The Earth Organization is an international, independent, non-profit group which seeks to reverse the dwindling spiral of the plant and animal kingdoms and our environment through education and action.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Voice of the Future

Here's some inspiration from an indigenous First Nation child from Canada who sings to us about the environmental issues of today... it is simply not fair that they are born into a polluted world where many bad decisions have already been made for them and they have to handle the issues we created. Life is no longer full of innocence, fairy-tales and magic for the kids of today. Be responsible not only for this generation, but for those you are leaving this Earth to next.

Voice of Today


Sometimes we can all use a bit of inspiration. To listen to some great music from one of our very talented Namibian artists, Shishani, you can now listen online. What an incredible talent she is and her words are powerful too- taking on environmental and social issues, she's a real inspiration. Listen for free here:

Indigenous in Rio: ‘NO!’ to False Green Economy and Carbon Cowboys


Reposted from Indigenous Environmental Network at
Indigenous march on Wednesday to deliver Kari-Oca declaration to world leaders in Rio
By Brenda Norrell

Photos by Ben Powless, Mohawk, IEN, Rio

Breaking news updated
Indigenous Peoples are gathered at the Kari-Oca II Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, as the governments and corporate profiteers attempt to place a price on nature as a commodity at the United Nations Conference on Sustainability Rio+20.

The declaration of Kari-Oca II, signed by 500 Indigenous, will be delivered to world leaders during a march from Kari-Oca encampment to Rio+20, on Wednesday, July 20, 2012.

“We see the goals of UNCSD Rio+20, the ‘Green Economy,’ and its premise that the world can only ‘save’ nature by commodifying its life-giving and life-sustaining capacities as a continuation of the colonialism that Indigenous Peoples and our Mother Earth have faced and resisted for 520 years,” the declaration states.
“Indigenous activists and leaders defending their territories continue to suffer repression, militarization, including assassination, imprisonment, harassment and vilification as ‘terrorists.’ The violation of our collective rights faces the same impunity. Forced relocation or assimilation assault our future generations, cultures, languages, spiritual ways and relationship to the earth, economically and politically,” the declaration states.

Calling it a new wave of colonialism, Indigenous Peoples from around the world are fighting to protect their rivers and forests, their air and land from green scams and false climate solutions. They are also remembering the Indigenous environmental activists from around the world who have been murdered protecting their homelands from mining and drilling.

Indigenous Peoples from the United States and Canada are focused on halting the environmental nightmare of Alberta’s dirty tarsands, which has already destroyed Cree homelands in Canada, and the Keystone pipelines, which could pollute even more waterways and lands in the US.


Photo IEN’s Tom Goldtooth, Dakota Dine’, and Clayton Thomas Muller, Cree, at Kari-Oca II in Rio. Photo Ben Powless, Mohawk.

The Indigenous Environmental Network is battling “carbon cowboys,” and exposing the false climate solutions and scam carbon credits of the carbon market, which allows the world’s worst polluters to continue polluting.

Dirty coal more desperate on Navajo Nation
The worst polluters in the United States include the coal fired power plants on the Navajo Nation, the latest target in a public relations scheme using the carbon credit scam, with so-called green credits, as part of the coal industry’s desperate scheme to keep the Navajo Generating Station operating and polluting near the Grand Canyon.

Operated by the Salt River Project in Arizona, the Navajo Generating Station is one of the dirtiest coal fired power plants in the United States, and one of three coal fired power plants on the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation is also targeted by water rights theft schemes of Arizona senators and polluted by widespread oil and gas drilling and radioactive tailings from Cold War uranium mines. The Navajo Nation in New Mexico, and Lakota homelands in Nebraska and South Dakota, are both now targeted with new uranium mining that could further contaminate aquifers.

Rights of Nature
At the gatherings underway in Rio, Indigenous Peoples who gathered in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2010, are carrying forward the Rights of Nature, mandated by the World’s Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.

The Declaration of the Rights of Nature states: “The so-called ‘developed; countries must reduce their levels of over-consumption and overexploitation of resources of the world in order to reestablish harmony among human beings and with nature, allowing for the sustainable development of all developing countries.” It also demands a world climate court, redistribution of wealth, and the halt to carbon credits and false climate solutions.

Carbon cowbows, the REDD hoax
Meanwhile, at the Kari-Oca II in Rio, Indigenous demand a halt to the corporate destruction of their forests and rivers, land and air.

Indigenous Peoples denounced the Green Economy and REDD privatization of nature, which is aimed at selling the air and destroying the future.

Indigenous Peoples warn of the REDD scam, which constitutes a worldwide land grab and gigantesque carbon offset scam.

REDD+ is an UN-promoted false solution to climate change and the pillar of the Green Economy. Officially, REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.

Tom Goldtooth (Dakota/Dine´), Director of Indigenous Environmental Network, said that “REDD+ really means Reaping profits from Evictions, land grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of biodiversity.”
Just as Chief Seattle over a hundred years ago asked, “How can you sell the air?,” Marlon Santi of the Ecuadorian Amazon, condemns carbon trading and REDD+ and asks, “How can you sell Mother Earth and Father Sky?”

But apparently someone is trying, as the recently inaugurated Bolsa Verde do Rio de Janeiro (BVRio), a Brazilian stockmarket for forest carbon credits, shows.

Berenice Sanchez of the Nahua People of Mexico said, “Not only does REDD+ corrupt the Sacred and fuel financial speculation, it also serves as greenwash for extractive industries like Shell and Rio Tinto.”
Indigenous Peoples said that REDD+ is a “new wave of colonialism.”

From Peru to Papua New Guinea, carbon cowboys are running amok trying to rip off native communities and grab the forests of the world, 80 percent of which are found in Indigenous Peoples´ lands and territories.
Marife Macalanda of the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network said, “The environmental crisis is getting worse because of capitalists´ false solutions such as REDD+. The real solution to the climate crisis affecting the people of the world, especially Indigenous Peoples, is to protect Mother Earth, uphold social justice and respect the Indigenous Peoples’ decisions and right to say no.”

The first Kari-Oca summit in Rio was held in 1992, before the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. More than 700 Indigenous leaders signed the Indigenous Peoples Earth Charter.

Petition to US Hillary Clinton

The Grassroots Global Justice Alliance said, “The global 1% is converging in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this June at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to unveil their “Green Economy” strategy—but we know that just calling something ‘green’ doesn’t mean it’s good for people or for the planet. The Rio+20 Conference is a key moment when world government have an opportunity to either act to protect our future, or continue on the same failed strategies that are threatening our future.”

Photo: Clayton Thomas Muller, Cree, signs Declaration at Kari-Oca II. Photo Ben Powless.

“The 99% are also mobilizing to Brazil this June. Grassroots Global Justice and other grassroots groups in the Climate Justice Alignment will join thousands of people from social movements around the world converging in Rio to demand an end to profit-driven dirty energy industries like oil drilling and pipelines, market-based strategies like carbon-trading and forest exploitation, and extreme energy like fossil fuels and incinerators.”

The alliance is gathering signatures to be sent to US Rio+20 Lead Negotiator John Matuszak, and to the US State Department’s Office of Correspondence and Records who tracks and documents comments for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

To US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Rio+20 Lead Negotiator John Matuszak, At the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, I urge you to reject the false solutions of the “Green Economy” and instead invest in solutions to the root causes of the ecological and economic crises that put our communities to work, cool the planet, and transition environmental control back to local economies.

In particular, I urge you to: Stop destructive climate projects and unsustainable energy developments including the Canadian Tar Sands, the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, and proposed oil drilling in the off-shore Outer Continental Shelf areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas of Alaska.


Reject REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and other carbon offset models as the pillar of the Green Economy that furthers the privatization of Nature and displaces indigenous communities.

End the Era of Extreme Energy: Create just transition pathways out of resource and carbon-intensive industries such as fossil fuels, waste incineration, biomass energy, nuclear power, and industrial agriculture.

Commit to reducing emissions by 90% from 1990 levels by 2050.
Commit to full-scale investment in inclusive Zero Waste systems, with a transition goal for 2040.
–Sign the Petition at Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Phone contacts at Kari-Oca II in Rio:
Tom Goldtooth, (English/Portuguese)
+1 (218) 760 – 0442 (USA)
Berenice S├ínchez, (Spanish) +52 044 55 23 39 39 28

Intervention of the Pacific Caucus, Rio+20

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20, 20-22, June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Intervention of the Pacific Caucus

DRAFT: Establishing an Independent Regional Indigenous Peoples Monitoring Authority for the implementation of regulating agreements impacting pacific peoples and our resources.
Written by Santi Hitorangi,

The Pacific Caucus from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues welcomes the opportunity given by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development to comment on the impact of the Fukushima reactor spill, large scale resource exploration, degradation and depletion by transnational corporations on indigenous peoples’ land and territories, affecting our environments and livelihoods, undermining our economic, cultural and spiritual life and threatening the existence of many indigenous peoples of our region.

Recognition and protection of core indigenous rights are critical to REDD+ projects taking place in indigenous territories and must be effectively addressed by the UN-REDD. We have four recommendations:

We, respectfully, ask the Permanent Forum to urge all States to recognize our right to our lands, oceans and resources, and that any military, industrial or mining uses be first approved by the free, prior and informed consent of our Pacific Peoples.

We, respectfully, request that a percentage of the taxes and royalties States receive from companies who profit from our resources to be proportionately allocated to fund the establishing of an Independent Regional Indigenous Peoples Monitoring Authority.

We, respectfully, call upon the United Nations Conference of Sustainable Development to urge all States to work with Indigenous Peoples to ensure the full implementation and the legal application of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and recognize our human rights and fundamental freedoms to self-determination and self-governance.

We, respectfully, call upon the United Nations to assist with the creation of a region wide, independent and indigenous stakeholders-led agency to review and regulate the environmental and economic impact of resource depletion in our region. We seek an agency whose principal stakeholders are the cultural and traditional practitioners whose economic livelihoods are most impacted by exploiting our economic and environmental resources.

The very survival and future of Pacific Island Peoples is linked directly on the policies and practices of States and of international institutions and organizations.

The World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank[1]; have projects funded that have been negative and counterproductive to the interests of indigenous peoples and have often contributed to violating our fundamental rights by creating conditions of debt and poverty.

The World Bank has an operational policy on indigenous peoples that states that for any proposed projects that affect indigenous peoples, the borrower is required to engage in the process of free, prior and informed consent and that the projects include measures to (a) avoid potentially adverse effects on the indigenous peoples’ communities; or (b) when avoidance is not feasible, to minimize, mitigate or compensate for such effects.[2]

1) New Caledonia, a new nickel refinery belonging to Brazilian mining giant Vale is due to start full production next year.[3] Vale has brokered a so-called Sustainable Development Agreement with New Caledonia’s Kanak leaders in 2008. The company aims to become the largest nickel producer. In 2009, more that 40,000 litres of 98% pure sulphuric acid was released into a river leading into the mouth of Prony Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage bumper zone.[4] This resulted in peoples who depend entirely on the farming and fishing to survive are forced to endure serious ramifications to their health and their ability to sustain themselves in the territories belonging to the Thio, Kouaoua, Wawilu and Poum, among others.

2) Pacific Island countries and territories that have leased out swathes of the deep seabed in their Exclusive Economic Zones for exploration of minerals to transnational mining companies.[5] The Solwara 1 Project owned by Nautilus Minerals, a Canadian company, operates in Papua New Guinea and is the only deep seabed mining project that is in full operation. As the technology develops for the acquisition of lucrative gold, silver, copper, nickel, and rare-earth deposits, we are concerned that small island nations will be at a tremendous disadvantage in protecting themselves from potential accidents and mishaps resulting from these large transnational mining projects. As of yet, there has been no Environmental Impact Study that has conclusively shown the mitigation of the impact of the mining process on ecology of the deep seabed, on fisheries closer to shore, or on the fragile reef system that is home to the greatest diversity of life on the planet.

3) In Rapa Nui, our people are struggling against a tidal wave of developments proposals by the Chilean government in conjunction with international investment regimes, such as TransOceanica, for mining projects, airfields, ports, casinos, and hotels. Rapa Nui has been engaged in an unresolved decades long land rights and self-determination struggle with Chile. Now, Rapa Nui is at risk of being crushed under the weight of a regional free-trade agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which Chile ratified in 2005. This free-trade agreement and proposed development projects will irreparably damage a UN World Heritage site, to the detriment to Rapa Nui, while primarily benefitting the Chilean government and the non-Rapa Nui investment regimes.

4) We are deeply distressed by the growing radioactive plume engulfing the Pacific Northwest region from to the ongoing Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster. We must participate in the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan, based on reliable scientific data, to assist Pacific peoples in monitoring and protecting health, food and regional resources due to this nuclear disaster. The impact of Fukushima on Pacific island peoples[6] whose health and resources have already been compromised by international nuclear testing and experimentation cannot be ignored. As evidenced by the continued negative health indicators and unusually high cancer rates of those living in the islands in Micronesia where massive nuclear testing was conducted fifty years ago. The States and corporations responsible for nuclear proliferation in the Pacific must be held accountable for impacts and remediation to health, economic and the environment of the indigenous Pacific peoples.

For many years, indigenous peoples have advocated at the UN for the full recognition of core collective rights, such as full ownership rights to their lands and natural resources and the right to self-determination. Recognition and protection of these core rights is critical to REDD+ projects taking place in indigenous territories, and must be effectively addressed by the UN-REDD. The UN Declaration entailed a process of more than 30 years in which indigenous peoples and States forged common ground on the need of protecting indigenous territories and governments.

The UN Declaration is a global statement of the law concerning indigenous peoples, which enjoys today full support from the world community. It is by virtue of these rights that indigenous peoples can control, use, manage and benefit from their lands and natural resources according to their governing institutions, laws and customs.[7]

Yet, currently, UN-REDD has no policy specifically protecting indigenous peoples’ territories and governments, which are indispensable for survival as distinct peoples within existing nation-states. The obligations of human rights and climate agreements, we have not seen a UN-REDD policy in which larger economies, implementing agencies or investment regimes are fulfilling these obligations; governments negotiate regional trade agreements that are reinforcing investor-state frameworks, often with the support and encouragement of our sub-regional institutions and without consultation or approval by indigenous peoples.
SOPAC, the geo-science and technology subsidiary of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has secured funding to draft a framework that would enable Pacific Island nations to mine the deep sea for minerals, and this SPC-authored framework would disenfranchise Pacific Island communities, impacting the livelihoods of Pacific Islanders without their free, prior and informed consent.[8]

With respect to mining and other industrial investments among Pacific islands, negotiations and agreements are often kept secret from public purview. Citing limited negotiating time limits, inadequate access to legal representation, or governments who are not aligned with indigenous interests, Pacific Islanders require an agency that would enable farm and fish practitioners and our cultural stakeholders to participate from the initiation of such negotiations and agreements, and have access to the legal resources and adequate time to adequately represent our interests.

Decisions over the ocean environment cannot be made by governments or investment regimes, or even by regional organizations like the Pacific Island Forum, without free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous community. An independent regional body comprised of indigenous peoples adversely impacted by the decisions of governments, trade representatives, and corporate stakeholders to develop a specific policy aimed at protecting the rights contained within the UN DRIP, must be established and funded.

We, the Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific respectfully request the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development implement our requests to ensure that policies enacted will provide protection of indigenous peoples’ substantive rights, especially the rights of self-determination and permanent sovereignty of our natural resources.

[1] Special Rapporteurs, U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Tenth Session, “Study on indigenous peoples and corporation to examine existing mechanisms and policies related to corporations and indigenous peoples and to identify good practices.” New York, 12-27 May 20122, Item 3 (a) of the provisional agenda.
[2] World Bank, Operational Manual. OP4.10-Indigenous Peoples (,,contentMDK:20553653~menuPK:4564185~pagePK:64709096~piPK:64709108~theSitePK:502184,00.html)
[3] Gooch, Nicole. “Nickel and Maligned”. 2012, Apr, 27. The Global Mail. (
[4] Radio Australia, “Thousand of fish dead after acid leak at New Caledonia Nickel plant.” April 6, 2009.
[5] ACT NOW! and PANG Joint Media Release, “Economics of experimental seabed mining don’t add up for Pacific island countries.” May 15, 2012. Papua New Guinea Mine Watch, (
[6] U.N. General Assembly, Fourth Committee (GA/SPD431). “Fourth Committee delegates urge more funding for scientific committee to enable it to assess emerging risks of atomic radiation on human health, environment.” 16 Oct. 2009. (
[7] Crippa, Leonardo A. & Gretchen Gordon. “Comments on the UN-REDD Programme Guideline on Free, Prior and Informed Consent.” Indian Law Resource Center. January 2012. (
[8] Papua New Guinea Perspective.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Happy World Oceans Day

Happy World Oceans Day! Always remember that we live on a blue planet and we live by the grace of water...

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Happy World Environment Day

Happy World Environment Day everyone!! Celebrate life!! It's in our hands... let us make wise choices...

Monday, 4 June 2012

Coastal Biodiversity Week Events

June 4, 2012 - June 7, 2012 - Screening of Environmental Films in Swakopmund (The Future from the BBC Planet Earth Series, An Inconvenient Truth, End of the Line, Oceans).  Free and open to learners and the public. Discussion will take place after each screening.  Moderated by Mr. Rod Braby, Coordinator of the NACOMA Project and Mrs. Marcia Stanton, Director of The Earth Organization, Namibia. Details: 10h30 - 12h30 at the Atlanta Cinema, Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, Swakopmund,Namibia (Organized by NACOMA). 

June 4, 2012 - June 8, 2012 - Screening of Environmental Films in Walvis Bay (The Namib Desert Coast, Currents of Plenty, Oceans, Earth).  Free and open to learners and the public. Details: morning screening 10h00 - 12h00, afternoon screening 14h30 - 16h30 at the Walvis Bay Municipality Public Library, Walvis Bay, Namibia (Organized by NACOMA).

June 5, 2012 - WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY - Exhibitions including posters on marine biodiversity and the Dorob National Park informational display.  Free and open to learners and the public. Details: all day, Municipality of Swakopmund, Information Centre, Swakopmund, Namibia (Organized by MFMR/ BCLME SAP-IMP Project, NACOMA & others).

June 5, 2012 - Showing of the film "The Poisonous Legacy of Uranium" about the impacts of uranium mining in Niger and Gabon. Free and open to the public. Details: 19h15 at the Namib Primary School Hall, Swakopmund, Namibia (Organized by Earthlife Namibia).

June 8, 2012 - WORLD OCEANS DAY - Panel discussion /debate about the potential impacts (positive & negative) of marine mining on the ocean as well as the Namibian society, including the youth. Panelists represented by: Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management project (NACOMA), the fishing industry, the phosphate mining industry, as well as youth representatives.  Free and open to learners and the public. Details: 10h00 - 12h30 at the Namib Primary School Aula, Swakopmund, Namibia (Organized by MFMR and BCLME SAP-IMP Project).

June 8, 2012 - WORLD OCEANS DAY - Display of World Oceans Day posters for 3 months PLUS presentations on the importance of the Ocean.  Free and open to learners and the public.  Details: June - September in the Foyer of the Namib Primary School Aula, Swakopmund, Namibia (Organized by MFMR and BCLME SAP-IMP Project).

June 9, 2012 - Performance by Shishani, a Namibian musician who showed her support for protecting the environment through community action by writing the song "Clean Country." Tickets on sale at the door and open to the public.  Details: 19h00 at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, Swakopmund, Namibia (Organized by Shishani).