|CAN's Leadership Development Program|
Today, we are writing to ask you to sign an ACTION ALERT in support of the Barro Blanco campaign and our broader CDM advocacy efforts. We launched this petition two weeks ago, asking James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to recommend reforms to protect communities that are adversely affected by CDM projects, such as Barro Blanco. In astatement released at the end of his recent visit to Panama, Special Rapporteur Anaya described his visit to the Ngäbe communities and highlighted the Barro Blanco project as an example of the many large-scale development projects that threaten the rights of indigenous peoples in Panama. In the coming months, Mr. Anaya will be preparing his final report, which provides an opportunity for the Special Rapporteur to document the ways in which the existing CDM rules are inadequate to protect the rights of indigenous peoples.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION by signing this alert to urge Special Rapporteur Anaya to make recommendations to the CDM and the Panamanian government, calling for both to respect human rights for development projects that generate social and environmental impacts, with particular attention to indigenous rights. Also, please share with your lists and promote via Facebook/Twitter. Our goal is to reach 1000 signatories by the end of the week.
July 19, 2013
We need your help. Will you add your name and support to a letter asking James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to recommend reforms to protect indigenous communities in Panama?
Yesterday, Mr. Anaya began his ten-day visit to Panama. At the request of CIEL and adozen other organizations, Mr. Anaya will meet with community representatives in the Ngäbe-Buglé territory in Panama who are directly affected by the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam. He will hear firsthand about how the Panamanian state has violated the rights of affected indigenous communities to free, prior and informed consent on a project which threatens to violate their right to traditional land and territories. When completed, the dam would flood historic and religious Ngäbe-Buglé sites and compromise the ecosystem upon which their traditional diet depends.
The Barro Blanco dam is registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a carbon-market mechanism of the UN convention on climate change. The CDM allows developed countries to claim emission reductions by paying for mitigation efforts – in this case a hydroelectric dam – in developing countries. Unfortunately, the CDM has no standards for human or indigenous rights, nor does it have a way for communities that are negatively affected by CDM projects to even register complaints.
Following Mr. Anaya’s Panama trip, he will present a report on his findings of concerns related to indigenous peoples in Panama, including the human rights violations against the indigenous people affected by Barro Blanco. As Special Rapporteur and as part of his mandate, Mr. Anaya is in a unique position to give advice and recommendations to the CDM as well as other UN-related mechanisms that affect the rights of indigenous peoples.His recommendations could help to halt and prevent human rights violations