language. And it outlaws discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them.

It also ensures their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own priorities in economic, social and cultural development. The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on Aug. 9 every year.
Announcing the Forum, IFAD noted that it has more than 30 years of experience working with indigenous peoples. In fact, since 2003, an average of about 22 per cent of the Fund’s annual lending has supported initiatives for indigenous peoples, mainly in Asia and Latin America.

Since 2007, it has administered the Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF). Through small grants of up to 50,000 dollars, it supports the aspirations of indigenous peoples by funding micro-projects that strengthen their culture, identity, knowledge, natural resources, and intellectual-property and human rights.

To help translate policy commitments into action, it has established an Indigenous Peoples’ Forum that promotes a process of dialogue and consultation among indigenous peoples’ organizations, IFAD staff and member states.

The Fund empowers communities to participate fully in determining strategies for their development and to pursue their own goals and visions by strengthening grass-roots organizations and local governance.

Land is not only crucial to the survival of indigenous peoples, as it is for most poor rural people – it is central to their identities, the Fund reports. “They have a deep spiritual relationship to their ancestral territories. Moreover, when they have secure access to land, they also have a firm base from which to improve their livelihoods.”

According to this international Fund, indigenous peoples and their knowledge systems have a special role to play in the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources.

Indigenous Women’s Untapped Potential

Also named “bank of the poorest” as it provides grants and low-interest credits to the poorest rural communities, recognises indigenous women’s untapped potential as stewards of natural resources and biodiversity, as guardians of cultural diversity, and as peace brokers in conflict mitigation.

Nonetheless, it says, indigenous women are often the most disadvantaged members of their communities because of their limited access to education, assets and credit, and their exclusion from decision-making processes.

This ‘bank of the poorest’ is a specialised agency of the United Nations, which was established as an international financial institution in 1977, being one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference, which was organised in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa.

That world conference resolved that “an International Fund for Agricultural Development should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries.”

One of the most important insights emerging from the Conference was that the causes of food insecurity and famine were not so much failures in food production but structural problems relating to poverty, and to the fact that the majority of the developing world’s poor populations were concentrated in rural areas.

Since its creation, IFAD invested 18.4 billion dollars to help 464 million rural poor people.

Republished from Morung Express

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Belize the Most Destin Nation

Globcal International selected Belize to establish an international foundation because it offers the best accommodations for our special global work, plus the official language is English. They offer the most flexible international business law, respect private international law, are well-adapted to a tourism based economy, they offer offshore investments, anyone from any nation may own property here, and Belize is a member of the United Nations and Non-Aligned Movement (politically neutral states).

Everyone loves Belize, now we do too, perhaps now more than some, for lots of reasons!

Geography, Population, Languages

Belize (before 1973 British Honduras) is a picturesque country that has an unspoiled environment, with barrier reefs, woodland, caves, rivers, mountains, waterfalls and jungle. It is located in Central America in the south-eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula. Its shores are washed by the Caribbean Sea. The area of the country is approximately 23,000 sq. km, and it is bounded by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. The administrative capital is Belmopan, but the major commercial centre is Belize City, situated on the east coast close to the major International airport. Less than 2 hours from Miami and only 4.5 hours from Los Angeles. 

The total population of Belize is about 300,000, of which about a third lives in Belize City. Much of the country’s population is ethnically diverse and includes descendants of the original Mayan culture, as well as people of Caribbean, Caucasian, Chinese and East Indian descent. Over 50 per cent of the population is urban. English is the official language although Spanish, Creole, Garifuna and Mayan are widely spoken throughout the country.

History, Political Structure and Law

Belize became a British Crown Colony in 1871 and achieved complete self-rule in 1981. Since that time it has enjoyed stable and democratic Government. Now Belize is an independent democratic Commonwealth country. Government policy is set by the Cabinet, under the leadership of the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is made up of the Prime Minister and Ministers appointed by him from an elected 29-member House of Representatives, and the 12-member Senate. Belize is also a member of the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement. There are two main political parties, both of which encourage the economic development of the country and overseas investment.

The type of law is Common Law, based on English Common Law. Legislation is modelled on the earlier British Virgin Islands legislation.

Economy and Infrastructure

Belize’s main income is from tourism. There are forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, marine resort areas, the world’s only jaguar reserve, as well as Mayan archaeological sites that are a magnet for tourists from all over the world. The major exports are sugar cane, bananas, fruit juices, canned fish, garments and timber and wood products. The offshore finance industry is generating an increasing proportion of national income. The currency used is the Belize Dollar (BZ$). Offshore activities are exempted from exchange control.
The second through fourth sections were copied and pasted from a publication of Company Express, a legal firm in London, called Jurisdiction of the Month: Belize. They go on to discuss Belize IBCs and offshore incorporation in Belize based on the 1990 law. Our enchantment is with what we learned we could accomplish in Belize that can help humanity and the environment through philanthropy, charity, and prosperity making it a foundation state. Belize has a new law from 2010 for the establishment of International Foundations and International Charitable Foundations. 

Establishing an International Foundation in Belize

The Belize government under Sir Colville N. Young, Governor General of HRM Queen Elizabeth the Second, established a new Act to provide for the establishment, operation and regulation of international foundations; it is called the "International Foundations Act, 2010" it includes revisions in 2013.
International Foundation Act

The benefits of establishing an international foundation are extraordinary and you can also establish an international charitable foundation which interested us a bit more. As a charity one guarantees that at least 10% of the foundation is permanently administered in Belize in social programs, this is a very fair trade-off and will help Belize develop sustainably over the coming years if enough organizations establish foundations as a result of this "moderately recent" new law. 

International charitable foundations are considered non-governmental organizations too, and are not subject to national taxes, local taxes, or customs duties on imports. The civil status of a respectable charitable foundation is preferable and more integral to that of a minor state diplomat, a church, or a religious institution.

There are many benefits to establishing a foundation in Belize especially if you have funds that you want to reserve for a more global purpose or more funds than you want to share with your state. International investors know that once they pay their taxes on their income they should not have to pay tax on it again, so they don't if they invest it offshore. The great thing with a foundation is you can invest and still enjoy its benefit with a tax-exempt international foundation.
The popular trend may become the establishment of personal foundations (in someone's name) for literally hundreds or any purpose, those who are truly benevolent will see the 10% permanent investment in programs and services that benefit Belize such as managed educational training, sustainable energy development, and other capital sustainable programs will serve them better than a private foundation, either are just as good. It makes good business sense especially if you are involved in international fundraising. 

Globcal International in setting up our organization decided we should share this information and assist others in becoming more involved in globalization for good. 

Who can Establish a Foundation?

You must be an international, you may not currently be a Belizean national or a permanent resident here as the founder of a Belize International Foundation (you do not even have to visit). The founder can come and go to the foundation as its guest; but may not take up permanent-residence or become a citizen in Belize, unless honorarily or through a separate petition following the foundation. You may be a tourist, temporary resident, investor, business person, diplomat, special visitor, or natural person from any of the United Nations member states with a valid passport. 

You must invest in a permanent endowment (usually a piece of land or a fund) to serve as the foundation base itself. You will need to create a foundation charter stating the purposes, make registration, assign a protector who in turn shall be in charge of finding a registered agent, and employ a secretary. The legal character of the international foundation is civil incorporation with offshore designation and powers that can only be compared to a great foundation ship at sea.

All international investment should be in currency (as stated in Belize Law, US Dollars) foundations may not source their funds from Belizeans or predominantly from any of its immediate neighbor states. The value of an endowment is generally accepted as being $100,000 USD, but in Belize the minimum founder's endowment can be as low as $10,000 USD to establish a foundation. 

Currently there are lots of rain forest tracts of 100-1000 acres or more, that could be purchased as a conservation interest foundation development of Belize, then it can be used for carbon-offsets, biodiversity, and ecotourism as well, to produce ecosystem services. All excellent modern sustainability investments. 

Open-Source Foundation

Globcal International learned about international foundations and charitable foundations by establishing a presence in Belize with the initiative to develop a cooperative international development foundation, so here we are as the "new top experts and practitioners" with a global network made up of goodwill ambassadors living all around the world, we have local attorneys that can have your foundation established in several days. We are also offering private individuals the opportunity to participate in group foundations with smaller investments. Really few people have taken advantage of this special opportunity, we hope you do. It will mean a better Belize and also help people become sustainable all around the world.
Find me here in Belize! If you need help or want to join in the founding of a collective foundation perhaps a rainforest, ecovillage, or a tourist resort, here I am at the center of all the activity and your author, Ambassador Col. David Wright, Globcal International Commissioner and Goodwill Ambassador. Get involved now with Globcal International in time for the founding of the Goodwill Ambassadors Foundation here in Belize, your involvement will earn you special privileges here in Belize and elsewhere in the world. Learn more by contacting me for details david@globcal.net .

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Developing Enhanced Ecosystem Services and Alleviating Poverty

New Zealand carbon-credit investment that enhances the ecosystem. 
Beginning within the next few years all people (that's everyone with an ID) will become responsible for offsetting their carbon footprint based on their use of natural resources, creation of greenhouse gases, their environmental impact, and their general consumption through active and transparent taxation on fuel, electricity, food, housing, travel and more. As easily there are personal actions that individuals can take as volunteers, by planting trees, using energy efficient transportation, and managing their own rural ecosystems responsibly on the behalf of the public and common good to offset or reduce your carbon footprint.

There are also credits people (high impact individuals) can buy to offset their carbon footprint activity, those credits are represented based on the removal of atmospheric carbon by trees, plants, and other natural processes. The current denominator for calculating how many offset credit certificates to need to compensate for your consumption is by ton of carbon produced through an activity (a plane flight for example), it is offset by the number of trees present on a particular acre that is subsidized to provide carbon sequestration.

There are other ways to create credits and develop projects for the environment including projects like the native tree nursery example in the photo from New Zealand.

Do I have to pay Carbon Tax?


The system (which is quite fair if you are eco-conscious and understand the reality) is based on how much you use, its based on your impact on the planet, its also a system that is being applied internationally and universally. The taxes that you are already transparently paying (in the cost of goods) to manufacturers and retailers is divided up and credited through tax collectors and on to those who provide ecosystem services. With autos it the charges are levied through fines, plates and/or annual registration fees all for the greater good with air travel it is paid by the airlines and built in to the cost of the ticket. 

Today polls show that less than 25% of the general population trust government and part of the problem is that people think that the government is running the carbon credit system, this is not true. The system is being put in place by the United Nations, entrepreneurs, corporations, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations to protect and nurture the ecosystem. Many governments are fighting details of these new politics and unwilling to allow the planned change, but as signatories of treaties like Kyoto Protocol and other conventions they are compelled to adapt.

The beauty of the carbon footprint taxation system and the balance it generates, is that for now it is voluntary and universally transparent because its built into the price of goods, products, utility bills, and other services. We already have great achievement and development in this new perspective of a resource based world and is balancing itself.

As with any voluntary program the corporations and the people who support it are entitled through government to special benefits, privileges and entitlements. Its also one of those things that if you do not know about it, or pay into it then you will never know its there and never know the benefits!

Even more beautiful is that the governments (as the public trustee) will give you refunds, discounts and credits to be socially responsible by offsetting your carbon footprint (being a good citizen). There are also open (public) markets where you can trade or buy offset credits in biodiversity, forestry, water, carbon sequestration, and more at a discount; so there is also an income opportunity for the astute entrepreneurs. Check out ecosystemmarketplace.com

Benefits of the Carbon Credit System


If you own interests and credits in Ecosystem services then you can deduct these credits as entitlements in their appropriate category when you pay income tax. If you do not own offsets then you cannot apply for the credits or make deductions except when you make major purchases like cars.

Don't let anyone fool you either, you do not receive credits by making donations to non-profit environmental groups. Donations are deducted as charitable contributions, offsets for ecosystem services are categorically different and separate. Offsets are like legal tender and they can be traded just like a bond or share of stock.

Helping others with Carbon Credits


Globcal International's project will take this one step further by cutting out the government and private industry to deliver a high-value credit directly to indigenous and remote rural communities that specialize in ecosystem service delivery. If land owners in California and Colorado can sell credits, its only fair that native peoples be capable of selling theirs.

This alone will provide sustainable incomes and employment for around 70% of all the indigenous people living in poverty today.

One of the problems we discovered is that the state in many cases are taking advantage of the carbon financing scheme to generate capital based on natural resources within their countries and not passing those funds out to the indigenous people or applying those resources to the lands in question. They actually keep the public ignorant and go so far as to view the indigenous owners of these lands as part of the biodiversity (animals).

Globcal discovered however that the indigenous people on many (not all) of these lands (which account for 60% of the planets remaining natural ecosystem services) are legally eligible under international law to collect these credits themselves, that is if they were knowledgeable of the opportunity.

Our project is being developed to train and educate these indigenous communities about their options, opportunities and the rewards for becoming knowledgeable and proactive as ecosystem service providers, stewards, guardians, engineers and developers. Our effort will develop a higher value offset that is fair-trade certified and direct between the purchaser and the provider. We have competition but are sure that the indigenous people will adopt our direct method because it puts them in control democratically over their own resource bases.

Currently depending on whether in Europe, the US, or Australia you can claim a return of up to 7% or more of your total annual income through offsetting your carbon footprint through Globcal's ecosystem bonds include carbon credit offsets as well as investment in appreciated biodiversity, ecotourism, water, and ecosystem enhancement. Through our system with enhancement offset values increase and appreciate!

By David Wright, Commissioner at Globcal International

About Ekobius: Beginning this October 2014, Ekobius will become the subject trustee in an experimental pilot project involving 5000 acres (initially) with Globcal on Indiegogo to manage and enhance ecosystem services in a sector of Venezuela's Amazon with the Piaroa tribe. Once implemented the program will be extended to the other 16 indigenous groups present in the forested region of 160 million acres. 


The average consumption by trees in the region of atmospheric carbon sequestration is 3.8 tons per acre per year which is valued at about $75 per year for the acre-man "akerman" to collect in addition to the by-products derived through agroecology and additional ecosystem services in a collective production community.

Unlike many crowdfunding projects this one will involve equitable shares in the project because it will issue cooperative bonds that will directly be invested in the ecosystem and training of its inhabitants to become sustainable ecologically and socioeconomically.

The training and preparation for this project will take place in Belize where the ambassadors, teachers, students and other participants will gather to experience first-hand well-developed and functional best practice models in place under competent government administration. Follow the details through Globcal International on Facebook for the most recent updates.